William Shakespeare Quotes

Nought's had, all's spent, Where our desire is got without content.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 4-5. "Content" means contentment.
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So we'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too— Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out— And take upon 's the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 5, sc. 3, l. 11-7. Imagining being imprisoned with his daughter Cordelia; "gilded butterflies" probably refers to extravagantly dressed courtiers.
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The course of true love never did run smooth.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lysander, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 1, l. 134 (1600).
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Let us not be dainty of leave-taking, But shift away.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 144-5. "Dainty of" means particular about.
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My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks, And in some perfumes there is more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go: My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet by heaven I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orleans, in Henry V, act 3, sc. 7, l. 145-6.
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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.
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We are oft to blame in this, 'Tis too much proved, that with devotion's visage And pious action we do sugar o'er The devil himself.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Polonius, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1, l. 45-8. Using Ophelia, made to hold a prayer book, to spy on Hamlet; for the moment he realizes what he is doing is wrong.
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Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 2, l. 142-3. Recognizing that in fooling with his tavern companions he is wasting time.
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They that stand high have many blasts to shake them, And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Queen Margaret, in Richard III, act 1, sc. 3, l. 258-9. As she, the widow of Henry VI, has become an object of scorn in the court of Edward IV.
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