William Shakespeare Quotes
''You are a thousand times a properer manWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 5, l. 51-3. Disguised as a man, she advises Silvius, who loves Phebe, who is in love with Rosalind; "properer" means more handsome.
Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favored children.''
''This was a way to thrive, and he was blest;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 89-90. Defending usury by reference to Jacob's skill in increasing his flocks of sheep and goats (Genesis 30: 32-43).
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.''
''Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. The King, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 1, sc. 1, l. 1-7. The King of Navarre's lofty idea of gaining eternal fame through the "breath" or breathing-space of three years of hermit- like study.
Live registered upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When spite of cormorant devouring Time,
Th' endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honor which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.''
''Dost thou not perceiveWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titus, in Titus Andronicus, act 3, sc. 1, l. 53-4. Speaking to his son Lucius, who has just been banished from Rome.
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?''
''I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgment,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Warwick, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 17-8. "Sharp quillets" means nice distinctions; a daw is a jackdaw, proverbial for foolishness.
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.''
''Eye of newt and toe of frog,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 2nd Witch, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 14-9. The parts of creatures include the forked tongue of the poisonous adder, and the "sting" of the blind-worm, a lizard that is in fact harmless.
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.''
''When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antipholus of Syracuse, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 30-1.
But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams.''
''The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Apemantus, in Timon of Athens, act 4, sc. 3, l. 347-8. His cynical view of the state of Athens.
''Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a corner and cry "Heigh-ho for a husband!"''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 318-20. To Claudio, who claims the privilege through marriage of "alliance" in calling Beatrice cousin; she feels left out, or "sunburnt" means dry and withered.
''For Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boy, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 2, l. 36-8.
and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be
thought a coward.''
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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 ...
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;