William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Ten masts make not the altitude
    Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
    Thy life's a miracle.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 55. To his father, who thinks he has jumped off a cliff.
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  • ''A goodly portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent, of a cheerful
    look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 4, l. 422-4. Under cover of playing King Henry IV, he describes himself in flattering terms; "portly" means stately; "carriage" means bearing.
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  • ''His bold head
    'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared
    Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
    To the shore.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Francisco, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 1, l. 118-21. Describing Ferdinand swimming from the shipwreck.
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  • ''Well, while I live I'll fear no other thing
    So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 5, sc. 1, l. 306-7. Pleased to find Nerissa has the ring he thought he had given away, Gratiano exploits a sexual play on the word.
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  • ''A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
    Hath ta'en with equal thanks.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 67-8. Describing his friend Horatio.
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  • ''I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
    Commonly are, the want of which vain dew
    Perchance shall dry your pities; but I have
    That honorable grief lodged here which burns
    Worse than tears drown.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 2, sc. 1, l. 108-12. On being accused of adultery and sent to prison.
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  • ''Virtue? a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 319-21. "A fig!" Implies the scornful gesture of thrusting the thumb between the fist and second fingers.
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  • ''That England, that was wont to conquer others,
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1, l. 65-6. Criticizing Richard's corrupt mode of governing.
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  • ''He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
    Open as day for melting charity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 31-2. Praising Prince Hal.
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  • ''This day is called the Feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day and comes safe home
    Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is nam'd
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours
    And say, "Tomorrow is Saint Crispian."''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (IV, iii). FaPoR. 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 Ci

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?

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