Quotes by William Shakespeare

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Born ca. 1564 and died ca. 1616 during the Renaissance period (1450-1599). One of the greatest writers of all time, Shakespeare, the peerless poet of the Sonnets and the creator of such dramatic masterpieces as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear, is a playwright of paradigmatic originality. In his discussion of the Western literary canon, critic Harold Bloom declared: "Shakespeare and Dante are the center of the Canon because they excel all other Western writer in cognitive acuity, linguistic energy, and power of invention." However, one could go a step further and suggest that Shakespeare defines the Western canon because he transcends it. If Shakespeare, as Ben Jonson declared, "was not of an age, but for all time," the great dramatist, one could argue, spoke to the ultimate concerns of humankind, regardless of period or cultural tradition. more

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Own more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest.

Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. [Hamlet]
People usually are the happiest at home.
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
Come, let's have one other gaudy night. Call to me. All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more. Let's mock the midnight bell.
Tis but an hour ago since it was nine, and after one hour more twill be eleven. And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, and then from hour to hour we rot and rot. and thereby hangs a tale.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old. For as you were when first your eye I eyed. Such seems your beauty still.
I have lived long enough. My way of life is to fall into the sere, the yellow leaf, and that which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends I must not look to have.
Wise men never sit and wail their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms.
We that are true lovers run into strange capers.
This is the monstrosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
A miser grows rich by seeming poor. An extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.
Pain pays the income of each precious thing.
Things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done.
Few love to hear the sins they love to act.
One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. [Hamlet]
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
The best safety lies in fear.
The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants.
Celebrity is never more admired than by the negligent.
Good counselors lack no clients.
That, if then I had waked after a long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming, the clouds me thought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked I cried to dream again.
Cowards die a thousand deaths. The valiant taste of death but once.
The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
Our bodies are our gardens... our wills are our gardeners.
Life It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies.
One pain is lessened by another's anguish.
Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.
O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness?
I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.
Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.
That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in. and the best of me is diligence.
O God, O God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!
The undiscovered country form whose born no traveler returns. [Hamlet]
But I will be a bridegroom in my death, and run into a lover's bed.
My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content: A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy.
Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity?
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts. His acts being seven ages.
There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.
Who can be patient in extremes? [Henry Vi]
That which in mean men we entitle patience is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Let's not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that's gone.
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
A smile cures the wounding of a frown.
I do desire we may be better strangers.
My library was dukedom large enough.
He took the bride about the neck and kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack that at the parting all the church did echo.
Time is the justice that examines all offenders. [As You Like It]

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