William Shakespeare Quotes

Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry, "Hold, hold!"
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 5, l. 50-4. "Thee" is King Duncan, whom she thinks of murdering in his bed; hell is proverbially black or dark; "pall thee" means cover as with a pall, the cloth spread over a coffin.
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Nothing can be made out of nothing.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 1, sc. 4, l. 32-3. Proverbial.
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Macbeth. What is the night? Lady Macbeth. Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 125-6.
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We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show of violence, For it is as the air, invulnerable, And our vain blows malicious mockery.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Marcellus, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 143-6. On the apparition of the dead King Hamlet of Denmark.
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He that but fears the thing he would not know Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes That what he feared is chanced.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 1, sc. 1, l. 85-7. "Is chanced" means has happened.
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Boy, however we do praise ourselves, Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn, Than women's are.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Orsino, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 4, l. 32-5. Speaking to Cesario (Viola in disguise) of men's loves ("fancies") as soon exhausted ("worn").
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What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels, racks, fires? What flaying, boiling In leads or oils? What old or newer torture Must I receive, whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Paulina, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 175-9. Emphasizing what a tyrant Leontes has been, but knowing that he is not really going to punish her now he has come to his senses.
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I grant I am a woman; but withal A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife. I grant I am a woman; but withal A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, Being so fathered and so husbanded?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 292-7. Cato was noted for his integrity; he supported Pompey against Caesar, and committed suicide rather than submit to Caesar.
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O polished perturbation! golden care! That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide To many a watchful night.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 5, l. 23-5. Commenting on the crown that lies on his sick father's pillow; "ports" means gates.
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Richard. Give me a calendar. Who saw the sun today? Ratcliffe. Not I, my lord. Richard. Then he disdains to shine, for by the book He should have braved the east an hour ago. A black day will it be to somebody.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard and Ratcliffe, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, l. 276-80. Before the Battle of Bosworth; it turns out to be a black day for Richard, who is killed by Richmond.
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