William Shakespeare Quotes
''If powers divineWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 28-31.
Behold our human actionsas they do
I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush.''
''Not poppy, nor mandragora,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 330-3. Opiates were derived from poppy (opium) and mandragora (mandrake, of the deadly nightshade family).
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owed'st yesterday.''
''This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this EnglandWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Contrasting England as "This other Eden" with its present state of degeneration, "leased out ... like to a tenement or pelting farm." John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1.
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
. . .
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land.''
''Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribsWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 9, 12-4. Sleep comes easier in a smoky hovel ("crib") than in a palace.
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?''
''By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (IV, iii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honor
I am the most offending soul alive.''
''But screw your courage to the sticking-placeWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 60-1 (1623). Exhorting Macbeth to carry out the murder of Duncan.
And we'll not fail.''
''A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 150-4. Addressing the blind Gloucester.
see how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places, and handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?''
''Though castles topple on their warder's heads,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 58-63. A warder is a guardian; "nature's germens" means the seeds or rudiments from which it was thought all living organisms developed.
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Of nature's germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sickenanswer me
To what I ask you.''
''He swore he would never marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted I know not, but methinks you look with your eyes as other women do.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Margaret, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 4, l. 88-92. Speaking to Beatrice about Benedick, who now is content to be a lover ("eats his meat without grudging").
'''Tis with my mindWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 62-4. "Still-stand" suggests the moment at which the tide is about to turn.
As with the tide swelled up unto his height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.''
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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.
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;