William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The murmuring surge,
    That on th' unnumbered idle pebble chafes,
    Cannot be heard so high.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 20-2. Imagining being on the cliffs at Dover.
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  • ''To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
    Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 4, sc. 2, l. 79-80. He prefers feasting to fighting.
  • ''What we have we prize not to the worth
    Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
    Why, then we rack the value, then we find
    The virtue that possession would not show us
    Whiles it was ours.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Friar Francis, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 218-22. We do not value at its true worth what we possess, but when we lose a possession, we exaggerate ("rack") its value; he is thinking of Claudio's harsh treatment of Hero.
  • ''There are a sort of men whose visages
    Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
    And do a willful stillness entertain,
    With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
    Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
    As who should say, "I am Sir Oracle,
    And when I ope my lips let no dog bark!"''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 88-94. The idea is that their faces take on a set expression, like the puckered or wrinkled scum on a stagnant pond; "opinion" means reputation; "conceit" means imagination.
  • ''My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time,
    And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
    That I have uttered.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 4, l. 140-2. To Gertrude, who thinks Hamlet is mad.
  • ''Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hero, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 1, l. 106. Hero's device to make Beatrice admit she loves Benedick has proved successful.
  • ''She never yet was foolish that was fair,
    For even her folly helped her to an heir.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 137-8. No matter how silly, a beautiful woman may win a rich husband and have a child; "heir" may have two meanings.
  • ''All places that the eye of heaven visits
    Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 275-6. Advising his banished son, Bolingbroke.
  • ''O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,
    Which ever in the haunch of winter sings
    The lifting up of day.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 91-3. Haunch means backside, latter part.
  • ''Therefore doth heaven divide
    The state of man in divers functions,
    Setting endeavor in continual motion,
    To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
    Obedience; for so work the honeybees,
    Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
    The act of order to a peopled kingdom.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (I, ii). NAEL-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.

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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 Lxvi

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,

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