William Shakespeare Quotes
'''Tis the curse of service,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Othello (I, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th' first.''
''Pale primroses,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 122-4. Spring flowers that do not live to see the sun ("Phoebus") at full strength in the summer.
That die unmarried ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength.''
''Mercy is above this sceptred sway,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 193-7. Offering Shylock the chance to show mercy; "sceptred sway" means earthly rule; "attribute to means characteristic of.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.''
''Cold indeed, and labor lost:William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Morocco, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 7, l. 74-5. Before choosing the wrong casket, he had sworn never to marry.
Then farewell heat, and welcome frost!''
''I took him for the plainest harmless creatureWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 5, l. 25-8. Protesting his love for Hastings, whose execution he has just plotted.
That breathed upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.''
''Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 308-9. Time passes at different speeds according to the person.
''Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I know, to be up late is to be up late.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 4-9. Sir Toby's excuse for staying up drinking.
Sir Toby Belch. A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early; so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed betimes.''
''Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever thou (l. 1-12). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come; so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune's might.''
''Honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 3, l. 30-1. Trying to persuade her not to be virtuous ("honest").
''When forty winters shall besiege thy browWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. When forty winters shall beseige thy brow (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held.
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use
If thou couldst answer, \'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.''
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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 ...
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;