William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
    Shall never see so much, nor live so long.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 326-7.
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  • ''The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 5, sc. 4, l. 119-20. Falstaff's "discretion" means avoiding danger on the battlefield by pretending to be dead.
  • ''Affliction is enamoured of thy parts,
    And thou art wedded to calamity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Friar Laurence, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 3, l. 2-3 (1599). Speaking to Romeo.
  • ''I do know of these
    That therefore only are reputed wise
    For saying nothing; when I am very sure
    If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
    Which hearing them would call their brothers fools.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 95-9. alluding to Matthew 5:22, "And whosoever saith unto his brother.... Fool, shall be worthy to be punished with hell fire" (Geneva version).
  • ''There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
    Rough-hew them how we will.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 10-11 (1604).
  • ''Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
    Misprizing what they look on, and her wit
    Values itself so highly that to her
    All matter else seems weak.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hero, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 1, l. 51-4. Characterizing Beatrice as self-centered in her cleverness ("wit") and despising ("misprizing") what anyone else says as trivial.
  • ''This is the night
    That either makes me, or foredoes me quite.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 5, sc. 1, l. 128-9. "Fordoes me quite" means destroys me utterly.
  • ''This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house
    Against the envy of less happier lands;
    This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1, l. 40-50 (1597). Contrasting England, "this other Eden," with its present state of degeneration—"leased out ... like to a tenement or pelting farm."
  • ''Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
    But write her fair words still in foulest terms?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 103-4. King Henry feels ill even as he receives good news.
  • ''No man's pie is freed
    From his ambitious finger.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry VIII (by Shakespeare and probably John Fletcher) (I, i). TrGrPo. 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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