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

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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