William Shakespeare Quotes

The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, l. 134 (1623). Spoken by Edgar in the guise of Poor Tom.
Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 3, sc. 3, l. 4-7. "Suddenly" means at once; "in some liking" means inclined to do it.
Francisco. For this relief much thanks. 'Tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart. Bernardo. Have you had quiet guard? Francisco. Not a mouse stirring.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Francisco and Bernardo, in Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1, l. 8-10. Francisco's sense of foreboding ("I am sick at heart") establishes right away the atmosphere of the play.
You have too much respect upon the world. They lose it that do buy it with much care.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 74-5. Telling Antonio he has too anxious a regard ("respect") for his business affairs ("upon the world").
Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away. O that that earth which kept the world in awe Should patch a wall t'expel the winter's flaw!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 1, l. 213-6. a bleak view of death as mere oblivion, but recalling Genesis 3.19, where man was made of earth by God; "winter's flaw" means gust of cold wind.
One good deed dying tongueless Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that; Our praises are our wages.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 1, sc. 2, l. 92-4. On praise as the reward of doing good.
But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts; whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.... It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 1, sc. 3, l. 329-32, 334-5. "Motions" means sensual impulses; "sect or scion" means branch or offshoot.
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 1, sc. 3, l. 236. Proverbial; compare Revelation, 10:9-10.
The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape, In forms imaginary, th' unguided days And rotten times that you shall look upon When I am sleeping with my ancestors.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 4, l. 58-61. Anticipating disorder after his death.
Upon the King! Let us our lives, our souls, Our debts, our careful wives, Our children, and our sins lay on the King! We must bear all. O hard condition, Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel But his own wringing! What infinite heartsease Must kings neglect that private men enjoy! And what have kings that privates have not too, Save ceremony, save general ceremony? And what art thou, thou idol ceremony? What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more Of mortal griefs than do thy worshipers? What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in? O ceremony, show me but thy worth! What is thy soul of adoration? Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form, Creating awe and fear in other men?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (IV, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.