William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks;
    When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
    When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 3rd Citizen, in Richard III, act 2, sc. 3, l. 32-4. Fearing the worst on learning of the death of Edward IV.
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  • ''The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 97 (1600). Referring to Shylock.
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  • ''Turn him to any cause of policy,
    The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
    Familiar as his garter.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Archbishop of Canterbury, in Henry V, act 1, sc. 1, l. 45-7. It was said that whoever undid the Gordian knot would rule Asia, and Alexander the Great, who cut it with his sword, went on to great conquests.
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  • ''Hung be the heavens with black! Yield, day, to night!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bedford, in Henry VI, Part 1, act 1, sc. 1, l. 1. Probably referring to the canopy over the stage, hung with black drapes for a tragedy.
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  • ''He hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boy, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 2, l. 34. On ancient Pistol.
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  • ''Et tu, Bruté?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 76 (1623). Caesar's dying words. Brutus was amongst the conspirators who stabbed Caesar. In his biography Julius Caesar, Suetonius ascribes an utterance in Greek to Caesar from which this phrase could be derived. The words had occurred in previous dramas of the period.
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  • ''It is meet
    That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
    For who so firm that cannot be seduced?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 2, l. 310-2. "Meet" means fitting.
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  • ''Claudius. How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
    Hamlet. Not so, my lord, I am too much in the sun.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius and Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 66-7. Claudius probes Hamlet's grief at his father's death, while Hamlet resists Claudius's attempts to treat him as a son in the quibble on "sun."
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  • ''I want that glib and oily art
    To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
    I'll do't before I speak.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cordelia, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 224-6.
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  • ''For your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3, l. 20-2. Priding himself on his own illiteracy.
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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 Ci

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?

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