William Shakespeare Quotes
''Ten masts make not the altitudeWilliam 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.
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
Thy life's a miracle.''
''A goodly portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent, of a cheerfulWilliam 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.
look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage.''
''His bold headWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Francisco, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 1, l. 118-21. Describing Ferdinand swimming from the shipwreck.
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To the shore.''
''Well, while I live I'll fear no other thingWilliam 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.
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.''
''A man that Fortune's buffets and rewardsWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 67-8. Describing his friend Horatio.
Hath ta'en with equal thanks.''
''I am not prone to weeping, as our sexWilliam 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.
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.''
''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.
''That England, that was wont to conquer others,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.
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.''
''He hath a tear for pity, and a handWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 31-2. Praising Prince Hal.
Open as day for melting charity.''
''This day is called the Feast of 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.
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."''
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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.
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?