William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

William Shakespeare Quotes

  • ''This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hippolyta, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 210. Watching the play of "Pyramus and Thisbe."
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  • ''She that was ever fair, and never proud,
    Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud
    ...
    She that could think, and ne'er disclose her mind,
    See suitors following, and not look behind.
    She was a wight, if ever such wight were—
    To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 1, l. 148-9, 156-9. Any woman ("wight") so perfect would be fit only to have fools for children and be concerned with trivialities ("small beer"); Iago's litany ends characteristically in contempt.
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  • ''So tedious is this day
    As is the night before some festival
    To an impatient child that hath new robes
    And may not wear them.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 28-31. Waiting impatiently for Romeo to come to her on her wedding night.
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  • ''Use mercy to them all.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 3, l. 54.
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  • ''I can add colors to the chameleon,
    Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
    And set the murderous Machiavel to school.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry VI, Pt. III (III, ii). FaPoR. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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  • ''I have done no harm. But I remember now
    I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
    Is often laudable, to good sometimes
    Accounted dangerous folly.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 2, l. 74-7.
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  • ''When you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1, l. 101-2. Expressing his pleasure in welcoming guests.
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  • ''Thou canst not say I did it; never shake
    Thy gory locks at me.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 49-50. On seeing the ghost of the murdered Banquo.
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  • ''They say best men are moulded out of faults,
    And for the most, become much more the better
    For being a little bad.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Mariana, in Measure for Measure, act 5, sc. 1, l. 439-41. Speaking about Angelo, now her husband.
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  • ''If ye should lead her in a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross kind of behavior.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Nurse, in Romeo and Juliet, act 2, sc. 4, l. 165-7. Speaking to Romeo about Juliet; "a fool's paradise" means a state of delusory happiness.
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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 Lxxvii

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know
Time's thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory can not contain

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