William Shakespeare Quotes

A hit, a very palpable hit.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Osric, in Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2, l. 232 (1604). Judging that Hamlet has struck Laertes, his opponent in a duel.
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And oftentimes excusing of a fault Doth make the fault the worser by th' excuse.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pembroke, in King John, act 4, sc. 2.
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Am I your self But as it were in sort or limitation, To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed, And talk to you sometimes?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1, l. 282-5. To her husband, Brutus; "in sort" means up to a point.
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O that estates, degrees, and offices Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honor Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Arragon, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 41-3. The aristocrat wishes status and rank were always the reward of merit, and could not be obtained by corrupt means.
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Since I cannot prove a lover To entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determinèd to prove a villain And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 1, sc. 1, l. 28-31. Announcing his intentions in his opening soliloquy.
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Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 4, sc. 1, l. 68-9. Pretending to be able to cure Orlando of his love-sickness.
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If ever (as that ever may be near) You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy, Then shall you know the wounds invisible That love's keen arrows make.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Silvius, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 5, l. 28-31. On the power of love to hurt; the image of Cupid shooting love's darts at random underlies these lines.
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The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway, It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself, And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. The Merchant of Venice (IV, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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In respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 17-9. On life in the forest of Arden as contrasted with life at court.
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Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace, Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Westmoreland, in Henry IV, Part 2, act 4, sc. 1, l. 47-9. On an archbishop transforming (translating) himself into a soldier, and changing his speech.
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