William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The gross band of the unfaithful.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 194-5. To Orlando, merging love and religion.
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  • ''I hate him for he is a Christian;
    But more, for that in low simplicity
    He lends out money gratis, and brings down
    The rate of usance here with us in Venice.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 42-5. On Antonio, his rival merchant; "low simplicity" can mean both modest or humble guilelessness, or base folly; "usance" means usury.
  • ''The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action; and, till action, lust
    Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
    Savage, extreme, rude, cruel not to trust;
    Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
    Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
    Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
    On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
    Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
    Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
    A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe,
    Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
    All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The expense of spirit in a waste of shame (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''Give me a staff of honor for mine age,
    But not a sceptre to control the world.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Refusing to be made emperor of Rome. Titus, in Titus Andronicus, act 1, sc. 1, l. 198-9.
  • ''Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo,
    The numbers of the feared.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Warwick, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 97-8. Referring to the size of a rebel army.
  • ''His poor self,
    A dedicated beggar to the air,
    With his disease of all-shunned poverty,
    Walks, like contempt, alone.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 2nd Servant, in Timon of Athens, act 4, sc. 2, l. 12-15. On the state of the once-rich Timon.
  • ''There's many a man has more hair than wit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antipholus of Syracuse, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 82-3. "Wit" means intelligence or sense.
  • ''O that men's ears should be
    To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Apemantus, in Timon of Athens, act 1, sc. 2, l. 249-50. On Timon, who refuses to listen to him.
  • ''The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 293-5. Referring to the jealous Claudio; "civil" puns on "Seville," where the bittersweet oranges used to make marmalade are grown.
  • ''The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
    As is the razor's edge invisible.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boyet, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 256-7. On the court-ladies, who have overwhelmed the courtiers by mocking them.

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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 Li

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;

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