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William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Quotations

  • ''I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up
    so early.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cloten, in Cymbeline, act 2, sc. 3, l. 33-4. He has been gaming all night, and so was early enough to pay musicians to sing at sunrise to wake Imogen.
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  • ''I have told you enough of this. For my part I'll not meddle nor make no farther.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pandarus, in Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 1, l. 13-14. "Meddle nor make" was a proverbial phrase, "make" meaning "have anything to do with it"; he is refusing to help Troilus.
  • ''My chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 2, l. 29-30. "Humor" means inclination; "Ercles" is Bottom's corruption of Hercules; to "tear a cat" on the stage is to rant and bluster.
  • ''Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha' lost my reputation, I ha' lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassio, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3.
  • ''There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 369-70.
  • ''He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Duke Senior of Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 5, sc. 4.
  • ''They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean happiness therefore to be seated in the mean.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Nerissa, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 2, l. 5-8. "In the mean" means between extremes of too much and too little.
  • ''I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 4, sc. 1, l. 322-3. Addressing Benedick, in the hope of persuading him to challenge Claudio.
  • ''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.
  • ''Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.''
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 268-70. "Imposition" means what is attributed to someone by other people.

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Sonnet CVIII

What's in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What's new to speak, what new to register,
That may express my love or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must, each day say o'er the very same,
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallow'd thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love's fresh case

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