William Shakespeare Quotes
''Plague of your policy!''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Earl of Surrey, in Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 2, l. 259. Wolsey contrived to have Surrey sent off to Ireland; "of" = on.
''Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters!''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 2, 43-4. A friendly insult to Prince Hal, heir to the throne.
''Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O without a figure. I am better than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fool, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 191-4. To King Lear, who has given his lands to his daughters; an O is nothing without another figure in front of it.
''I'the commonwealth I would by contrariesWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gonzalo, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 1, l. 150-8. His utopian vision of a golden age with no rule and no boundaries ("Bourn, bound of land"); "traffic" means trade; "use of service" means employment of servants.
Execute all things; for no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;
Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,
And use of service, none; contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation; all men idle, all,
And women too, but innocent and pure.''
''Will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let themWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 522-5. Speaking to Polonius about the actors who have just arrived in Elsinore; "bestowed" means lodged.
be well used, for they are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.''
''Before the time I did Lysander see,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermia, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 204-7. Her "love" is Lysander, who has provoked the anger of her father and jealousy of Demetrius, and so made Athens hell for her.
Seemed Athens as a paradise to me.
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turned a heaven unto a hell?''
''But men are men; the best sometimes forget.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 241. "Men are but men" is proverbial.
''Jessica. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jessica and Lorenzo, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 69-70. "Spirits are attentive" means faculties are engaged.
Lorenzo. The reason is, your spirits are attentive.''
''The man nearest my soul,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 61-3. On Northumberland, once his friend, now his enemy.
Who like a brother toiled in my affairs,
And laid his love and life under my foot.''
''They love not poison that do poison need.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Richard II, act 5, sc. 6, l. 38. Unhappy to learn that Richard II has been killed at his own suggestion.
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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 ...
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?