William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 134 (1623). Spoken by Edgar in the guise of Poor Tom.
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  • ''Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some
    liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall
    have no strength to repent.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 4-7. "Suddenly" means at once; "in some liking" means inclined to do it.
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  • ''Francisco. For this relief much thanks. 'Tis bitter cold,
    And I am sick at heart.
    Bernardo. Have you had quiet guard?
    Francisco. Not a mouse stirring.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Francisco and Bernardo, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 8-10. Francisco's sense of foreboding ("I am sick at heart") establishes right away the atmosphere of the play.
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  • ''You have too much respect upon the world.
    They lose it that do buy it with much care.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 74-5. Telling Antonio he has too anxious a regard ("respect") for his business affairs ("upon the world").
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  • ''Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
    O that that earth which kept the world in awe
    Should patch a wall t'expel the winter's flaw!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 213-6. a bleak view of death as mere oblivion, but recalling Genesis 3.19, where man was made of earth by God; "winter's flaw" means gust of cold wind.
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  • ''One good deed dying tongueless
    Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that;
    Our praises are our wages.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 92-4. On praise as the reward of doing good.
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  • ''But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts; whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.... It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 329-32, 334-5. "Motions" means sensual impulses; "sect or scion" means branch or offshoot.
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  • ''Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 236. Proverbial; compare Revelation, 10:9-10.
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  • ''The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape,
    In forms imaginary, th' unguided days
    And rotten times that you shall look upon
    When I am sleeping with my ancestors.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 58-61. Anticipating disorder after his death.
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  • ''Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls,
    Our debts, our careful wives,
    Our children, and our sins lay on the King!
    We must bear all. O hard condition,
    Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
    Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
    But his own wringing! What infinite heartsease
    Must kings neglect that private men enjoy!
    And what have kings that privates have not too,
    Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
    And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
    What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
    Of mortal griefs than do thy worshipers?
    What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in?
    O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
    What is thy soul of adoration?
    Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
    Creating awe and fear in other men?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (IV, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Cviii

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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