William Shakespeare Quotes

The gross band of the unfaithful.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 194-5. To Orlando, merging love and religion.
I hate him for he is a Christian; But more, for that in low simplicity He lends out money gratis, and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 42-5. On Antonio, his rival merchant; "low simplicity" can mean both modest or humble guilelessness, or base folly; "usance" means usury.
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action; and, till action, lust Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel not to trust; Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight; Past reason hunted, and no sooner had, Past reason hated as a swallowed bait On purpose laid to make the taker mad; Mad in pursuit, and in possession so; Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe, Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream. All this the world well knows, yet none knows well To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The expense of spirit in a waste of shame (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Give me a staff of honor for mine age, But not a sceptre to control the world.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Refusing to be made emperor of Rome. Titus, in Titus Andronicus, act 1, sc. 1, l. 198-9.
Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the feared.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Warwick, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 97-8. Referring to the size of a rebel army.
His poor self, A dedicated beggar to the air, With his disease of all-shunned poverty, Walks, like contempt, alone.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. 2nd Servant, in Timon of Athens, act 4, sc. 2, l. 12-15. On the state of the once-rich Timon.
There's many a man has more hair than wit.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Antipholus of Syracuse, in The Comedy of Errors, act 2, sc. 2, l. 82-3. "Wit" means intelligence or sense.
O that men's ears should be To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Apemantus, in Timon of Athens, act 1, sc. 2, l. 249-50. On Timon, who refuses to listen to him.
The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 293-5. Referring to the jealous Claudio; "civil" puns on "Seville," where the bittersweet oranges used to make marmalade are grown.
The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen As is the razor's edge invisible.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Boyet, in Love's Labor's Lost, act 5, sc. 2, l. 256-7. On the court-ladies, who have overwhelmed the courtiers by mocking them.