William Shakespeare Quotes

That strain again, it had a dying fall; O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more, 'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orsino, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 1, l. 4-8. Listening to music; "strain" means melody.
A young man married is a man that's marred.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Parolles, in All's Well That Ends Well, act 2, sc. 3, l. 298. Proverbial.
If circumstances lead me, I will find Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed Within the centre.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 2, sc. 2, l. 157-9. Boasting of his political skills.
Like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glitt'ring o'er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Henry, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 2, l. 212-5. Hal plans to humor his companions for a while, joining in their dissolute life, in order to cast them off later; "sullen ground" means dark background.
We do not come, as minding to content you, Our true intent is. All for your delight We are not here.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Quince, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 5, sc. 1, l. 113-5. He wrecks the sense of his prologue by confusing the punctuation.
No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage, which they will climb incontinent, or else be incontinent before marriage.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede, in As You Like It, act 5, sc. 2. Referring to Oliver and Celia.
If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 46-7. To "have one on the hip," or capable of being overthrown, is a proverbial phrase, from wrestling.
I will not let him stir Till I have used the approvèd means I have, With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers, To make of him a formal man again.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. The Abbess, in The Comedy of Errors, act 5, sc. 1, l. 102-5. About Antipholus of Ephesus, who is supposedly mad; formal means sane.
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow? If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, Threatening the welkin with his big-swollen face?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Titus, in Titus Andronicus, act 3, sc. 1, l. 221-3. Titus is raging at the barbarous mutilation of his daughter.
Humble as the ripest mulberry That will not hold the handling.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Volumnia, in Coriolanus, act 3, sc. 2, l. 79-80. Advising Coriolanus how to appear to the people.