William Shakespeare

  • From “Twelfth Night,” Act I. Sc. 5.
      VIOLA.—’T is beauty truly blent, whose red and white
    Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
    Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive,
    If you will lead these graces to the grave,
    And leave the world no copy.

  • Sonnet Xcix.
    the FORWARD violet thus did I chide:—
    Sweet thief, whence did thou steal thy sweet that smells,
    If not from my love’s breath? the purple pride
    Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
    In my love’s veins thou hast too grossly dyed....

  • Sonnet Xviii.
    shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his...

  • Sonnet Cvi.
    when in the chronicle of wasted time
    I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
    And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
    In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;
    Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best
    Of hand, of foot, of lip, of...

  • From “Twelfth Night,” Act I. Sc. 4.
      VIOLA.—Ay, but I know,—
      DUKE.—What dost thou know?
      VIOLA.—Too well what love women to men may owe:
    In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
    My father had a daughter loved a man,
    As it might be, perhaps,...

  • From “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Act I. Sc. 1.

    FOR aught that ever I could read,
    Could ever hear by tale or history,
    The course of true love never did run smooth:
    But, either it was different in blood,
    Or else misgraffèd in respect of years,
    Or else...

  • From “Macbeth,” Act II. Sc. 2.
    SCENE in the Castle.  Enter LADY MACBETH.
      LADY MACBETH.—That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold,
    What hath quenched them hath given me fire. Hark!—Peace!
    It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
    Which gives...

  •  From “Macbeth,” Act II. Sc. 1.
      [MACBETH, before the murder of Duncan, meditating alone, sees the image of a dagger in the air, and thus soliloquizes:]

      IS this a dagger which I see before me,
    The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:—

  • From “King Richard III.,” Act I. Sc. 1.
    NOW is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
    And all the clouds that lowered upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;...

  • [1415]
    From “King Henry V.,” Act III. Sc. 1.
      ONCE more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead!
    In peace, there ’s nothing so becomes a man,
    As modest stillness, and humility:
    But when the blast of war...