William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
    Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
    Shall come against him.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 3rd Apparition, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 92-4.
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  • ''I have much ado to know myself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 7. He cannot understand why he is melancholy.
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  • ''When he speaks,
    The air, a chartered libertine, is still.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Archbishop of Canterbury, in Henry V, act 1, sc. 1, l. 47-8. On King Henry's eloquence in stilling the air, which has license to move freely (as a "chartered libertine").
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  • ''Comets, importing change of times and states,
    Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bedford, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 1, sc. 1, l. 2-3. Comets were thought to foretell disasters to come.
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  • ''Would I were in an alehouse in London. I would give all my
    fame for a pot of ale, and safety.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boy, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 2, l. 12-3.
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  • ''She looks like sleep,
    As she would catch another Antony
    In her strong toil of grace.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Antony and Cleopatra, act 5, sc. 2, l. 346-8. Looking at the dead Cleopatra; a "toil" is a net or snare.
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  • ''It doth amaze me
    A man of such a feeble temper should
    So get the start of the majestic world
    And bear the palm alone.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 128-31. Referring to Caesar, who in spite of physical ailments, outstrips ("get the start of") all other rulers to bear the palm of victory alone.
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  • ''Let every eye negotiate for itself,
    And trust no agent.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudio, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1.
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  • ''Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
    Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
    Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
    Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
    Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
    Then have I reason to be fond of grief.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Constance, in King John, act 3, sc. 4, l. 93-5 (1623). On her separation from her son Arthur, taken prisoner by John.
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  • ''To be a well-favored man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3, l. 14-6. The comic constable, splendidly muddled as usual, has a low opinion of reading and writing; "well-favored" means good-looking.
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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 Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,