William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''You are come in very happy time
    To bear my greeting to the senators
    And tell them that I will not come today.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 2, l. 60-2. To Decius, who has come to fetch him to the senate chamber.
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  • ''Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
    Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
    Can be retentive to the strength of spirit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 3, l. 93-5. Trying to persuade Casca that they will have no freedom under Caesar.
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  • ''Why should we in our peevish opposition
    Take it to heart?''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudius, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 100-1. Suggesting Hamlet is perverse in continuing to mourn for his father.
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  • ''Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
    Who covers faults at last shame them derides.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cordelia, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 1, l. 280-1. Compare the proverb, "Time brings truth to light"; "plighted" means pleated.
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  • ''Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack. Thou art going to the
    wars, and whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is
    nobody cares.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Doll Tearsheet, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 65-8. Bidding goodbye to Falstaff.
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  • ''How fearful
    And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!
    The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
    Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
    Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 11-15. Imagining the prospect from the cliffs at Dover; "choughs" means crows or jackdaws; "gross" means large; samphire is a herb used in pickling.
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  • ''Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must
    hence and leave it unpicked.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 367-8. Summoned to the wars, he cannot go to bed with Doll Tearsheet; "unpicked" means ungathered.
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  • ''A lover may bestride the gossamers
    That idles in the wanton summer air,
    And yet not fall; so light is vanity.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Friar Lawrence, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 6, l. 18-20. On Juliet's arrival, "light of foot"; "wanton" means playful.
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  • ''Let me play the fool,
    With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 79-80. Preferring to enjoy life, and rejecting Antonio's melancholy.
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  • ''They are actions that a man might play,
    But I have that within which passes show,
    These but the trappings and the suits of woe.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 2, l. 84-6. "Actions" means outward forms of mourning.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy ...

Read the full of Fear No More

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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