Works of Shakespeare 
- Separate pages exist for quotations from all of the following works:
- All's Well That Ends Well
- Antony and Cleopatra
- As You Like It
- The Comedy of Errors
- Henry IV, Part 1
- Henry IV, Part 2
- Henry V
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- Henry VIII
- Julius Caesar
- King John
- King Lear
- Love's Labour's Lost
- Measure for Measure
- The Merchant of Venice
- The Merry Wives of Windsor
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Pericles, Prince of Tyre
- Richard II
- Richard III
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Sonnets
- The Taming of the Shrew
- The Tempest
- Timon of Athens
- Titus Andronicus
- Troilus and Cressida
- Twelfth Night
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona
- The Two Noble Kinsmen
- Venus and Adonis
- The Winter's Tale.
- Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
The eyes of men without an orator.
- The Rape of Lucrece (1594).
- Time's glory is to command contending kings,
To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light.
- The Rape of Lucrece.
- On a day — alack the day! —
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air
- Crabbed age and youth cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasure, age is full of care
- The Passionate Pilgrim: A Madrigal; there is some doubt about the authorship of this.
- I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture
- Good frend for Jesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare
Blese be the man that spares these stones
And curst be he that moves my bones
- Shakespeare's epitaph
Quotes about Shakespeare 
- Alphabetized by author
- There, Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o' the world.
Oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A Vision of Poets (1844)
- Shakespeare's drama, where ideal women walk
in worship, and the baser sort find sympathy.
- Robert Bridges, The Testament of Beauty (1929), Book III, line 921
- Consider now, if they asked us, Will you give up your Indian Empire or your Shakespeare, you English: never have had any Shakespeare? Really it were a grave question. Official persons would an swer doubtless in official language: but we, for our part too, should not be forced, to answer: Indian Empire, or no Indian Empire we cannot do with out Shakespeare!
- Thomas Carlyle, "On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" (1841), Lecture 3. The Hero as Poet. Dante; Shakespeare
- But Shakespear's Magick could not copy'd be,
Within that Circle none durst walk but he.
- John Dryden, The Tempest (1667), Prologue
- Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third.
- T. S. Eliot, "Dante" (1929), from Selected Essays (1932)
- What point of morals, of manners, of economy, of philosophy, of religion, of taste, of the conduct of life, has he not settled? What mystery has he not signified his knowledge of? What office, or function, or district of man's work, has he not remembered? What king has he not taught state, as Talma taught Napoleon? What maiden has not found him finer than her delicacy? What lover has he not outloved? What sage has he not outseen? What gentleman has he not instructed in the rudeness of his behavior?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Representative Men (1850), Shakespeare
- Nor sequent centuries could hit
Orbit and sum of SHAKSPEARE's wit.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson in "Solution", from May-Day and Other Pieces (1867)
- Ultimately, Anthony Burgess's emphasis on the multiplicity of meanings latent in the text of Shakespeare's life foregrounds his own appropriation of Shakespeare … Clearly this is not an inconsistency on Burgess's part but a deliberate pointer at the inevitability of appropriating any given text, particularly that most irresistible one of Shakespeare's life.
- Paul Franssen, on Burgess's use of Shakespeare's "Dark Lady" of the Sonnets in Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare's Love Life, in "The Bard, the Bible and the Desert Island" in The Author as Character : Representing Historical Writers in Western Literature (1999) edited by Paul Franssen and A. J. Hoenselaars, p. 115
- But my God, how beautiful Shakespeare is, who else is as mysterious as he is; his language and method are like a brush trembling with excitement and ecstasy. But one must learn to read, just as one must learn to see and learn to live.
- I'm thinking "Great English wordsmith," my enemies and crew are thinking: "Shake…spear!"
- The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good — in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
- Robert Graves, in The Observer, "Sayings of the Week", (6 December 1964)
- For there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.
- Robert Greene, Groats-worth of Witte (1592)
- He was not of an age, but for all time!
- Ben Jonson, To the Memory of my Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare (1623)
- I never quite despair and I read Shakspeare — indeed I shall I think never read any other Book much [...] I am very near Agreeing with Hazlit that Shakspeare is enough for us.
- John Keats, in a letter to Benjamin Robert Haydon (11 May 1817)
- He has left nothing to say about nothing or any thing.
- John Keats, in a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds (22 November 1817)
- At once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare posessed so enormously — I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.
- John Keats, in a letter to George and Tom Keats ([21/27?] December 1817)
- Shakespeare led a life of Allegory; his works are the comments on it.
- John Keats, in a letter to George and Georgiana Keats (19 February 1819)
- Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world's;
Therefore on him no speech!
