APHORISMS  QUOTES AND IDEAS  BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

A SMALL REFERENCE LITERARY DICTIONARY

 by Carl William Brown founder of the Daimon Club

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Fate

There is tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries; on such a full sea we are now afloat; and we must take the current the clouds folding and unfolding beyond the horizon. when it serves, or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare

Fate

Men at sometime are the masters of their fate.
William Shakespeare

Fate

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves; we are underlings.
William Shakespeare

Fathers

It is a wise father that knows his own child.
William Shakespeare

Faults

Men's faults to themselves seldom appear.
William Shakespeare

Faults

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]
William Shakespeare

Faults

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

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.
William Shakespeare


Fear

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


Fear
Fearless minds climb soonest into crowns.
William Shakespeare

Fear
In time we hate that which we often fear.
William Shakespeare

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


Fear

The best safety lies in fear.
William Shakespeare


Flattery

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

Flattery

I will praise any man that will praise me.
William Shakespeare


Fools and Foolishness

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

Fools and Foolishness

The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. [Measure For Measure]
William Shakespeare

Fools and Foolishness

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

Fools and Foolishness

Lord, what fools these mortals be.
William Shakespeare


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]
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare


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.
William Shakespeare

Friends and Friendship

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.
William Shakespeare

Friends and Friendship

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

Friends and Friendship

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


Friends and Friendship

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


Futility

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

Future

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


Gifts

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Goodness

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

Good and Evil

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

Guilt

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

Grief

Patch grief with proverbs.
William Shakespeare

Grief

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.
William Shakespeare

Greed

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

Greatness

Th abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.
William Shakespeare

Greatness

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. [Twelfth Night]
William Shakespeare

Greatness

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.
William Shakespeare

Greatness

He is not great who is not greatly good.
William Shakespeare

Greatness

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

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]
William Shakespeare

Gratitude

He receives comfort like cold porridge.
William Shakespeare

Ignorance

There is no darkness, but ignorance.
William Shakespeare

Idols

'Tis mad idolatry To make the service greater than the god.
William Shakespeare

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!
William Shakespeare

Human Nature

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

Hospitality

We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
William Shakespeare

Hope

The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.
William Shakespeare

Honor

Why should honor outlive honestly? [Orthello]
William Shakespeare

Honesty

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

Honesty

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

Home

People usually are the happiest at home.
William Shakespeare

History and Historians

There is a history in all men's lives.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Heart

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

Hatred

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.
William Shakespeare

Hatred

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

Happiness

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

Happiness

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

Habit

How use doth breed a habit in man!
William Shakespeare



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Immortality

But thy eternal summer shall not fade.
William Shakespeare

Importance

Much Ado About Nothing,
William Shakespeare

Infatuation

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

Inheritance

No legacy is so rich as honestly.
William Shakespeare

Insanity

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

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?
William Shakespeare

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.''
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Jokes and Jokers

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
William Shakespeare

Jokes and Jokers

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?
William Shakespeare

Judgment and Judges

My salad days, when I was green in judgment.
William Shakespeare

Judgment and Judges

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

Juries

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

Justice

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

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.
William Shakespeare

Knowledge

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

Language

It was Greek to me.
William Shakespeare

Laughter

Present mirth hath present laughter. What's to come is still unsure.
William Shakespeare

Law and Lawyers

The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers. [Henry Iv]
William Shakespeare

Libraries

My library was dukedom large enough.
William Shakespeare

Life and Death

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

Life and Living

Simply the thing I am shall make me live.
William Shakespeare

Life and Living

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.
William Shakespeare

Life and Living

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

Listening

Give every man your ear, but few thy voice. Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. [Hamlet]
William Shakespeare

Losers and Losing

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

Love

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

Love

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

Love

Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.
William Shakespeare

Love

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.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Lovers

We that are true lovers run into strange capers.
William Shakespeare

Lovers

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.
William Shakespeare

Love Ended

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

Love

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

Love

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.
William Shakespeare

Love

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

Love

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
William Shakespeare

Love

Love is too young to know what conscience is.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Murder

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

Moralists

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

Money

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

Modesty

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

Modesty

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

Modern and Modernism

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

Misfortunes

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

Misfortunes

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

Misers and Misery

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
William Shakespeare

Mind

'Tis the mind that makes the body rich.
William Shakespeare

Mind

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.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare

Medicine

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

Media

Report me and my cause aright.
William Shakespeare

Maturity

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

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.
William Shakespeare

Manners

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

Madness

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


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