William Shakespeare's World Reputation quotes
William Shakespeare’s World Reputation quotes

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Albert Einstein

Outside of his dramas, Shakespeare isn’t as much alive as the polychrome bust on his grave.
Mario Praz

The Shakespeare industry is built upon a vast fictitious fantasy. Many people directly profit from this industry so therefore imagination is not free and conjecture is not cheap.
Charles Hughes

Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare until you can prove with actual documentary evidence that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare.
Mark Andre Alexander

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

The most sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world, who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be. Women have often more of what is called good sense then men. They have fewer pretensions; are less implicated in theories; and judge of objects more from their immediate and involuntary impression on the mind, and, therefore, more truly and naturally. They cannot reason wrong; for they do not reason at all. They do not think or speak by rule; and they have in general more eloquence and wit, as well as sense, on that account. By their wit, sense and eloquence together, they generally contrive to govern their husbands. Their style, when they write to their friends (not for the booksellers), is better than that of most authors. – Uneducated people have most exuberance of invention and the greatest freedom from prejudice. Shakespeare’s was evidently an uneducated mind, both in the freshness of his imagination and the variety of his views; as Milton’s was scholastic, in the texture both of his thoughts and feelings. Shakespeare had not been accustomed to write themes at school in favour of virtue or against vice. To this we owe the unaffected but healthy tone of his dramatic morality. It 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 only study his commentators.
William Hazlitt 1778-1830, British Writer and Critic

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare “It’s Greek to me”, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool’s paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then – to give the devil his due – if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then – by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness’ sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! – it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.
Bernard Levin (1928 – 2004) English journalist, author and broadcaster.

If the others are wise, then we have to be crazy; also because, as the great Shakespeare said, if the madman seriously thinks he is wise, in reality it is the wise man who knows for sure that he is mad.
Carl William Brown (1960), Italian teacher, surrealistic reformer and writer.

Shakespeare is – let us put it this way – the least English of English writers. The typical quality of the English is understatement, saying a little less than what you see. In contrast, Shakespeare tended toward the hyperbolic metaphor, and it would come to us as no surprise to learn that Shakespeare had been Italian, or Jewish, for instance.
Jorge Luis Borges, Borges oral, 1979

To see him act is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834, British Poet, Critic, Philosopher

Our myriad-minded Shakespeare.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Biography.

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 (1772-1834), Biography.

And one wild Shakespeare, following Nature’s lights, Is worth whole planets, filled with Stagyrites.
Thomas More (1779-1852), The Sceptic

Shakespeare – The nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.
Laurence Olivier (1907-1989)

Wonderful women! Have you ever thought how much we all, and women especially, owe to Shakespeare for his vindication of women in these fearless, high-spirited, resolute and intelligent heroines?
Dame Ellen Terry (1848-1928)

The Shakespearian oeuvre is that of an authentic, highly cultivated professional, who must have spent his life studying languages and teaching, a professional with all the characteristics of the linguist John Florio.
Lamberto Tassinari Italian writer and teacher

One of the greatest geniuses that ever existed, Shakespeare, undoubtedly wanted taste.
Horace Walpole (1717-1797), Letter to Wren, 1764

The composition of Shakespeare is a forest, in which oaks extend in the air, interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles, and sometimes giving shelting to myrtles and to roses; filling the eye with awful pomp, and gratifying the mind with endless diversity.
Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare

Athena Goddess of Wisdom shakes spear
Athena Goddess of Wisdom shakes spear

Shakespeare opens a mine which contains gold and diamonds in unexhaustible plenty, though clouded by incrustations, debased by impurities, and mingled with a mass of meaner minerales.
Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare

In reality there is no kind of evidence or argument by which one can show that Shakespeare, or any other writer, is “good”. Nor is there any way of definitely proving that–for instance–Warwick Beeping is “bad”. Ultimately there is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion.
George Orwell, In Front of Your Nose: 1945-1950

If there really is such a thing as turning in one’s grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.
George Orwell, All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honours; with this key Shakespeare unlocked his heart.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Miscellaneous Sonnets

