William Shakespeare Quotes
''The oldest hath borne most; we that are youngWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 326-7.
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.''
''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,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Friar Laurence, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 3, l. 2-3 (1599). Speaking to Romeo.
And thou art wedded to calamity.''
''I do know of theseWilliam 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).
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.''
''There's a divinity that shapes our ends,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 10-11 (1604).
Rough-hew them how we will.''
''Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,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.
Misprizing what they look on, and her wit
Values itself so highly that to her
All matter else seems weak.''
''This is the nightWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 5, sc. 1, l. 128-9. "Fordoes me quite" means destroys me utterly.
That either makes me, or foredoes me quite.''
''This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,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."
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.''
''Will Fortune never come with both hands full,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.
But write her fair words still in foulest terms?''
''No man's pie is freedWilliam 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.
From his ambitious finger.''
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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 ...
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?