William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''If then true lovers have ever been crossed
    It stands as an edict in destiny.
    Then let us teach our trial patience,
    Because it is a customary cross,
    As due to love and thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
    Wishes, and tears—poor fancy's followers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermia, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 150-5. "Crossed" means thwarted; "fancy" suggests both love and the capricious workings of the imagination.
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  • ''O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
    It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 165-7. Iago here plants the idea of jealousy in Othello; "mocks the meat it feeds on" means torments the victim who suffers jealousy.
  • ''A virgin from her tender infancy,
    Chaste and immaculate in very thought.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Joan, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 51. Joan of Arc defending herself.
  • ''O sleep, O gentle sleep,
    Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
    That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down
    And steep my senses in forgetfulness?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1.
  • ''O sleep, O gentle sleep,
    Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
    That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
    And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
    Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
    Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
    And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
    Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
    Under the canopies of costly state,
    And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry IV, Pt. II (III, i). NAEL-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
    Which gives the stern'st good night.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 3-4. A duty of the "bellman" or town means crier was to announce deaths, and the owl was thought a bird of ill omen.
  • ''Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou ow'st the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Here's three on's are sophisticated. Thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated man is no more than such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 102-8. On meeting Edgar disguised as a mad beggar; Lear and his companions are clothed; Poor Tom (Edgar) is almost naked ("unaccommodated").
  • ''Macbeth.If we should fail?
    Lady Macbeth. We fail?
    But screw your courage to the sticking place,
    And we'll not fail.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 59-61. The image may relate to screwing the pegs of a musical instrument to the point where the strings are taut.
  • ''Black brows they say
    Become some women best, so that there be not
    Too much hair there, but in a semicircle,
    Or a half-moon made with a pen.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mamillius, in The Winter's Tale, act 2, sc. 1, l. 8-11. A precocious boy talking to the ladies who attend his mother, Hermione.
  • ''Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
    Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 1, l. 60-1. The messenger's face, like a title page, spells out bad news.

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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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