England has two books, one which she has made and one which has made her: Shakespeare and the Bible.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French Poet, Dramatist, Novelist

In Shakespeare the birds sing, the bushes are clothed with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the vast eternal dream hovers over all. Sap and blood, all forms of the multiple reality, actions and ideas, man and humanity, the living and the life, solitudes, cities, religions, diamonds and pearls, dung-hills and charnelhouses, the ebb and flow of beings, the steps of comers and goers, all, all are on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), William Shakespeare

If those gentlemen would let me alone I should be much obliged to them. I would say, as Shakespeare would say… “Sweet Friend, for Jesus sake forbear.”
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish Philosopher, 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 (1806–1861), A Vision of Poets

Shakespeare was the most cheery, healthy, and open-air Englishman of them all. Such a man would never even have dreamed of writing up a cynical theme, unless he happened to be out of sorts, sick perhaps, cross, or not himself. And Shakespeare, with all the genius and all the sincere, passionate acrimony which he displays in Timon and in Troilus, has done no more than exhibit the nervous depression of an optimist – a sort of peevishness, very different from the logic, the cruelty, and the perverse beauty of true cynicism.
John Jay Chapman A Glance Toward Shakespeare.

With this same key Shakespeare unlocked his heart’ once more! Did Shakespeare? If so, the less Shakespeare he!
Robert Browning (1812-1899), House

The life of Shakespeare is a fine mystery and I tremble every day lest something turn up.
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) English writer, novelist, journalist and social critic.

And there are Ben [Jonson] and William Shakespeare in wit-combat, sure enough; Ben bearing down like a mighty Spanish war-ship, fraught with all learning and artillery; Shakespeare whisking away from him – whisking right through him, athwart the big bulk and timbers of him; like a miraculous Celestial Light-ship, woven all of sheet-lightning and sunbeams!
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Historical Sketches of Notable Persons and Events in the Reigns of James I

The souls most fed with Shakespeare’s flame Still sat unconquered in a ring, Remembering him like anything.
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), The Shakespeare Memorial

We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
Robert Wilensky

We do not fear censorship for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue – the same liberty that is conceded to the art of the written word, that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare.
David Wark Griffiths (1875-1948), American Pioneer Film Director

William Shakespeare's Reputation quotes
William Shakespeare’s Reputation quotes

He is as a mountain, whose majesty and multitudinous beauty, meaning, and magnitude and impress, must be gotten by slow processes in journeying about it through many days. Who sits under its pines at noon, lies beside its streams for rest, walks under its lengthening shadows as under a cloud, and has listened to the voices of its water falls, thrilling the night and calling to the spacious firmament as if with intent to be heard “very far off,” has thus learned the mountain, vast of girth, kingly in altitude, perpetual in sovereignty. We study a world’s circumference by segments; nor let us suppose we can do other by this cosmopolitan Shakespeare. He, so far as touches our earth horizon, is ubiquitous. Looking at him sum-totally, we feel his mass, and say we have looked upon majesty.
William A. Quayle (1860-1925), Some Words on Loving Shakespeare. From A hero and some other folk, 1900

Find enough clever things to say, and you’re a Prime Minister; write them down and you’re a Shakespeare.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish-born British Dramatist

I have always derived great comfort from William Shakespeare. After a depressing visit to the mirror or an unkind word from a girlfriend or an incredulous
stare in the street, I say to myself: ‘Well. Shakespeare looked like shit.’ It works wonders.
Martin Amis, Money

No one has yet managed to be post-Shakespearean.
Harold Bloom (1930) , American literary critic

Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which, if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare.
Francis Herbert Hedge (1846-1924), British Philosopher

There is hardly a pioneer’s hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.
Alexis De Tocqueville (1805-1859), French Social Philosopher

Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.
Susan Sontag

After Homer and Dante, is a whole century of creating worth one Shakespeare?
Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), American Black Leader, Nobel Prize Winner, 1964

If you write fiction you are, in a sense, corrupted. There’s a tremendous corruptibility for the fiction writer because you’re dealing mainly with sex and violence. These remain the basic themes, they’re the basic themes of Shakespeare whether you like it or not.
Anthony Burgess (1917-1993), British Writer, Critic

Some can absorb knowledge, the more tardy must sweat for it. Shakespeare acquired more essential history from Plutarch than most men could from the whole British Museum. What is to be insisted upon is that the poet must develop this consciousness throughout his career.
What happens is a continual surrender of himself as he is at the moment to something which is more valuable. The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.”
T.S Eliot (1888-1965), essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and “one of the twentieth century’s major poets.

