William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''If powers divine
    Behold our human actions—as they do—
    I doubt not then but innocence shall make
    False accusation blush.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 28-31.
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  • ''Not poppy, nor mandragora,
    Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
    Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
    Which thou owed'st yesterday.''
    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).
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  • ''This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England
    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
    . . .
    This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land.''
    William 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.
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  • ''Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs
    ...
    Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
    Under the canopies of costly state,
    And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?''
    William 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.
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  • ''By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    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.''
    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.
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  • ''But screw your courage to the sticking-place
    And we'll not fail.''
    William 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.
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  • ''A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears;
    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?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 150-4. Addressing the blind Gloucester.
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  • ''Though castles topple on their warder's heads,
    Though palaces and pyramids do slope
    Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
    Of nature's germens tumble all together,
    Even till destruction sicken—answer me
    To what I ask you.''
    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.
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  • ''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").
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  • '''Tis with my mind
    As with the tide swelled up unto his height,
    That makes a still-stand, running neither way.''
    William 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.
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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 Li

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;

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