Quotations From WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


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  • Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Olivia, in Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 1, l. 156.

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  • O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
    That has such people in't!
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Miranda, in The Tempest, act 5, sc. 1, l. 184-7 (1623). Prospero replies: "'Tis new to thee." Brave New World became the title of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel of 1932.

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  • O that I were a mockery king of snow,
    Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
    To melt myself away in water drops!
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Richard, in Richard II, act 4, sc. 1, l. 260. Humiliated in front of the whole court.

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  • But thy eternal summer shall not fade.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sonnet 18, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" (1609).

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  • Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Player King, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 213. On the gap between thoughts and deeds.
  • When our actions do not,
    Our fears do make us traitors.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 2, l. 3-4.
  • All hell shall stir for this.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pistol, in Henry V, act 5, sc. 1, l. 68. On being forced by Fluellen to eat a leek.
  • I am a villain. Yet I lie, I am not.
    Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter.
    My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
    And every tongue brings in a several tale,
    And every tale condemns me for a villain.
    Perjury, perjury, in the highest degree,
    Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree,
    All several sins, all used in each degree,
    Throng to the bar, crying all, "Guilty! Guilty!"
    I shall despair. There is no creature loves me,
    And if I die no soul will pity me.
    And wherefore should they, since that I myself
    Find in myself no pity to myself?
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Richard III (V, iii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.

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  • In the quick forge and working-house of thought.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Chorus, in Henry V, act 5, prologue, l. 23. A fine image of the working of the imagination.

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  • Men may construe things after their fashion,
    Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cicero, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 3, l. 34-5. "Construe" means interpret.
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