I do not believe that any writer has ever exposed this bovarysme, the human will to see things as they are not, more clearly than Shakespeare.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca

The modern democrat, perhaps, will often find it in a form which at first sight is distasteful to him. Shakespeare’s whole reading of history is aristocratic. He concentrates the history of the nation in the doings of its leaders; the people are of small account, and seldom appear upon the scene except to display their fickleness, their stupidity, or their brutality…[But] in the time at which Shakespeare wrote, no other presentation of fact would have been possible. The people had not yet emerged into political existence, and to present them as other than they were would not only have been a piece of political prescience which can hardly be expected even of the greatest of artists, it would have been a falsification of the truth. Shakespeare was essentially a creature of the time, and he read history with the eyes of his time. He had doubtless a fuller vision and a clearer, but it was his own time that he interpreted and not ours.
Ernest De Selincourt (1870-1943), English Poets and the National Ideal

A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller: he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire.
Ben Jonson (1573-1637) Preface to the First Folio

Soule of the Age! The applause! delight! The wonder of our stage!
Ben Jonson (1573 – 1637), Preface to the First Folio

Sweet Swan of Avon!
Ben Jonson (1573 – 1637), Preface to the First Folio

He was not of an age, but for all time!
Ben Jonson (1573-1637), Preface to the First Folio

William Shakespeare Reputation from Aforismi Geniali ebook in Italian and English
William Shakespeare’s Reputation from Aforismi Geniali

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 (1895-1985) William Shakespeare in Poets Corner Westminster London

I am the owner of the sphere Of the seven stars and the solar year, Of Caesar’s hand, and Plato’s brain Of Lord Christ’s heart, and Shakespeare’s strain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), The Absorbing Soul

Nor sequent centuries could hit Orbit and sum of Shakespeare’s wit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), May-Day and Other Pieces

When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, “Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Letters and Social Aims

He is as a mountain, whose majesty and multitudinous beauty, meaning, and magnitude and impress, must be gotten by slow processes in journeying about it through many days. Who sits under its pines at noon, lies beside its streams for rest, walks under its lengthening shadows as under a cloud, and has listened to the voices of its water falls, thrilling the night and calling to the spacious firmament as if with intent to be heard “very far off,” has thus learned the mountain, vast of girth, kingly in altitude, perpetual in sovereignty. We study a world’s circumference by segments; nor let us suppose we can do other by this cosmopolitan Shakespeare. He, so far as touches our earth horizon, is ubiquitous. Looking at him sum-totally, we feel his mass, and say we have looked upon majesty.
William A. Quayle (1860-1925), Some Words on Loving Shakespeare. From A hero and some other folk, 1900

We shall never overestimate Shakespeare, because we can not. Some men and things lie beyond the danger of hyperbole. No exaggeration is possible concerning them, seeing they transcend all dreams. Space can not be conceived by the most luxuriant imagination, holding, as it does, all worlds, and capable of holding another universe besides, and with room to spare. Clearly, we can not overestimate space. Thought and vocabulary become bankrupt when they attempt this bewildering deed. Genius is as immeasurable as space. Shakespeare can not be measured. We can not go about him, since life fails, leaving the journey not quite well begun. Yet may we attempt what can not be performed, because each attempt makes us worthy, and we are measured, not by what we achieve, but by what we attempt.
William A. Quayle (1860-1925), Some Words on Loving Shakespeare. From A hero and some other folk, 1900

