William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Away before me to sweet beds of flowers.
    Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orsino, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 1, l. 39-40. Lovesick for Olivia, who has no interest in him.
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  • ''What's gone and what's past help
    Should be past grief.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Paulina, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 222-3. An elegant variation on the proverb, "never grieve for that you cannot help."
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  • ''Dwell I but in the suburbs
    Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
    Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 285-7. The brothels in Elizabethan London were located in the suburbs, beyond the jurisdiction of the city.
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  • ''Fortune now
    To my heart's hope!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Arragon, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 19-20. Hoping for good luck in choosing the right casket.
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  • ''For God doth know, and you may partly see,
    How far I am from the desire of this.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 7, l. 235-6. Pretending he does not want power and the throne.
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  • ''Very good orators when they are out, they will spit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 75-6. "Out" means lost for words.
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  • ''Ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be land-rats and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves, I mean pirates, and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 22-5. On Antonio's business ventures, his goods sent off on various ships; the heavy-handed joke on "pi-rats" marks Shylock's odd sense of humor.
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  • ''It is engend'red in the eyes,
    With gazing fed; and fancy dies
    In the cradle where it lies.
    Let us all ring fancy's knell.
    I'll begin it—Ding, dong, bell.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Merchant of Venice (III, ii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''Sweetest nut hath sourest rind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 155-7. Mocking Rosalind as sweet and sour.
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  • ''Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired:''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed (l. 1-4). OBSC. 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 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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