William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The weariest and most loathed worldly life
    That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
    Can lay on nature is a paradise
    To what we fear of death.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudio, in Measure for Measure, act 3, sc. 1, l. 128-31. He is in prison, and sentenced to death; "To" means compared to.
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  • ''Cleopatra. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
    Antony. There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cleopatra's first exchange with Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 1, l. 15. A grand conception of love as beyond measure.
  • ''Our foster-nurse of nature is repose.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Doctor, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 4, l. 12. "Foster-nurse" means what naturally restores us.
  • ''This is no flattery: these are counsellors
    That feelingly persuade me what I am.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke Senior, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 10-1. The duke's philosophy in the face of wind and cold.
  • ''Give you a reason on compulsion? if reasons were as plentiful
    as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 238-40. Evading a direct answer to Poins and Hal; "reasons" would have sounded like "raisins."
  • ''There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fluellen, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 1, l. 3-4. The odd grammar hints at Fluellen's Welsh accent.
  • ''Idle old man,
    That still would manage those authorities
    That he hath given away!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Goneril, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 3, l. 16-8. Commenting on her father, King Lear.
  • ''My father's spirit in arms! All is not well.
    I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come!
    Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
    Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 254-7. Left alone now he knows about the ghost, Hamlet plans to watch with them that night; compare the proverb, "murder will out."
  • ''Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
    Love can transpose to form and dignity.
    Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
    And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 232-5. Love is conventionally roused through sight, but the lover also lacks judgment in seeing beauty where others do not, hence the proverb, "Love is without reason." Cupid was often represented as blind or blindfolded, since his arrows were supposed to be fired at random.
  • ''I do suspect the lusty Moor
    Hath leaped into my seat; the thought whereof
    Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 295-7. "Leaped into my seat" means made love to my wife, Emilia.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

Sonnet Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain

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