- Walter Savage Landor, "To Robert Browning," published in The Morning Chronicle (22 November 1845); reprinted in The Works of Walter Savage Landor (1846), vol. II
- When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such lovely language.
- D. H. Lawrence, "When I read Shakespeare," from Pansies (1929)
- When we speak of the aim and Art observable in Shakespeare's works, we must not forget that Art belongs to Nature; that it is, so to speak, self-viewing, self-imitating, self-fashioning Nature. The Art of a well-developed genius is far different from the Artfulness of the Understanding, of the merely reasoning mind. Shakspeare was no calculator, no learned thinker; he was a mighty, many-gifted soul, whose feelings and works, like products of Nature, bear the stamp of the same spirit; and in which the last and deepest of observers will still find new harmonies with the infinite structure of the Universe; concurrences with later ideas, affinities with the higher powers and senses of man. They are emblematic, have many meanings, are simple and inexhaustible, like products of Nature; and nothing more unsuitable could be said of them than that they are works of Art, in that narrow mechanical acceptation of the word.
- Children are made to learn bits of Shakespeare by heart, with the result that ever after they associate him with pedantic boredom. If they could meet him in the flesh, full of jollity and ale, they would be astonished, and if they had never heard of him before they might be led by his jollity to see what he had written. But if at school they had been inoculated against him, they will never be able to enjoy him. [...] Shakespeare did not write with a view to boring school-children; he wrote with a view to delighting his audiences. If he does not give you delight, you had better ignore him.
- Bertrand Russell, New Hopes for a Changing World (1951), p. 201
- On this planet the reputation of Shakespeare is secure. When life is discovered elsewhere in the universe and some interplanetary traveler brings to this new world the fruits of our terrestrial culture, who can imagine anything but that among the first books carried to the curious strangers will be a Bible and the works of WIlliam Shakespeare.
- Louis Marder, in His Exits and his Entrances : The Story of Shakespeare's Reputation (1963), p. 362
- The verbal poetical texture of Shakespeare is the greatest the world has known, and is immensely superior to the structure of his plays as plays.
- Vladimir Nabokov, quoted in interview with Alfred Appel, Jr. (September 1966), printed in Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 8 (1967); republished in Nabokov's Strong Opinions (1973)
- Shakespeare — the nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.
- Laurence Olivier, quoted in Kenneth Harris, "Sir Laurence Olivier," from Kenneth Harris Talking To... (1971)
- The sixteenth century transformed Middle English into modern English. Grammar was up for grabs. People made up vocabulary and syntax as they went along. Not until the eighteenth century would rules of English usage appear. Shakespearean language is a bizarre super-tongue, alien and plastic, twisting, turning, and forever escaping. It is untranslatable, since it knocks Anglo-Saxon root words against Norman and Greco-Roman importations sweetly or harshly, kicking us up and down rhetorical levels with witty abruptness. No one in real life ever spoke like Shakespeare's characters. His language does not "make sense," especially in the greatest plays. Anywhere from a third to a half of every Shakespearean play, I conservatively estimate, will always remain under an interpretive cloud. Unfortunately, this fact is obscured by the encrustations of footnotes in modern texts, which imply to the poor cowed student that if only he knew what the savants do, all would be as clear as day. Every time I open Hamlet, I am stunned by its hostile virtuosity, its elusiveness and impenetrability. Shakespeare uses language to darken. He suspends the traditional compass points of rhetoric, still quite firm in Marlowe, normally regarded as Shakespeare's main influence. Shakespeare's words have "aura." This he got from Spenser, not Marlowe.
- Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, p. 195
- The shape of the Globe gives words power, but you're the wordsmith! The one true genius; the only one clever enough to do it. … Trust yourself. When you're locked away in your room, the words just come, don't they, like magic. Words, the right sound, the right shape, the right rhythm, words that last forever. That's what you do, Will. You choose perfect words. Do it. Improvise!
- Æschylus is above all things the poet of righteousness. "But in any wise, I say unto thee, revere thou the altar of righteousness": this is the crowning admonition of his doctrine, as its crowning prospect is the reconciliation or atonement of the principle of retribution with the principle of redemption, of the powers of the mystery of darkness with the coeternal forces of the spirit of wisdom, of the lord of inspiration and of light. The doctrine of Shakespeare, where it is not vaguer, is darker in its implication of injustice, in its acceptance of accident, than the impression of the doctrine of Æschylus. Fate, irreversible and inscrutable, is the only force of which we feel the impact, of which we trace the sign, in the upshot of Othello or King Lear. The last step into the darkness remained to be taken by "the most tragic" of all English poets. With Shakespeare — and assuredly not with Æschylus — righteousness itself seems subject and subordinate to the masterdom of fate: but fate itself, in the tragic world of Webster, seems merely the servant or the synonym of chance.
