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, ... more

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They do not love that do not show their love. The course of true love never did run smooth. Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love.

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
I wasted time, and now time doth waste me.
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. [Measure For Measure]
Such as we are made of, such we be.
All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity.
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
How like a winter hath my absence been. From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen, What old December's bareness everywhere!
Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. [Merchant Of Venice]
Love all, but trust a few.
Words pay no debts.
Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
Oh, what a bitter thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes.
Nothing can come of nothing.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life, is rounded with a sleep. [The Tempest]
The devil has the power to assume a pleasing shape.
The devil can site scripture for his own purpose! An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek. [Merchant Of Venice]
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.
The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.
Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves; we are underlings.
Thought are but dreams till their effects are tried.
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is a woman, therefore to be won.
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. [Twelfth Night]
God had given you one face, and you make yourself another. [Hamlet]
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we might win, by fearing to attempt.[Measure For Measure]
Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
He that dies pays all his debts.
Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.
I care not, a man can die but once; we owe God and death.
I shall the effect of this good lesson keeps as watchman to my heart.
Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
Don't trust the person who has broken faith once.
She's gone. I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her.
If music be the food of love; play on.
There is a history in all men's lives.
Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined. Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind.
Men at sometime are the masters of their fate.
There's small choice in rotten apples.
Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.
The object of art is to give life a shape. [Midsummer Nights Dream]
Love is too young to know what conscience is.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give thee, the more I have, For both are infinite
The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers. [Henry Iv]
There is no darkness, but ignorance.
Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.
Men's faults to themselves seldom appear.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short; youth is nimble, age is lame; Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold; Youth is wild, and age is tame.
Through tattered clothes, small vices do appear. Robes and furred gowns hide all.
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see What petty follies they themselves commit
Lord we may know what we are, but know not what we may be.
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.
In time we hate that which we often fear.
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.
Every why has a wherefore.
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 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.
Tis the mind that makes the body rich.
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.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
Lord, what fools these mortals be.
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.
Make not your thoughts you prisons.
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.
One pain is lessened by another's anguish.
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.
Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.
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]
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god -- the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer.
Patch grief with proverbs.
In my stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness ;thrust upon em.
He is not great who is not greatly good.
I hate ingratitude more in a person; than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, or, any taint of vice whose strong corruption inhabits our frail blood. [Twelfth Night]
A walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.
Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love.
The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.
I will praise any man that will praise me.
They say men are molded out of faults, and for the most, become much more the better; for being a little bad. [Measure For Measure]
Fashion wears out more clothes than the man.
Sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.
And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven.
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much; such men are dangerous. [Julius Caesar]
Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.
Let never day nor night unhallowed pass, but still remember what the Lord hath done.
The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Action is eloquence.
Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.
For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the heart. Therefore, is winged cupid painted blind.
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.
Give every man your ear, but few thy voice. Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. [Hamlet]
To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste. Then can I drown an eye (unused to flow) For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, and weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe, and moan the expense of many a vanished sight. Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, and heavily from woe to woe tell over the sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end.
He is half of a blessed man. Left to be finished by such as she; and she a fair divided excellence, whose fullness of perfection lies in him.
Lord Bacon told Sir Edward Coke when he was boasting, The less you speak of your greatness, the more shall I think of it.
We wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted.
Nature must obey necessity. [Julius Caesar]
How poor are they that have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.
Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.
A politician is one that would circumvent God.
In delay there lies no plenty, Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty. Youth's a stuff will not endure.
To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing them, end them. [Hamlet]
Self-love, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
Then is it sin to rush into the secret house of death. Ere death dare come to us?
Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade.
Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.
How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good dead in a naughty world.
He that loves to be flattered is worthy of the flatterer.
No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage, which they will climb incontinent, or else be incontinent before marriage.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy; rich not gaudy; for the apparel oft proclaims the man.
I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.
I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.
Men must endure, their going hence even as their coming hither. Ripeness is all.
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well. Treason has done his worst. Nor steel nor poison, malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing can touch him further.
