Top Shakespear Quotes

Browse top 588 famous quotes and sayings about Shakespear by most favorite authors.

Favorite Shakespear Quotes

1. "In my mind's eye, Shakespeare is a huge, hot sea-beast, with fire in his veins and ice on his claws and inscrutable eyes, who looks like an inchoate hump under the encrustations of live barnacle-commentaries, limpets and trailing weeds."
Author: A. S. Byatt
2. "Who are these people sharing the street with me? What is going on in their worlds, inside their heads? Are they in love? If so, is it the kind that Mum and Dad have? Based on having things in common, like raspberry picking and a love of dogs, and Shakespeare, and long country walks? Or is it the knock-you-out, eat-you-up, set-you-on-fire kind of love that I have longed for-and avoided-all my life?"
Author: Alison Larkin
3. "We would never have met," he explained, voice dropping to a husky note. "I would have gone about my life and not thought I was missing anything. You would have – you would have painted obsessively, all those transformative images, and I would be someone unimagined and unknown, and I cannot decide whether it would be trite to call that a tragedy or if I should resent you for making this – all this death – somehow bearable, tolerable for the tenuous joy I have gained. You steal my anger and leave me dazed."He stopped, took a shaking breath, then laughed."I sound like Pan's understudy, failing to channel Shakespeare. There's no way to do more than guess what would have happened if Fisher Charteris and Madeleine Cost met one day in a world which had never feared dust, any more than we can be certain of surviving two years, or two days. I can't speak to what-ifs, but I know I will always be glad to have been here in this moment with you."
Author: Andrea K. Höst
4. "'Othello' is the most domestic of Shakespeare's tragedies and the one that's likely to strike a personal note with a lot of people watching it."
Author: Andrew Davies
5. "I remain loyal to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in music and to Shakespeare and Jane Austen in literature."
Author: Anne Stevenson
6. "My dream as a youngster was to be like Olivier. To be a great stage actor. To be a great Shakespearean actor. To me that is the Olympics of acting."
Author: Armand Assante
7. "[P]eople need to use their intelligence to evaluate what they find to be true and untrue in the Bible. This is how we need to live life generally. Everything we hear and see we need to evaluate—whether the inspiring writings of the Bible or the inspiring writings of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, or George Eliot, of Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, or the Dalai Lama."
Author: Bart D. Ehrman
8. "One of the commonest things to do with savings is to lend them to some Government. In view of the fact that the bulk of the public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man's economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it in drink or gambling."
Author: Bertrand Russell
9. "Atoms, in short, are very abundant. They are also fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms-- up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested-- probably once belonged to Shakespeare."
Author: Bill Bryson
10. "I have met . . . every week a clever undergraduate, every quarter a dull American don, discovers for the first time what some Shakespeare play really meant. . . . The revolution in thought and sentiment which has occurred in my own lifetime is so great that I belong, mentally, to Shakespeare's world far more than to that of these recent interpreters. I see--I feel it in my bones--I know beyond argument--that most of their interpretations are merely impossible; they involve a way of looking at things which was not known in 1914, much less in the Jacobean period. This daily confirms my suspicion of the same approach to Plato or the New Testament. The idea that any man or writer should be opaque to those who lived in the same culture, spoke the same language, shared the same habitual imagery and unconscious assumptions, and yet transparent to those who have none of these advantages, is in my opinion preposterous."
Author: C.S. Lewis
11. "My father quoted Shakespeare to me often and when I lay a book down with splayed pages he told me better to be cruel to animals, children even, but never so cruelly treat a book."
Author: Christine Wade
12. "Wie es so schoen bei Shakespeare heisst: "Jeder spielt seine Rolle, und meine ist eine traurige."
Author: Cornelia Funke
13. "New fathers, political prisoners, traumatised presidential aides, resolute schoolboys, MEPs addressing unfriendly chambers - we all find that Shakespeare has magically anticipated our precise circumstances. How he was possible, I still don't understand; but there isn't a day I'm not grateful that he speaks to me in my own language."
Author: Daniel Hannan