- Algernon Charles Swinburne in The Age of Shakespeare (1908)
- Shakespeare is a savage with sparks of genius which shine in a horrible night.
- Voltaire, quoted in The Academy and literature, Vol. 56 (1899), p. 676
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations 
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 700-02.
- This Booke
When Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee looke
Fresh to all Ages.
- Commendatory Verses prefixed to the folio of Shakespeare (1623)
- This was Shakespeare's form;
Who walked in every path of human life,
Felt every passion; and to all mankind
Doth now, will ever, that experience yield
Which his own genius only could acquire.
- Mark Akenside, Inscription, IV
- Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still,
- Matthew Arnold, Shakespeare
- Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer, and rare Beaumont lie
A little nearer Spenser, to make room
For Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold tomb.
- William Basse, On Shakespeare
- "With this same key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart," once more!
Did Shakespeare? If so, the less Shakespeare he!
- Robert Browning, House, X
- If I say that Shakespeare is the greatest of intellects, I have said all concerning him. But there is more in Shakespeare's intellect than we have yet seen. It is what I call an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself is aware of.
- Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Characteristics of Shakespeare
- Voltaire and Shakespeare! He was all
The other feigned to be.
The flippant Frenchman speaks: I weep;
And Shakespeare weeps with me.
- Matthias Claudius, A Comparison
- Our myriad-minded Shakespeare.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, Chapter XV. Borrowed from a Greek monk who applied it to a Patriarch of Constantinople
- When great poets sing,
Into the night new constellations spring,
With music in the air that dulls the craft
Of rhetoric. So when Shakespeare sang or laughed
The world with long, sweet Alpine echoes thrilled
Voiceless to scholars' tongues no muse had filled
With melody divine
- C. P. Cranch, Shakespeare.
- But Shakespeare's magic could not copied be;
Within that circle none durst walk but he.
- The passages of Shakespeare that we most prize were never quoted until within this century.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims (1876), Quotation and Originality
- Now you who rhyme, and I who rhyme,
Have not we sworn it, many a time,
That we no more our verse would scrawl,
For Shakespeare he had said it all!
- R. W. Gilder, The Modern Rhymer
- If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.
- William Hazlitt, Table Talk, On the Ignorance of the Learned
- Mellifluous Shakespeare, whose enchanting Quill
Commandeth Mirth or Passion, was but Will.
- Thomas Heywood, Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels
- The stream of Time, which is continually washing the dissoluble fabrics of other poets, passes without injury by the adamant of Shakspere.
- Samuel Johnson, Preface to Works of Shakspere
- I remember, the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand.
- Ben Jonson, Discoveries, De Shakespeare nostrat
- This figure that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With Nature, to outdo the life:
Oh, could he but have drawn his wit
As well in brass, as he has hit
His face, the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass;
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture, but his book.
- Ben Jonson, Lines on a Picture of Shakespeare
- Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world's,
Therefore on him no speech!
- Walter Savage Landor, To Robert Browning, line 5
- Then to the well-trod stage anon
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native woodnotes wild.
- John Milton, L'Allegro, line 131
- What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones
The labors of an age in piled stones?
Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid
Under a starre-y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hath built thyself a livelong monument.
- John Milton, An Epitaph. Similar phrases in the entire epitaph are found in the epitaph on Sir Thomas Stanley, supposed to have been written by Shakespeare. Also, same ideas found in Crashaw.
- Shakspeare (whom you and every playhouse bill
Style the divine! the matchless! what you will),
For gain, not glory, wing'd his roving flight,
And grew immortal in his own despite.
- Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace, Epistle I, Book II, line 69
- Few of the university pen plaies well, they smell too much of that writer Ovid and that writer Metamorphosis and talk too much of Proserpina and Jupiter. Why, here's our fellow Shakespeare puts them all down. Aye, and Ben Jonson too. O that B. J. is a pestilent fellow, he brought up Horace giving the poets a pill, but our fellow, Shakespeare, hath given him a purge that made him beray his credit.
- The Return from Parnassus; or, The Scourge of Simony, Act IV, scene 3
- Shikspur, Shikspur! Who wrote it?
No, I never read Shikspur.
Then you have an immense pleasure to come.
- James Townley High Life Below Stairs, Act II, scene 1 (Ed. 1759)
- Scorn not the Sonnet. Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart.
