William Shakespeare Short quotes dictionary
William Shakespeare Short quotes dictionary

He is of no age, nor any religion or party or profession. His works come out of the unfathomable depths of his mind.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Shakespeare is one of the last books one should like to give up, perhaps the one just before the Dying Service in a large Prayer book.
Charles Lamb

Since Shakespeare had a feel for revolutionary rhetoric, let’s all shout: “Peace, justice and freedom!”
Carl William Brown

And one wild Shakespeare, following Nature’s lights, Is worth whole planets, filled with Stagyrites.
Thomas More

Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.
William Shakespeare

È vero, è vero senza errore, è certo è verissimo: ciò che è in alto è come ciò che è in basso, e ciò che è in basso è come ciò che è in alto, per fare il miracolo della cosa unica.
Ermete Trismegisto

William Shakespeare short aphoristic dictionary (part 1) by Carl William Brown

Faults

Men’s faults to themselves seldom appear.

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]

Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined. Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind.

Favors

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.

Fear

Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.

Fearless minds climb soonest into crowns.

In time we hate that which we often fear.

Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed.
William Shakespeare

The best safety lies in fear.

Flattery

He that loves to be flattered is worthy of the flatterer.

I will praise any man that will praise me.

Fools and Foolishness

The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.

The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.

Lord, what fools these mortals be.

Fortune

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]

Free Will

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.

Friends and Friendship

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.

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.

Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love.

Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.

A friend should bear a friend’s infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

Futility

A walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.

Future

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

Gifts

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

Glory

I have touched the highest point of all my greatness, and from that full meridian of my glory I haste now to my setting.

Goodness

How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good dead in a naughty world.

Good and Evil

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

Guilt

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Grief

Patch grief with proverbs.

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.

Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm.

Greatness

The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

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.

Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

Gratitude

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]

He receives comfort like cold porridge.

Ignorance

There is no darkness, but ignorance.

Idols

‘Tis mad idolatry To make the service greater than the god.

Humankind

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!

Human Nature

My nature is subdued to what it works in, like the dyer’s hand.

Hospitality

We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.

Globe Theatre London
Globe Theatre London

Hope

The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.

Honor

Why should honor outlive honestly? [Orthello]

Honesty

Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.

Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.

Home

People usually are the happiest at home.

History and Historians

There is a history in all men’s lives.

Heroes and Heroism

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.

Heart

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted. [Henry Iv]

Hatred

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.

Oppose not rage while rage is in its force, but give it way a while and let it waste.

Happiness

I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.

But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.

Habit

How use doth breed a habit in man!

Immortality

But thy eternal summer shall not fade.

Importance

Much Ado About Nothing.

Infatuation

I stalk about her door like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks staying for wattage.

Inheritance

No legacy is so rich as honestly.

Insanity

Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. [Hamlet]

Insomnia

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?

Intelligence and Intellectuals

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.”

Jealousy

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.

Jokes and Jokers

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

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?

Judgment and Judges

My salad days, when I was green in judgment.

Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.

Juries

The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life, may have in the sworn twelve a thief or two guiltier than him they try.

Justice

Time is the justice that examines all offenders. [As You Like It]

Kisses and Kissing

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.

Knowledge

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

Language

It was Greek to me.

Laughter

Present mirth hath present laughter. What’s to come is still unsure.

Law and Lawyers

The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers.

Libraries

My library was dukedom large enough.

Life and Death

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.

Life and Living

Simply the thing I am shall make me live.

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.

Life… It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.

Listening

Give every man your ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Losers and Losing

Wise men never sit and wail their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms.

Love

When love begins to sicken and decay it uses an enforced ceremony. [Julius Caesar]

But love is blind, and lovers cannot see What petty follies they themselves commit

Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.

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.

She’s gone. I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her.

To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.

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.

Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

Love is too young to know what conscience is.

Lovers

We that are true lovers run into strange capers.

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.

Loyalty

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.

Lust

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.

Man

For to be wise and love exceeds man’s might.

Music

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.

Murder

Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

Moralists

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Money

A miser grows rich by seeming poor. An extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.

William Shakespeare genial aphorisms
William Shakespeare genial aphorisms

Modesty

We wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Lord Bacon told Sir Edward Coke when he was boasting, The less you speak of your greatness, the more shall I think of it.

Modern and Modernism

For we which now behold these present days have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Misfortunes

Affliction is enamoured of thy parts, and thou art wedded to calamity.

To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.

Misers and Misery

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.

Mind

‘Tis the mind that makes the body rich.

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.

Men and Women

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.

Memory

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.

Medicine

By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.

Media

Report me and my cause aright.

Maturity

Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltiness of time.

Marriage

The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.

Manners

Manhood is melted into courtesies, valor into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones, too.

Madness

O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad.

Music

If music be the food of love; play on.

Is it not strange that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?

Names

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Necessity

Nature must obey necessity. [Julius Caesar]

Negotiation

We were not born to sue, but to command.

Night

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!

Nostalgia

Remembrance of things past.

