William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermia, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 2, l. 296. Angry with the taller Helena.
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  • ''When my outward action doth demonstrate
    The native act and figure of my heart
    In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
    But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
    For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 1, l. 61-5. Boasting of concealing his true feelings; "compliment extern" means external show or behavior to others; "daws" means jackdaws, i.e., fools.
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  • ''Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 7, l. 163-6. The seventh of the "seven ages" of man.
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  • ''She either gives a stomach and no food—
    Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
    And takes away the stomach—such are the rich,
    That have abundance and enjoy it not.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 105-8.
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  • ''Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
    'Tis full three months since I did see him last.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Richard II, act 5, sc. 3, l. 1-2. Referring to Prince Hal, as he becomes in Henry V; "unthrifty" means spendthrift, prodigal.
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  • ''You lack the season of all natures, sleep.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 140. "Season" may mean necessary period of rest, or the seasoning that preserves.
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  • ''O, reason not the need! our basest beggars
    Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
    Allow not nature more than nature needs,
    Man's life is cheap as beast's.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 2, sc. 4, l. 264-7. On being told by Regan that he needs no servants of his own.
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  • ''Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits.
    The flighty purpose never is o'ertook
    Unless the deed go with it. From this moment
    The very firstlings of my heart shall be
    The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
    To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Macbeth (IV, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''He's fortified against any denial.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 5, l. 145. On Cesario (Viola in disguise), who is determined to speak with Olivia.
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  • ''Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
    That it do singe yourself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Norfolk, in Henry VIII, act 1, sc. 1, l. 140-1. To Buckingham, who has proclaimed his enmity to Wolsey.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or ...

Read the full of Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)

Sonnet Ci

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?