William Shakespeare Quotes
''Thou wouldst be great;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 5, l. 18-20. "Illness" means wickedness; describing the moral confusion in Macbeth as they think about murdering Duncan.
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win.''
''I am a very foolish fond old man,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 7, l. 59-62. "Fond" means silly, in my dotage.
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
And to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.''
''Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house:William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 38-40. Imagining he hears a voice; Macbeth by now is Thane (Lord) of Glamis and Cawdor.
"Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!"''
''Maria. Not a word with him but a jest.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Maria, and Boyet in Love's Labor's Lost, act 2, sc. 1, l. 216. Speaking of the witty Berowne.
Boyet. And every jest but a word.''
''Even through the hollow eyes of deathWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1, l. 270-1. Even as John of Gaunt dies, word comes that Henry Bolingbroke is ready to make war on Richard.
I spy life peering.''
''It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Othello (V, ii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light.
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again,
It needs must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree.''
''When workmen strive to do better than well,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pembroke, in King John, act 4, sc. 2.
They do confound their skill in covetousness.''
''One half of me is yours, the other half yoursWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 2, l. 16-8. Confessing her love to Bassanio.
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours.''
''I will not choose what many men desire,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Arragon, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 31-3. "Jump" means agree, go along with.
Because I will not jump with common spirits,
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.''
''I have not that alacrity of spiritWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, 73-4. A premonition of his defeat to come.
Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.''
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A Fairy Song
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case