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Quotations From WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


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  • There's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 2, l. 73-5. To Benedick, varying the proverb, "He must praise himself since no one else will."
  • It provokes the desire but it takes away the performance. Therefore much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him and it mars him; it sets him on and it takes him off.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Porter, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3.
  • Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Julius Caesar (III, ii). NAWM-1. The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
  • This is the monstruosity in love, lady—that the will is infinite and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Troilus, in Troilus and Cressida, act 3, sc. 2, l. 77-80 (1609). Troilus, in Troilus and Cressida, on the discrepancy between lovers' aspirations and their realization, shortly before the first sexual encounter between himself and Cressida.

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  • 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.

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  • When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3, l. 242-4. Explaining his sudden discovery that he loves Beatrice.
  • I see this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Autolycus, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 673-4. He has benefited by an exchange of clothes with Prince Florizel.

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  • There have been many great men that have flattered the people who ne'er loved them.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Second Officer, in Coriolanus, act 2, sc. 2.

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  • Kindness, nobler ever than revenge.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Oliver, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 128. Speaking of Orlando's resolve to rescue his brother from danger.
  • The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Angelo, in Measure for Measure, act 2, sc. 2, l. 90. Reminding Isabella that the laws have existed even though they have not been enforced for some time.
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