William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • '''Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
    Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream
    That can entame my spirits to your worship.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 5, l. 46-8. Rejecting Phebe's love; bugles were shiny black glass beads.
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  • ''Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Before me, she's a good wench.
    Sir Toby Belch. She's a beagle true bred, and one that adores me. What o' that?
    Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I was adored once, too.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 178-81. They speak of Maria; a "beagle" means a small, intelligent hunting dog; Sir Andrew has his moment of pathos.
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  • ''My beauty, though but mean,
    Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
    Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. The Princess, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 2, sc. 1, l. 13-15. Rejecting Boyet's flattery of her.
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  • ''As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and the
    falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons
    bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 3, 79-82. On his desire to marry; bow means yoke.
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  • ''When I consider every thing that grows
    Holds in perfection but a little moment,
    That this huge stage presenteth naught but shows
    Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
    When I perceive that men as plants increase,
    Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,
    Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
    And wear their brave state out of memory:
    Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
    Sets you most rich in youth before my sight.
    Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
    To change your day of youth to sullied night;
    And all in war with Time for love of you,
    As he takes from you, I engraft you new.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. When I consider everything that grows (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''I see your brows are full of discontent,
    Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Abbot of Westminster, in Richard II, act 4, sc. 1, l. 332-3. Speaking to the deposed King Richard's supporters.
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  • ''I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
    A stage, where every man must play a part,
    And mine a sad one.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 77-9. Citing the proverb, "The world's a stage, and every man plays his part."
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  • ''Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Archbishop of York, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 2, l. 85. "Passing" means exceedingly.
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  • ''O, this life
    Is nobler than attending for a check;
    Richer than doing nothing for a bauble;
    Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Belarius, in Cymbeline, act 3, sc. 3, l. 21-4. Contrasting a simple country life with life at the king's court; "attending for a check" means doing service only for a rebuke.
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  • ''Brutus. How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
    That now on Pompey's basis lies along,
    No worthier than the dust!
    Cassius. So oft as that shall be,
    So often shall the knot of us be called
    The men that gave their country liberty.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus and Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 114-8. Caesar's body is supposed to have fallen at the base of the statue of his old enemy, Pompey.
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Best Poem of William Shakespeare

O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey's end in lovers' meeting-
Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,-
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Read the full of O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)

Sonnet Ci

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?

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