Quotations From WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


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  • There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Fool, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 2, l. 35-6.

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  • You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 298-9. To Benedick, who hesitates at the idea of killing his friend Claudio.
  • The undeserver may sleep when the man of action is called on.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 4, l. 376-7.

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  • Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gloucester, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 2, l. 106-9.

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  • When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 88-9. Describing her German suitor, who is often drunk.
  • Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Brutus, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 2, l. 22-4. Addressing the people after the death of Caesar.
  • Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 110-11 (1623). Speaking to Malvolio. "Cakes and Ale" was used by W. Somerset Maugham as the title of a novel in 1930.
  • If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3, l. 50-1. Comically laying down the law.
  • One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3, l. 26-30. Rejecting the idea of loving a woman.

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  • She will keep no fool, sir, till she be married, and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings—the husband's the bigger.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Feste, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 33-5. Referring to Olivia; "pilchards," small fish, are common off European coasts.

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