Conceit in weakest bodies works the strongest.
Children wish fathers looked but with their eyes; fathers that children with their judgment looked; and either may be wrong.
Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night.
He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.
These earthly godfathers of Heaven's lights, that give a name to every fixed star, have no more profit of their shining nights than those that walk and know not what they are.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Tis the soldier's life to have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty; for in my youth I never did apply hot and rebellious liquors in my blood; and did not, with unbashful forehead, woo the means of weakness and debility: therefore my age is as a lusty winter, frosty but kindly.
He's winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike.
man, proud man,Dressd in a little brief authority,
O, but man, proud man! Drest in a little brief authority; Most ingorant of what he's most assur'd, His glassy essence,-like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, As make the angels weep;
While you live tell the truth and shame the devil.
And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my King, He would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies.
The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
Is it not strange that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?
We were not born to sue, but to command.
We have seen better days.
If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wish'd for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!
Bow, stubborn knees!
Beware of the ides of March.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the fraught bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart?
Strong reasons make strong actions.
For I am full of spirit and resolve to meet all perils very constantly.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Fear no more the heat o the sun, nor the furious winter's rages. Thou thy worldly task hast done, home art gone and taken thy wages.
Our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.
To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.
Present mirth hath present laughter. What's to come is still unsure.
It was Greek to me.
My salad days, when I was green in judgment.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Where be your jibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?
I had rather be a toad, and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses.
No legacy is so rich as honestly.
Much Ado About Nothing,
If we are marked to die, we are enough to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor.
Oppose not rage while rage is in its force, but give it way a while and let it waste.
But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes.
Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; Then, have I reason to be fond of grief? Fare you well! Had you such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you do.
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel, but do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatched unfledged comrade.
Fearless minds climb soonest into crowns.
There is tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries; on such a full sea we are now afloat; and we must take the current the clouds folding and unfolding beyond the horizon. when it serves, or lose our ventures.
Death makes no conquest of this conqueror: For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things.
When workmen strive to do better than well, they do confound their skill in covetousness.
The apparel oft proclaims the man.
The weariest and most loathed worldly life, that age, ache, penury and imprisonment can lay on nature is a paradise, to what we fear of death.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, brags of his substance: they are but beggars who can count their worth.
When you fear a foe, fear crushes your strength; and this weakness gives strength to your opponents.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.
When we are born we cry that we are come.. to this great stage of fools.
This is the excellent foppery of the world: that when we are sick in fortune -- often the surfeits of our own behavior -- we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars, as if we were villains on necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star!
O, had I but followed the arts!
In a false quarrel there is no true valor.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
As he was valiant, I honor him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him.
Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying!
My age is as a lusty winter, frosty but kindly.
When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain
The evil that men do, lives on; the good, often interred with their bones.
My soul is in the sky.
Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God."
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
It is the purpose that makes strong the vow; But vows to every purpose must not hold.
Nimble thought can jump both sea and land.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind."
Strange, how desire doth outrun performance.
So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.
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.
There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.
When valor preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.
O, call back yesterday, bid time return.
Most dangerous Is that temptation that doth goad us on to sin in loving virtue
O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
Simply the thing I am shall make me live.
When love begins to sicken and decay it uses an enforced ceremony. [Julius Caesar]
Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
Manhood is melted into courtesies, valor into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones, too.
Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltiness of time.
Report me and my cause aright.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.
Affliction is enamoured of thy parts, and thou art wedded to calamity.
For we which now behold these present days have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?
O comfort-killing night, image of hell, dim register and notary of shame, black stage for tragedies and murders fell, vast sin-concealing chaos, nurse of blame!
Remembrance of things past.
Every good servant does not all commands.
Thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.
Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes deeds ill done!
What is past is prologue.
Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
A peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience.
For there was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently, However they have writ the style of gods And made a push at chance and sufferance.
Soft pity enters an iron gate.
You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch, therefore bear you the lantern.
There have been many great men that have flattered the people who never loved them.
I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
For he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royally.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.