Obedience

Every good servant does not all commands.

Obesity

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.

Opportunity

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes deeds ill done!

Pain

Pain pays the income of each precious thing.

One pain is lessened by another’s anguish.

Past

What is past is prologue.

We have seen better days.

Things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done.

Patience

Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.

That which in mean men we entitle patience is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.

How poor are they that have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

Who can be patient in extremes? [Henry Vi]

Peace

A peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience.

Perfection

Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.

Perseverance

I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.

Philosophers and Philosophy

For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.

Pity

Soft pity enters an iron gate.

Plays

If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.

Police

You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch, therefore bear you the lantern.

Purpose

What we determine we often break. Purpose is but the slave to memory.

Purpose

Every why has a wherefore.

Punishment

And where the offence is, let the great axe fall.

Punctuality

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

Publicity

I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people.

Psychiatry

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?

Proverbs

The proverb is something musty.

William Shakespeare quotes creativity
William Shakespeare quotes creativity

Prophecy

Beware of the ides of March.

Procreation

He plough’d her, and she cropp’d.

Procrastination

In delay there lies no plenty.

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.

Pride

Man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assur d, glassy essence, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, as make the angels weep.

Preachers and Preaching

But, good my brother, do not, as some ungracious pastors do. Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven whilst like a puffed and reckless libertine himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and wrecks not his own.

Prayer

Bow, stubborn knees!

Praise

There’s not one wise man among twenty will praise himself.

Power

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

Poverty and The Poor

O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!

Potential

Lord we may know what we are, but know not what we may be.

Potential

For he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royally.

Possibilities

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

Pollution

I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

Politicians and Politics

There have been many great men that have flattered the people who never loved them.

A politician is one that would circumvent God.

Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.

Questions

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.

Quarrels

The course of true love never did run smooth.

Resolution

Who is so firm that can’t be seduced?

For I am full of spirit and resolve to meet all perils very constantly.

Reputation

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha lost my reputation, I ha lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!

Regret

Let’s not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone.

Reason

Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason, to fast in us unused.

Strong reasons make strong actions.

Results

Nothing will come of nothing.

Retirement

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.

Revenge

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.

If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?

Riches

O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults, looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!

Risk

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.

Virtue is bold and goodness never fearful.

Royalty

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Security

Security is the chief enemy of mortals.

Seduction

She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is a woman, therefore to be won.

Self-control

O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.

Self-love

Self-love, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.

Self-respect

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.

Self-talk

A gentleman that loves to hear himself talk, will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.

Silence

Silence is the perfectos herald of joy. I were but little happy if I could say how much.

Sin

Few love to hear the sins they love to act.

I am a man more sinned against than sinning.

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

Slander

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.

Smells

The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.

Smile

A smile cures the wounding of a frown.

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

Sorrow

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

William Shaklespeasre great aphorisms
William Shaklespeasre great aphorisms

Spring

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.

Strangers

I do desire we may be better strangers.

Strength

How excellent it is to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use like a giant.

Style

I do not much dislike the matter, but the manner of his speech.

Success

To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.

Suicide

Then is it sin to rush into the secret house of death. Ere death dare come to us?

Will and Will Power

The will is deaf and hears no heedful friends.

Our bodies are our gardens… our wills are our gardeners.

Welfare

‘Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support him after.

Waste

We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.

War

We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.

Cry ”havoc!” and let loose the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.

Vow

‘Tis not the many oaths that make the truth; But the plain single vow, that is vow’d true.

Men’s vows are women’s traitors!

It is the purpose that makes strong the vow; But vows to every purpose must not hold.

Visualization

Nimble thought can jump both sea and land.

Virtue

Men’s evil manners live in brass, their virtues we write in water.

Assume a virtue if you have it not.

Vanity

There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.

Valor

When valor preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.

Unemployment

You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.

Truth

While you live tell the truth and shame the devil.

Trust

Love all, but trust a few.

Don’t trust the person who has broken faith once.

Travel and Tourism

Journeys end in lovers meeting.

Time and Time Management

O, call back yesterday, bid time return.

And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

Thoughts and Thinking

Thought is free.

There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Make not your thoughts you prisons.

Temptation

O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!

Most dangerous is that temptation that doth good us on to sin to loving virtue.

Talkativeness

A good old man, sir. He will be talking. As they say, when the age is in, the wit is out.

Tact and Tactfulness

Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.

Swearing

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.

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?

Youth

Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age?

A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.

Worry

Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.

World

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.

Words

It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.

Wives

To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.

Wit

He’s winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike.

Wisdom

To be wise and love exceeds man’s might.

So wise so young, they say, do never live long.

Winners and Winning

Nothing can seem foul to those who win.

Worshippers

Idol of idiot-worshippers!

William Shakespeare short aphoristic dictionary (part 1) by Carl William Brown

Read also:

William Shakespeare and John Florio!

William Shakespeare’ s literary reputation!

Aforismi geniali di William Shakespeare by C.W. Brown

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