William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 2nd Witch, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 44-5.
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  • ''There's a time for all things.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antipholus of Syracuse, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 65. proverbial; from Ecclesiates, 3.1, "To every thing there is a season."
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  • ''Apothecary. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
    Romeo. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Apothecary and Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 75-6. Romeo persuades the apothecary to sell him poison.
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  • ''Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinquepace; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinquepace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 73-80. Her cynical view of marriage; "state and ancientry" means stateliness and old-fashioned formality; a "cinquepace" was a lively dance (French "cinq pas" means five paces), with a pun on "sink."
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  • ''They will steal anything, and call it purchase.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boy, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 2, l. 41-2. "Purchase" means plunder.
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  • ''But you are come
    A market-maid to Rome.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 3, sc. 6, l. 50-1. Octavius sees his sister returning to Rome with a smaller train than he thinks appropriate.
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  • ''The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 140-1.
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  • ''If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs. 'A brushes his hat o'mornings; what should that bode?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudio, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 2, l. 40-2. On Benedick sprucing himself up.
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  • ''Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull,
    On whom, as in despite, the sun looks pale,
    Killing their fruit with frowns?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Constable, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 5, l. 16-8. On the English climate.
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  • ''O villain! Thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 2, l. 56-7. Interrogating his prisoner, Borachio; he means to say "damnation," not "redemption."
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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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