William Shakespeare Quotes

Et tu, Brute?—Then fall, Caesar!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 77. There is no classical source for Caesar's famous last words, which seem to have become well known in Shakespeare's age, although he did not invent them.
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In such a time as this it is not meet That every nice offence should bear his comment.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 4, sc. 3, l. 7-8. To Brutus; "nice" means trivial; "bear his comment" means be subject to criticism.
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How sweetly you do minister to love, That know love's grief by his complexion!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Claudio, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1, l. 312-3. Grief means pangs; the lover typically had a pale appearance (complexion).
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Why, he was met even now As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud, Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds, With hardocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow In our sustaining corn.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Cordelia, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 4, l. 1-6. The mad king has crowned himself with useless ("idle") weeds.
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The most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Dogberry, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 3, l. 57-60. The incompetent constable instructs the watchmen who patrol the town at night.
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Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors Of men's impossibilities, have preserved thee.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Edgar, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 73-4. Making his father believe he has fallen off a cliff and survived.
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Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Falstaff, in Henry IV, Part 1, act 1, sc. 2, l. 92-5. Blaming his faults on Prince Hal.
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I saw him beat the surges under him, And ride upon their backs. He trod the water, Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted The surge most swoll'n that met him.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Francisco, in The Tempest, act 2, sc. 1, l. 115-8. Telling Alonso that his son may be safe.
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All things that are Are with more spirit chased than enjoyed.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 6, l. 12-3. Referring to Lorenzo's plan to elope with Jessica.
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You would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 364-8. Hamlet shows Guildenstern he is more difficult to comprehend and play on than a recorder.
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