Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

William Shakespeare

English Playwright, Poet, Most widely known Writer in English Literature

"He that dies pays all debts. The Tempest. Act iii. Sc. 2."

"How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes."

"Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe thyself. The Life of King Henry the Eighth (Norfolk Act i, Scene 1)"

"Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that And manage it against despairing thoughts. The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act iii"

"Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven."

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; for now hath time made me his numbering clock: my thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, whereto my finger, like a dial's point, is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is are clamorous goans, which strike upon my heart, which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans show minutes, times, and hours. Richard III, Act v, Scene 5"

"I have immortal longings in me."

"In nature there's no blemish but the mind; none can be called deform’d but the unkind. Twelfth night, or, What You Will (Antonio at III, iv)"

"Let us not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that's gone."

"Light vanity, insatiate cormorant, consuming means, soon preys upon itself."

"Learning is but an adjunct to ourself, and where we are our learning likewise is."

"Love reasons without reason."

"Love thyself last."

"Men at some time are masters of their fates: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."

"Make use of time, let not advantage slip; beauty within itself should not be wasted; fair flowers, that are not gather’d in their prime rot and consume themselves in little time."

"Many men that stumble at the threshold are well foretold that danger lurks within."

"Men's vows are women's traitors."

"Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."

"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: words, without thoughts, never to heaven go!"

"Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise."

"Nothing can we call our own but death, and that small model of the barren earth which serves as paste and cover to our bones."

"No might nor greatness in mortality can censure ‘scape; back-wounding calumny the whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?"

"Nature must obey necessity."

"O, polished perturbation! golden care that keepest the ports of slumber open wide to many a watchful night!"

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

"One sin another doth provoke."

"Our enemies are our outward consciences."

"Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow."

"Our wills and fates do so contrary run, that our devices still are overthrown; our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own."

"Passed sentence may not be recall'd."

"Patch grief with proverbs."

"Past, and to come, seem best; things present, worst."

"Refrain to-night, and that shall lend a kind of easiness to the next abstinence; the next more easy; for use almost can change the stamp of nature."

"Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind."

"Repentance is the heart's sorrow, and a clear life ensuing."

"Simply the thing I am shall make me live."

"Slander lives upon recession, forever housed where it gets possession."

"Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much."

"Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep."

"Some men never seem to grow old. Always active in thought, always ready to adopt new ideas, they are never chargeable with fogyism. Satisfied, yet ever dissatisfied, settled, yet ever unsettled, they always enjoy the best of what is, and are the first to find the best of what will be."

"The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance."

"The better part of valor is discretion."

"The error of our eye directs our mind: what error leads must err."

"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

"The mind by passion driven from its firm hold, becomes a feather to each wind that blows."

"The truest poetry is the most feigning."

"The devil can quote Scripture for his purpose."

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair if they were not cherished by our virtues."

"The will of man is by his reason sway’d."