- William Wordsworth, Scorn not the Sonnet
Psalm 46 rumours 
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
- The 46th Psalm in the King James Version of The Holy Bible, which is sometimes cited as evidence that Shakespeare was involved in helping to refine this translation, and in his 46th year of life, hid his name within this version of the psalm, the 46th word from the start being "shake" and the 46th word from the end being spear, (not counting the commonly repeated instruction "Selah" as word of the psalm). This observation seems to have originated in Shakespeare (1970) by Anthony Burgess, and later used in his story "Will and Testament" in Enderby's Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby (1984). Some have also noted peculiar numerical coincidences in the 10th line as well — which could produce "I William" — or I am Will. Others note that previous translations had used such words with similar placement as well.
- The occasionally expressed popular belief that Shakespeare must have helped prepare the translation of the Bible completed for King James in 1610 is based solely on the circumstances that a few famous passages from the translation and from Shakespeare's tragedies are the only specimens of Jacobian English most people ever hear. Rudyard Kipling, however, composed a whimsical short story, Proofs of Holy Writ, in which one of the translators consults Shakespeare and Jonson, and in 1970, Anthony Burgess pointed out that in the King James Bible the 46th word of the 46th psalm, translated in Shakespeare's 46th year, is "shake", while the 46th word from the end (if one cheats by leaving out the last cadential word "selah", is "spear".
- Michael Dobson, in The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2001) edited by Michael Dobson and Stanley W. Wells; further observations regarding these associations are discussed in:
- Over the past two centuries, there has hardly been an author, certainly in the English-speaking world, who has commanded greater reverence than Shakespeare. … There is only one text in the English language that carries comparable prestige to the works of Shakespeare: the Bible, in particular in its most renowned version, the King James Bible, otherwise known as the Authorized Version, of 1611. … In view of the persistent juxtaposition of these two Anglophone cultural icons … it is hardly surprising that they also feature together in a number of fictions of Shakespeare's life, in the form of the fantasy of the Bard as co-translator of the Authorized Version. The originator of this motif seems to have been Rudyard Kipling. In his story "Proofs of Holy Writ," Kipling imagines Shakespeare in the process of revising parts of the Authorized Version with the help of Ben Jonson.
- Paul Franssen, on Kipling, in his 1934 short story, as the probable originator of the idea that Shakespeare had worked on the King James version of the Bible, in "The Bard, the Bible and the Desert Island" in The Author as Character : Representing Historical Writers in Western Literature (1999) edited by Paul Franssen and A. J. Hoenselaars, p. 106
- Burgess's Shakespeare is not a patient empire builder or visionary, but rather an unhappy man caught in an unenviable position, at the midlife crisis age of forty-six. … Burgess's point may well be that literary quality is not always recognized during one's lifetime … due to an ill-advised display of his wit in the presence of the king, Shakespeare is currently out of favor. … Particularly ingenious in Burgess's story is the way Shakepeare even hides his name in the text of the psalm. As he is forty-six years of age, he chooses Psalm 46; he counts to the forty-sixth word, replaces it by "shake"' then he starts at the end, counts forty-six words backwards (leaving out of the account the cadential "selah"), and changes that word into "speare." The surprising thing is, that the evidence shoring up this highly unlikely scenario is in itself authentic: in Psalm 46 AV, the forty-sixth word really is "shake", the forty-sixth word from the end (not counting "selah") being spear.
Although Burgess's Shakespeare revises the psalm for wholly selfish ends, out of defiance and sinful pride, he does not thereby lose our sympathy. Unlike Kiping's self-confident sahib, he is not a superman that can lead nations; rather, in his everyday struggle with political realities, an unhappy marriage, and uncomprehending neighbors, he is a modern antihero whom we cannot begrudge his one moment of triumph. … For Burgess, art is the result of suffering between the hammer of what is and the anvil of what should be. He projects that vision on Shakespeare, whose drive for self-realization, impeded by his surroundings, finds an outlet in this act of creativity.
- Paul Franssen, on the use Shakespeare by Anthony Burgess in "Will and Testament" in Enderby's Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby (1984) in "The Bard, the Bible and the Desert Island" in The Author as Character : Representing Historical Writers in Western Literature (1999) edited by Paul Franssen and A. J. Hoenselaars, p. 111
See also 
Quotes by Shakespeare 
- Last Words in Shakespeare
- William Shakespeare quotes about death
- William Shakespeare quotes about love
- William Shakespeare quotes about war
Quotes about Shakespeare 
- William Shakespeare - Digital Collection
- William Shakespeare -- Annotated Plays
- The Internet Shakespeare Editions
- Open Shakespeare (complete works, search engine, stats and more all as open content/open source)
- Open Source Shakespeare (complete works, with search engine and concordance)
- Shakespeare quotes translated into modern English
- Shakespeare's Will at the National Archives (UK)
- Works by or about William Shakespeare in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- William Shakespeare at Find a Grave
- Study Guide:Shakespeare at Wikibooks
- List of archaic English words and their modern equivalents
- 1395 quotes from Shakespeare