In Shakespeare the birds sing, the bushes are clothed with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the vast eternal dream hovers over all. Sap and blood, all forms of the multiple reality, actions and ideas, man and humanity, the living and the life, solitudes, cities, religions, diamonds and pearls, dung-hills and charnelhouses,
the ebb and flow of beings, the steps of comers and goers, all, all are on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), William Shakespeare

Actors are so fortunate. They can choose whether they will appear in tragedy or in comedy, whether they will suffer or make merry, laugh or shed tears. But in real life it is different. Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualifications. Our Guildensterns play Hamlet for us, and our Hamlets have to jest like Prince Hal. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) Irish writer and poet. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories

When I heard the word “stream” uttered with such a revolting primness, what I think of is urine and not the contemporary novel. And besides, it isn’t new, it is far from the dernier cri. Shakespeare used it continually, much too much in my opinion, and there’s Tristam Shandy, not to mention the Agamemnon.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish Author

You ask whether I have ever been in love: fool as I am, I am not such a fool as that. But if one is only to talk from first-hand experience, conversation would be a very poor business. But though I have no personal experience of the things they call love, I have what is better – the experience of Sappho, of Euripides, of Catallus, of Shakespeare, of Spenser, of Austen, of Bronte, of anyone else I have read.
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), British Academic, Writer, Christian Apologist

Here Greek and Roman find themselves alive along these crowded shelves; and Shakespeare treads again his stage, and Chaucer paints anew his age.
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), American Poet, Reformer, Author

I remember your saying that you had notions of a good Genius presiding over you. I have of late had the same thought – for things which I do half at Random are afterwards confirmed by my judgment in a dozen
features of Propriety. Is it too daring to fancy Shakespeare this Presider?
John Keats (1795-1821), Letter to B.R. Haydon, May 1817

I believe it was Shakespeare, or possibly Howard Cosell, who first observed that marriage is very much like a birthday candle, in that ‘the flames of passion burn brightest when the wick of intimacy is first
ignited by the disposable butane lighter of physical attraction, but sooner or later the heat of familiarity causes the wax of boredom to drip all over the vanilla
frosting of novelty and the shredded coconut of romance.’ I could not have phrased it better myself.
Dave Barry (1947) Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and columnist.

When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder That such trivial people should muse and thunder In such lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

But Shakespeare knows what the sphinx thinks, if anybody does. His genius is penetrative as cold midwinter entering every room, and making warmth shiver in ague fits. I think Shakespeare never errs in his logical sequence in character. He surprises us, seems unnatural to us, but because we have been superficial observers; while genius will disclose those truths to which we are blind.
William A. Quayle (1860-1925), Some Words on Loving Shakespeare. From A hero and some other folk, 1900

The fact is, Shakespeare was not sectarian; he pleaded nobody’s mission, he stated nobody’s cause. He has written with a view to be a mirror of things as they are; and shows the office of the true poet and literary man, which is to re-create the soul of man as God has created it, and human society as man has made it.
George Dawson (1821-1876), Shakespeare and Other Lectures

It is sometimes suspected that the enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s works shown by some students is a fiction or a fashion. It is not so. The justification of that enthusiastic admiration is in the fact that every increase of knowledge and deepening of wisdom in the critic or the student do but show still greater knowledge and deeper wisdom in the great poet. When, too, it is found that his judgment is equal to his genius, and that his industry is on a par with his inspiration, it becomes impossible to wonder or to admire too much.
George Dawson (1821-1876), Shakespeare and other lectures

The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn’t have needed anyone since.
William Faulkner 1897-1962, American Novelist

Shakespeare's authorship debate
Shakespeare’s authorship debate

He is the very Janus of poets; he wears almost everywhere two faces; and you have scarce begun to admire the one, ere you despise the other.
John Dryden (1631-1700), Essay on Dramatic Poetry of the Last Age

But Shakespeare’s magic could not copied be; Within that circle none durst walk but he.
John Dryden (1631–1700) Essay of Dramatic Poesy

He was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature. He looked inwards, and found her there.
John Dryden (1631–1700) Essay of Dramatic Poesy

