William Shakespeare Quotes

If powers divine Behold our human actions—as they do— I doubt not then but innocence shall make False accusation blush.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, act 3, sc. 2, l. 28-31.
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Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep Which thou owed'st yesterday.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 3, sc. 3, l. 330-3. Opiates were derived from poppy (opium) and mandragora (mandrake, of the deadly nightshade family).
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This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, . . . This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Contrasting England as "This other Eden" with its present state of degeneration, "leased out ... like to a tenement or pelting farm." John of Gaunt, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1.
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Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs ... Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, sc. 1, l. 9, 12-4. Sleep comes easier in a smoky hovel ("crib") than in a palace.
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By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; It yearns me not if men my garments wear; Such outward things dwell not in my desires. But if it be a sin to covet honor I am the most offending soul alive.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. King Henry V (IV, iii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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But screw your courage to the sticking-place And we'll not fail.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 60-1 (1623). Exhorting Macbeth to carry out the murder of Duncan.
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A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears; see how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places, and handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 6, l. 150-4. Addressing the blind Gloucester.
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Though castles topple on their warder's heads, Though palaces and pyramids do slope Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure Of nature's germens tumble all together, Even till destruction sicken—answer me To what I ask you.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 58-63. A warder is a guardian; "nature's germens" means the seeds or rudiments from which it was thought all living organisms developed.
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He swore he would never marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted I know not, but methinks you look with your eyes as other women do.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Margaret, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 4, l. 88-92. Speaking to Beatrice about Benedick, who now is content to be a lover ("eats his meat without grudging").
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'Tis with my mind As with the tide swelled up unto his height, That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 2, sc. 3, l. 62-4. "Still-stand" suggests the moment at which the tide is about to turn.
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