William Shakespeare Quotes

Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 5, l. 18-20. "Illness" means wickedness; describing the moral confusion in Macbeth as they think about murdering Duncan.
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I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; And to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lear, in King Lear, act 4, sc. 7, l. 59-62. "Fond" means silly, in my dotage.
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Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house: "Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!"
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 38-40. Imagining he hears a voice; Macbeth by now is Thane (Lord) of Glamis and Cawdor.
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Maria. Not a word with him but a jest. Boyet. And every jest but a word.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Maria, and Boyet in Love's Labor's Lost, act 2, sc. 1, l. 216. Speaking of the witty Berowne.
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Even through the hollow eyes of death I spy life peering.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Northumberland, in Richard II, act 2, sc. 1, l. 270-1. Even as John of Gaunt dies, word comes that Henry Bolingbroke is ready to make war on Richard.
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It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul. Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars! It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood, Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, And smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light. If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, I can again thy former light restore, Should I repent me; but once put out thy light, Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature, I know not where is that Promethean heat That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again, It needs must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Othello (V, ii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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When workmen strive to do better than well, They do confound their skill in covetousness.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Pembroke, in King John, act 4, sc. 2.
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One half of me is yours, the other half yours— Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours, And so all yours.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. 2, l. 16-8. Confessing her love to Bassanio.
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I will not choose what many men desire, Because I will not jump with common spirits, And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Arragon, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 9, l. 31-3. "Jump" means agree, go along with.
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I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, 73-4. A premonition of his defeat to come.
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