14. "I played a little basketball, but basketball interfered with theater season. That's when we did our term plays and did nutshell versions of Shakespeare for English classes. And, believe me, I got a fair amount of looks from the guys on the team. 'You're in theater but you can play football?'"
Author: Dennis Haysbert
15. "I did about 2000 covers altogether, for all sorts of books - from Shakespeare to James Bond - and I always had the idea that I must give 100%, no matter who the author was."
Author: Dick Bruna
16. "One demands a little originality in these days, even from murderers," said Lady Swaffham. "Like dramatists, you know--so much easier in Shakespeare's time, wasn't it? Always the same girl dressed up as a man, and even that borrowed from Boccaccio or Dante or somebody. I'm sure if I'd been a Shakespeare hero, the very minute I saw a slim-legged young page-boy I'd have said: 'Ods bodikins! There's that girl again!"
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
17. "To get up in the morning, wash and then wait for some unforeseen variety of dread or depression. I would give the whole universe and all of Shakespeare for a grain of ataraxy."
Author: Emil Cioran
18. "Now, I did know a certain young lady of the 'romantic' generation of not so long ago who, after being mysteriously in love for several years with a certain gentleman whom she could have married at any time without the least difficulty, suddenly broke off their relationship, inventing for herself all manner of insurmountable obstacles, and one stormy night plunged from a high, precipitous cliff into a fairly deep and fast-flowing river, where she perished from her own caprice solely through her attempt to imitate Shakespeare's Ophelia, for, had the precipice, which she had long before singled out and been compulsively drawn to, been less picturesque, and had there been only a prosaically flat bank in its stead, perhaps there would have been no suicide at all."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
19. "A Shakespeare could have arisen only on English soil. In the same way, your great dramatists and poets express the nature and essence of the Norwegian people, but they also express that which is universally valid for all mankind."
Author: Gustav Stresemann
20. "No poem, not even Shakespeare or Milton or Chaucer, is ever strong enough to totally exclude every crucial precursor text or poem."
Author: Harold Bloom
21. "It was a cruel world though. More than half of all children died before they could reach maturity, thanks to chronic epidemics and malnutrition. People dropped like flies from polio and tuberculosis and smallpox and measles. There probably weren't many people who lived past forty. Women bore so many children, they became toothless old hags by the time they were in their thirties. People often had to resort to violence to survive. Tiny children were forced to do such heavy labor that their bones became deformed, and little girls were forced to become prostitutes on a daily basis. Little boys too, I suspect. Most people led minimal lives in worlds that had nothing to do with richness of perception or spirit. City streets were full of cripples and beggars and criminals. Only a small fraction of the population could gaze at the moon with deep feeling or enjoy a Shakespeare play or listen to the beautiful music of Dowland."
Author: Haruki Murakami
22. "English literature, from the days of the minstrels to the Lake Poets—Chaucer and Spenser and Milton, and even Shakespeare, included—breathes no quite fresh and, in this sense, wild strain. It is an essentially tame and civilized literature, reflecting Greece and Rome. … Where is the literature which gives expression to Nature?...I do not know of any poetry to quote which adequately expresses this yearning for the Wild....The West is preparing to add its fables to those of the East. The valleys of the Ganges, the Nile, and the Rhine having yielded their crop, it remains to be seen what the valleys of the Amazon, the Plate, the Orinoco, the St. Lawrence, and the Mississippi will produce."
Author: Henry David Thoreau
23. "There's a statistical theory that if you gave a million monkeys typewriters and set them to work, they'd eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Thanks to the Internet, we now know this isn't true."
Author: Ian Hart
24. "Particularly for English people, Shakespeare is always at the forefront of both drama and the English language. He's always been there. I can't remember starting school and not learning about him."
Author: Jamie Campbell Bower
25. "I'd like to do a piece of Shakespeare. Any upcoming Shakespeare film. Just a bit to say I did a classic."
Author: Jim Varney
26. "...I know Shakespeare said art is holding up a mirror to nature- but you're actually bending and refracting it through your interior dialogue ..."
Author: John Geddes
