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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Who is so firm that can't be seduced?

O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults, looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
Virtue is bold and goodness never fearful.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Security is the chief enemy of mortals.
O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.
A gentleman that loves to hear himself talk, will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.
Silence is the perfectos herald of joy. I were but little happy if I could say how much.
I am a man more sinned against than sinning.
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.
How excellent it is to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use like a giant.
I do not much dislike the matter, but the manner of his speech.
A whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure. When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him.
Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.
A good old man, sir. He will be talking. As they say, when the age is in, the wit is out.
The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, may have in the sworn twelve a thief or two guiltier than him they try.
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
It is the mind that makes the body rich; and as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit.
I stalk about her door like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks staying for wattage.
Tis mad idolatry To make the service greater than the god.
My nature is subdued to what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
Why should honor outlive honestly? [Othello]
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted. [Henry Iv]
How use doth breed a habit in man!
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm.
He receives comfort like cold porridge.
I have touched the highest point of all my greatness, and from that full meridian of my glory I haste now to my setting.
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
We defy augury. There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'Tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound by shallows and in misery. [Julius Caesar]
He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.
Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed.
O how wretched is that poor man that hangs on princes favors! There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to, that sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, more pangs and fears than wars or women have, and when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, never to hope again.
Time hath a wallet at his back, wherein he puts. Alms for oblivion, a great-sized monster of ingratitudes.
Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, till, by broad spreading, it disperse to naught.
Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn.
Then to Silvia let us sing that Silvia is excelling. She excels each mortal thing upon the dull earth dwelling.
For 'Tis the sport to have the engineer hoisted with his own petard.
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
Now, neighbor confines, purge you of your scum! Have you a ruffian that will swear, drink, dance, revel the night, rob, murder, and commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Send danger from the east unto the west, so honor cross it from the north to south.
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right!
He that is robbed, not wanting what is stolen, let him not know't, and he's not robbed at all
I have full cause of weeping, but this heart shall break into a hundred thousand flaws or ere I'll weep.
I dare to do all that may become a man: who dares do more is none.
That's a valiant flea that dares eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.
But screw your courage to the sticking-place and we'll not fail.
Why so large a cost, having so short a lease, does thou upon your fading mansion spend?
God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.
When rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.
Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.
He that is well paid is well satisfied.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, and every tongue brings in a several tale, and every tale condemns me for a villain.
Conscience does make cowards of us all.

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