William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''Caesar should be a beast without a heart
    If he should stay at home today for fear.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 2, l. 42-3. In spite of bad omens, he is determined to go to the Capitol.
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  • ''Do not presume too much upon my love,
    I may do that I shall be sorry for.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 3, l. 63-4. Quarreling with Brutus.
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  • ''Claudius. But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son—
    Hamlet. [Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius and Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 64-5. "Cousin" means kinsman, here a nephew; Hamlet is more closely related than a nephew, since his uncle has married his mother, yet less close than a son, and not well disposed to Claudius.
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  • ''You have begot me, bred me, loved me. I
    Return those duties back as are right fit,
    Obey you, love you, and most honor you.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cordelia, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 96-8. Speaking to her father; the last line curiously echoes the marriage service.
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  • ''You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch, therefore bear you the lantern.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry to the first watchman, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3. Venting one of his many malapropisms ("senseless" for sensible).
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  • ''The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
    Make instruments to plague us.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 171-2. Speaking to his half-brother, the dying Edmund, whose vices have led to his death, just as their father Gloucester's vices have brought about his blinding.
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  • ''A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 2, sc. 2, l. 27-8. His companions have taken his horse, and Falstaff is too fat to walk far.
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  • ''Pause awhile,
    And let my counsel sway you in this case.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Friar Francis, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 200-1. Trying to help the distraught Leonato.
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  • ''Who riseth from a feast
    With that keen appetite that he sits down?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 6, l. 8-9.
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  • ''It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 357-9. To Guildenstern, who cannot play the recorder; "ventages" are stops on the instrument.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

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.

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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