William Shakespeare Quotes

Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o'th' milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 5, l. 15-17 (1623). Lady Macbeth reacts to Macbeth's letter informing her of the Witches' prophesy that he will be king. Fearing Macbeth is too gentle to murder the king ("catch the nearest way").
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Hereafter, in a better world than this, I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Le Beau, in As You Like It, act 1, sc. 2, l. 284-5. Addressing Orlando; "better world" may mean better conditions than under the Duke's tyranny, or the next world, heaven.
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It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 5.
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You must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Maria, in Twelfth Night, act 1, sc. 3, l. 8-9. Advising Sir Toby Belch not to stay up drinking late at night.
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Not marble nor the gilded monuments Of princes shall outlive this powerful rime; But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Not marble nor the guilded monuments (l. 1-8). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger; But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Othello (III, iii). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
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You'd be so lean that blasts of January Would blow you through and through.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 111-2. To Camillo, who is so taken by her beauty that he says he could feed by staring at her.
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The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 181-86 (1600). Portia, disguised as a man, argues that Shylock should show mercy to Antonio—though shortly afterwards she herself shows little mercy in her dealings with Shylock. (Strained here means "forced," "compelled.").
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Good fortune then! To make me blest or cursed'st among men.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Morocco, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 1, l. 45-6. He means he will be blessed if he chooses the right casket and wins Portia.
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Let's lack no discipline, make no delay: For, lords, tomorrow is a busy day.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 5, sc. 3, l. 17-8. Preparing to fight the forces of Richmond.
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