William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''God is our fortress.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Talbot, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 2, sc. 1, l. 26. Claiming God's protection as he attacks the French at Orleans.
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  • ''The seasons alter; hoary-headed frosts
    Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
    And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
    An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
    Is, as in mockery, set.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. "Hiems" is the personification of winter, hoary and old. Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 2, sc. 1, l. 107-11.
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  • ''She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i'th'bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Viola, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 110-12 (1623). Viola, disguised as Cesario, voices her love to Orsino, by pretending she is describing her sister's love.
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  • ''Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
    Upon the brook that brawls along this wood.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 1st Lord, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 31-2.
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  • ''I swear again, I would not be a queen
    For all the world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Anne Bullen, in Henry VIII, act 2, sc. 3, l. 45-6. Ironic in view of what happened to her; she became queen, and was later beheaded.
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  • ''Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antony, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 2, l. 252. The name "Caesar" already begins to take on the meaning of "ruler" or "monarch."
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  • ''Beatrice. Let me go with that I came, which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
    Benedick. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.
    Beatrice. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice and Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 2, l. 47-54. Benedick reports he has not fought with Claudio, and Beatrice plays on the idea of the proverb, "words are but wind."
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  • ''When rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Borachio, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3, l. 113-5. Reporting he has been well paid by Don John to prevent the marriage of Claudio and Hero.
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  • ''Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels,
    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
    And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
    The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
    Like water from ye, never found again
    But where they mean to sink ye.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Buckingham, in Henry VIII, act 2, sc. 1, l. 126-31. "Lose" = unrestrained; "rub" = check (from the game of bowls).
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  • ''I have this while with leaden thoughts been pressed.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 3, sc. 4, l. 177. "Pressed" means oppressed.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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