27. "Lincoln, steeped in the Bible and Shakespeare, set an impossibly high bar for presidential prose."
Author: Jonathan Raban
28. "The reason the contracts are so long is because actors are very spontaneous; we may want to do Shakespeare one day and be Porky Pig the next!"
Author: Jorja Fox
29. "If Shakespeare had to go on an author tour to promote Romeo and Juliet, he never would have written Macbeth."
Author: Joyce Brothers
30. "You are the opposite of romantic. Did anyone ever tell you that?""I am full of romance. I like sunsets and the ocean and beaches and flowers and love songs and Shakespeare in the park and all that kind of shit." Eli's cheeks flushed. It was adorable on him. "I don't get what any of that has to do with sex.""I'm not talking about sex, Eli. I'm talking about a kiss.""Fine. I'll kiss the romantic fuck out of you."
Author: K.A. Mitchell
31. "I do think that, for instance, we've been very lucky to have theatrical careers and be associated with Shakespeare which sometimes gives you a kind of bogus kudos."
Author: Kenneth Branagh
32. "...Having no recourse, I feel back on Shakespeare. Leif would recognize it and understand the context properly. With my remaining few seconds of consciousness, I quoted Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing, who spoke these words to his former friend:"you are a Villain: I jest not." and then I collapsed into a pool of my own blood."
Author: Kevin Hearne
33. "Dude. If that was a Shakespearean quote duel, he just kicked your ass."
Author: Kevin Hearne
34. "Oh, if Shakespeare says it, that's all right."
Author: L. Frank Baum
35. "Shakespeare's Iago could be played as a soul in hell, driven, dark and desperate, willing to do anything, willing to use anyone, in order to escape from that hell."
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
36. "Shakespeare,"
Author: Lewis Carroll
37. "To paraphrase Shakespeare's Polonius, you sometimes have to get your hands a little dirty to set things straight."
Author: Lynn Steward
38. "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo 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 street sweeper who did his job well."
Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
39. "I think there's a poet who wrote once a tragedy by Shakespeare, a symphony by Beethoven and a thunderstorm are based on the same elements. I think that's a beautiful line."
Author: Maximilian Schell
40. "[T]he reason why Shakespeare and Pushkin were great writers was because from the time when they were boys they stood like policemen over their thoughts and didn't allow one small insincerity to creep in."
Author: Michael D. O'Brien
41. "The nearest figure to myself would be Shakespeare."
Author: Michael Tippett
42. "You cannot underestimate the influence of Shakespeare."
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
43. "Dramatic fiction - William Shakespeare made his biggest mark writing dramatic love stories."
Author: Nicholas Sparks
44. "We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse; we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate people of whom we have never heard. More than that, we speak volumes – our language is the language of everything we have read. Shakespeare and the Authorised Version surface in supermarkets, on buses, chatter on radio and television. I find this miraculous. I never cease to wonder at it. That words are more durable than anything, that they blow with the wind, hibernate and reawaken, shelter parasitic on the most unlikely hosts, survive and survive and survive."
Author: Penelope Lively
45. "Again? Honestly, do you guys think she's hiding in Shakespeare's Sonnets?" - Tina Lewis"
Author: R.J. Morse
46. "Apparently the complete works of Shakespeare packed quite a wallop. To think, my mother said I'd never find use for an English degree. Ha! I'd like to see her knock someone silly with an apron and a cookie press."
Author: Rachel Vincent
47. "He [Alexander von Humboldt] was to science what Shakespeare was to the drama."
Author: Robert G. Ingersoll
48. "I think you need brains to do any Shakespeare with any authority. I could do Shakespeare, but not with any authority."
Author: Sam Neill
49. "Let me stop there, 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."
Author: Vincent Van Gogh
50. "Shaw is like a train. One just speaks the words and sits in one's place. But Shakespeare is like bathing in the sea - one swims where one wants."
Author: Vivien Leigh

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I suppose if there were a part of the world in which mastodon still lived, somebody would design a new gun, and men, in their eternal impudence, would hunt mastodon as they now hunt elephant. Impudence seems to be the word. At least David and Goliath were of the same species, but, to an elephant, a man can only be a midge with a deathly sting."
Author: Beryl Markham

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