William Shakespeare Quotes
''Come, thick night,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 5, l. 50-4. "Thee" is King Duncan, whom she thinks of murdering in his bed; hell is proverbially black or dark; "pall thee" means cover as with a pall, the cloth spread over a coffin.
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry, "Hold, hold!"''
''Nothing can be made out of nothing.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 32-3. Proverbial.
''Macbeth. What is the night?William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 125-6.
Lady Macbeth. Almost at odds with morning, which is which.''
''We do it wrong, being so majestical,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Marcellus, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 143-6. On the apparition of the dead King Hamlet of Denmark.
To offer it the show of violence,
For it is as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.''
''He that but fears the thing he would not knowWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 1, l. 85-7. "Is chanced" means has happened.
Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes
That what he feared is chanced.''
''Boy, however we do praise ourselves,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orsino, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 32-5. Speaking to Cesario (Viola in disguise) of men's loves ("fancies") as soon exhausted ("worn").
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.''
''What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Paulina, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 175-9. Emphasizing what a tyrant Leontes has been, but knowing that he is not really going to punish her now he has come to his senses.
What wheels, racks, fires? What flaying, boiling
In leads or oils? What old or newer torture
Must I receive, whose every word deserves
To taste of thy most worst?''
''I grant I am a woman; but withalWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 292-7. Cato was noted for his integrity; he supported Pompey against Caesar, and committed suicide rather than submit to Caesar.
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife.
I grant I am a woman; but withal
A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so fathered and so husbanded?''
''O polished perturbation! golden care!William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 5, l. 23-5. Commenting on the crown that lies on his sick father's pillow; "ports" means gates.
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night.''
''Richard. Give me a calendar.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard and Ratcliffe, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, l. 276-80. Before the Battle of Bosworth; it turns out to be a black day for Richard, who is killed by Richmond.
Who saw the sun today?
Ratcliffe. Not I, my lord.
Richard. Then he disdains to shine, for by the book
He should have braved the east an hour ago.
A black day will it be to somebody.''
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A Fairy Song
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
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;