William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''A hit, a very palpable hit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Osric, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 232 (1604). Judging that Hamlet has struck Laertes, his opponent in a duel.
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  • ''And oftentimes excusing of a fault
    Doth make the fault the worser by th' excuse.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pembroke, in King John, act 4, sc. 2.
  • ''Am I your self
    But as it were in sort or limitation,
    To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
    And talk to you sometimes?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 282-5. To her husband, Brutus; "in sort" means up to a point.
  • ''O that estates, degrees, and offices
    Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honor
    Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Arragon, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 41-3. The aristocrat wishes status and rank were always the reward of merit, and could not be obtained by corrupt means.
  • ''Since I cannot prove a lover
    To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
    I am determinèd to prove a villain
    And hate the idle pleasures of these days.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 1, sc. 1, l. 28-31. Announcing his intentions in his opening soliloquy.
  • ''Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humor, and
    like enough to consent.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 68-9. Pretending to be able to cure Orlando of his love-sickness.
  • ''If ever (as that ever may be near)
    You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
    Then shall you know the wounds invisible
    That love's keen arrows make.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Silvius, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 5, l. 28-31. On the power of love to hurt; the image of Cupid shooting love's darts at random underlies these lines.
  • ''The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown;
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
    But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
    It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
    It is an attribute to God himself,
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When mercy seasons justice.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Merchant of Venice (IV, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • ''In respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but
    in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 17-9. On life in the forest of Arden as contrasted with life at court.
  • ''Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
    Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace,
    Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Westmoreland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 1, l. 47-9. On an archbishop transforming (translating) himself into a soldier, and changing his speech.

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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in ...

Read the full of All The World's A Stage

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

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