He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul.
John Dryden (1631-1700), Essay of Dramatic Poesy

But Shakespeare’s magic could not copied be; Within that circle none durst walk but he.
John Dryden (1631–1700) Essay of Dramatic Poesy

He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul.
John Dryden (1631-1700), Essay of Dramatic Poesy

Playing Shakespeare is really tiring. You never get to sit down, unless you’re the king.
Josephine Hull Actress

In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978), American Democratic Politician, Vice President

It is sometimes suspected that the enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s works shown by some students is a fiction or a fashion. It is not so. The justification of that enthusiastic admiration is in the fact that every increase of knowledge and deepening of wisdom in the critic or the student do but show still greater knowledge and deeper wisdom in the great poet. When, too, it is found that his judgment is equal to his genius, and that his industry is on a par with his inspiration, it becomes impossible to wonder or to admire too much.
George Dawson (1821-1876), Shakespeare and other lectures

Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy’s child, Warble his native wood-notes wild.
John Milton (1608-1674), L’Allegro

What needs my Shakespeare for his honour’d bones, The labour of an age in piled stones, Or that his hallow’d relics should be hid Under a star-y-pointing pyramid? Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
John Milton (1608-1674), Epitaph on Shakespeare

And so sepulchered in such pomp dost lie, That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
John Milton (1608- 1674), Epitaph

But Shakespeare knows what the sphinx thinks, if anybody does. His genius is penetrative as cold midwinter entering every room, and making warmth shiver in ague fits. I think Shakespeare never errs in his logical sequence in character. He surprises us, seems unnatural to us, but because we have been superficial observers; while genius will disclose those truths to which we are blind.
William A. Quayle (1860-1925), Some Words on Loving Shakespeare. From A hero and some other folk, 1900

Single-mindedness is all very well in cows or baboons; in an animal claiming to belong to the same species as Shakespeare it is simply disgraceful.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British Author

Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations.
Orson Welles (1915-1985), American Film Maker

A 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 (1895-1985), British Poet, Novelist

And one wild Shakespeare, following Nature’s lights, Is worth whole planets, filled with Stagyrites.
Thomas More (1779-1852), The Sceptic

Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio, or looked at a TV They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would mark.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), American Poet

Raphael paints wisdom; Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus
sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American Poet, Essayist

I am the owner of the sphere Of the seven stars and the solar year, Of Caesar’s hand, and Plato’s brain Of Lord Christ’s heart, and Shakespeare’s strain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), The Absorbing Soul

Nor sequent centuries could hit Orbit and sum of Shakespeare’s wit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), May-Day and Other Pieces

When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, “Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Letters and Social Aims

Young women… you are, in my opinion, disgracefully ignorant. You have never made a discovery of any sort of importance. You have never shaken an empire or led an army into battle. The plays by Shakespeare are not by you, and you have never introduced a barbarous race to the blessings of civilization. What is your excuse?
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British Novelist, Essayist

The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life: try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!
Robert Browning (1812-1889) British Poet

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players, and Tennessee Williams has about 5, and Samuel Beckett one – and maybe a clone of that one. I have 10 or so,
and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
Gore Vidal

The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity: of Spencer, remoteness: of Milton elevation and of Shakespeare everything.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830) British Writer and Critic

Just a mere glance at [his] pathetic efforts to sign his name (illiterate scrawls) should forever eliminate Shakspere from further consideration in this question – he could not write.
Mortimer J. Adler (1902 – 2001) University of Chicago philosophy professor, prolific author.

Academics err in failing to acknowledge the mystery surrounding ‘Shake-speare’s’ identity … They would do both liberal education and the works of ‘Shake-speare’ a distinguished service by opening the question to the judgment of their students, and others outside the academic realm.
Mortimer J. Adler (1902 – 2001) University of Chicago philosophy professor, prolific author.

The [doubters] have presented a very strong — almost fully convincing — case for their point of view. The debate continues and it is well it does. We need this enlightenment in these otherwise somewhat
dismal days. If I had to rule on the evidence presented, it would be in favor of the [doubters].
Harry A. Blackmun (1908 – 1999) — Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1970 to 1994.

I think [an alternative candidate] wrote Shakespeare. If you don’t, there are some awfully funny coincidences to explain away.
Orson Welles (1915 – 1985) – American radio, theater and film producer, director and actor.

William Shakespeare quotes dictionary
William Shakespeare quotes dictionary

I am ‘sort of’ haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and most successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world.
Henry James (1843 – 1916) – American-born author, literary critic, and major figure in trans-Atlantic literature.

So far as anybody actually knows and can prove, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.” … “Shall I set down the rest of the Conjectures which constitute the giant Biography of William Shakespeare? It would strain the Unabridged Dictionary to hold them. He is a Brontosaur: nine bones and six hundred barrels of plaster of Paris.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) – Pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the famous American writer, humorist, satirist, lecturer.

Isn’t it odd, when you think of it, that you may list all of the celebrated Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotchmen … clear back to the first Tudors — a list of five hundred names, shall we say? — and you can … learn the particulars of the lives of every one of them. Every one of them except one — the most famous, the most renowned — by far the most illustrious of them all — Shakespeare!
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) – Pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the famous American writer, humorist, satirist, lecturer.

I am firm against Shaksper — I mean the Avon man, the actor.
Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) – American Romantic poet, essayist, journalist and humanist.

I have never thought that the man of Stratford-on-Avon wrote the plays of Shakespeare. I know of no admissible evidence that he ever left England or was educated in the normal sense of the term. One must wonder, for example, how he could have written The Merchant of Venice.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (1907 – 1998) – Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1972 to 1987.

Conceived out of the fullest heat and pulse of European feudalism — personifying in unparall’d ways the medieval aristocracy, its towering spirit of ruthless and gigantic cast, its own peculiar air and arrogance (no mere imitation) — only one of the ‘wolfish earls’ so plenteous in the plays themselves, or some born descendent and knower, might seem to be the true author of those amazing works — works in some respects greater than anything else in recorded history.
Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) – American Romantic poet, essayist, journalist and humanist.

In the work of the greatest geniuses, humble beginnings will reveal themselves somewhere, but one cannot trace the slightest sign of them in Shakespeare … I am not concerned with who wrote the works of Shakespeare … but I can hardly think it was the Stratford boy. Whoever wrote them had an aristocratic attitude.
Charles “Charlie” Chaplin (1889 – 1977) — Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr., was one of the most creative, famous and influential personalities of the silent film era.

It is a great comfort, to my way of thinking, that so little is known concerning the poet. The life of Shakespeare is a fine mystery and I tremble every day lest something turn up.
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) — Foremost novelist of the Victorian era, and widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language.

The Egyptian verdict of the Shakespeare Societies comes to mind, that he was a jovial actor and manager. I cannot marry this fact to his verse: Other
admirable men had led lives in some sort of keeping with their thought, but this man in wide contrast.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) – American essayist, poet, and original formulator of the philosophy of Transcendentalism.

But what if it turns out, as it just possibly might, that William Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of the plays ascribed to him? There is a theory, advanced by reputable scholars, seriously and, in my opinion, plausibly, that Shakespeare merely lent his name as a cover for the literary activities of another person … If, by some terrible chance, this theory should be proved, then straightaway Stratford’s tourist status would dwindle.
Sir William Tyrone Guthrie (1900 – 1971) – Tony Award-winning British theatre director

I no longer believe that William Shakespeare the actor from Stratford was the author of the works that have been ascribed to him.
Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) – Viennese doctor and psychotherapist, commonly referred to as “the father of psychoanalysis.”

It is undeniably painful to all of us that even now we do not know who was the author of the Comedies, Tragedies and Sonnets of Shakespeare, whether it was in fact the untutored son of the provincial citizen
of Stratford, who attained a modest position as an actor in London …
Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) – Viennese doctor and psychotherapist, commonly referred to as “the father of psychoanalysis.”

Read the complete text in the original book, you can download it for free;

Shakespeare dictionary

Read also :

William Shakespeare and John Florio ;


Quotes by authors

Quotes by arguments