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Shakespeare Quotations
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Alphabetized Index of Quotation Topics

Compiled by Michael J. Cummings


See also Famous Sayings From Shakespeare

Acting

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts. (As You Like It, 2.7.147-150)

And if the boy have not a woman’s gift 

To rain a shower of commanded tears
An onion will do well for such a shift. (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, 1.123-125)

Action

Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears. (Coriolanus, 3.2.96-97)

What pleasure, sir, find we in life, to lock it
From action and adventure? (Cymbeline, 4.4.5-6)

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. (Hamlet, 3.2.5)

My commission   
Is not to reason of the deed, but do ’t. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.1.93-94)

Advice

Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none. (All's Well That Ends Well, 1.1.27-28)

Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest. (King Lear, 1.4.71-73)

Aging

They say an old man is twice a child. (Hamlet, 2.2.276)

Age, with his stealing steps,
Hath clawed me in his clutch. (Hamlet, 5.1.poem beginning at line 33)

His silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds. (Julius Caesar, 2.1.158-160)

Sir, I am too old to learn. (King Lear, 2.2.99)

Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? (The Comedy of Errors, 2.1.87-88)

                 
When thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.40)

A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. (Much Ado About Nothing, 2.3.90)

As they say, "when the age is in, the wit is out." (Much Ado About Nothing, 3.5.31-2)

Ambition

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' th' sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas'd with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather. (As You Like It, 2.5.17)

I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow's shadow. (Hamlet, 2.2.237)

Pride went before, ambition follows him. (Henry VI Part II, 1.1.169)

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition: 

By that sin fell the angels; how can man then, 
The image of his Maker, hope to win by’t?  (Henry VIII, 3.2.519-521)

Adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity, 
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, 
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. (As You Like It, 2.1.14-16)

A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more would we ourselves complain. (The Comedy of Errors, 2.1.36-39)

Anger

O! that my tongue were in the thunder’s mouth!           
Then with a passion would I shake the world. (King John, 3.4.42-43)

Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding. (Coriolanus, 4.2.68-69)

Appearances That Deceive

It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, and that craves wary walking. (Julius Caesar, 2.2.17)

Look like the innocent flower, 
But be the serpent under ’t. (Macbeth, 1.5.63-64)

Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger;   
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;           
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.14-16)

Away, and mock the time with fairest show: 
False face must hide what the false heart doth know. (Macbeth, 1.7.94-95)

A goodly apple rotten at the heart. 
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! (The Merchant of Venice, 1.3.83-84)

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Delays have dangerous ends. (Henry VI Part I, 3.2.37)

Autumn

The teeming Autumn big with rich increase, 
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime 
Like widowed wombs after their lords' decease. (Sonnet 97, lines 6-8) 

Beauty

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear; 
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! (Romeo and Juliet, 1.5.42-44)

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. (Sonnet 18, lines 1-4) 

To me, fair friend, you never can be old 
For as you were when first your eye I eyed, 
Such seems your beauty still. (Sonnet 104, lines 1-3) 

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade 
The eyes of men without an orator. (The Rape of Lucrece, lines 29-30)

The snake, rolled in a flow’ring bank, 
With shining checkered slough, doth sting a child 
That for the beauty thinks it excellent. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.232-234)

Blackness

Black is the badge of hell, 
The hue of dungeons and the scowl of night. (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.3.200-201) 

Blood

Thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee. (All's Well That Ends Well, 1.1.25-26)

Does it curd thy blood
To say I am thy mother? (All's Well That Ends Well, 1.3.62-63)

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on. (Hamlet, 3.2.277-281)

Books


My library / Was dukedom large enough. (The Tempest, 1.2.128-129)

These trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character. (As You Like It, 3.2.7-8)

Marriage, uncle! alas, my years are young!
And fitter is my study and my books
Than wanton dalliance with a paramour. (Henry VI Part I, 5.1.23-25)

Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
When gold and silver becks me to come on. (King John, 3.3.14-15)

Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not
drunk ink: his intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in the duller parts. (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.2.12)

Borrowing and Lending

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;           
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,           
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. (Hamlet, 1.3.83-85)

Brain

Her beauty and her brain go not together: she's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit. (Cymbeline, 1.2.16)

O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye! (Hamlet, 4.5.138-139)

My brain more busy than the labouring spider
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.344-345)

Bravery

Doves will peck in safeguard of their brood. (Henry VI Part III, 2.2.20)

Richard . . .robb’d the lion of his heart           
And fought the holy wars in Palestine (King John, 2.1.5-6)
Allusion to the great English warrior Richard the Lion-Hearted

Business

To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to't with delight. (Antony and Cleopatra, 4.4.31-32)

Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at grave-making? (Hamlet, 5.1.30)

Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum:
The business asketh silent secrecy. (Henry VI Part II, 1.2.93-94)

Caesar, Julius

Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;  
Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods. (Julius Caesar, 2.1.187-188)
The speaker is Brutus.

As he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. (Julius Caesar, 3.2.16)
The speaker is Brutus.

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; ambition should be made of sterner stuff. (Julius Caesar, 3.2.71)
The speaker is Antony.

Death makes no conquest of this conqueror,   
For now he lives in fame, though not in life. (Richard III, 3.1.91-92)

Calumny

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. (Hamlet, 3.1.129)

Chastity

I thought her 
As chaste as unsunn’d snow. (Cymbeline, 2.5.14-15)

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. (Hamlet, 3.1.129)

Th' impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies. (Measure for Measure, 2.4.113)
Isabella speaks this line when refusing to yield to a man who tries to force her to surrender to him.

Children

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is 
To have a thankless child! (King Lear, 1.4.204-205)

Choice

There's small choice in rotten apples. (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.1.118)

Cleopatra

The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, 
Burn’d on the water; the poop was beaten gold, 
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that 
The winds were love-sick with them, the oars were silver, 
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made 
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. (Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2.223-229)

Climate Change

The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts 
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1.111-112) 

Commiseration

One fire burns out another’s burning, 
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish. (Romeo and Juliet, 1.2.42-43)


Conflict

What madness rules in brain-sick men,           
When, for so slight and frivolous a cause,   
Such factious emulations shall arise! (King Henry VI Part I, 4.1.115-117)

Conscience

The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King. (Hamlet, 3.1.439-440)

Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe:           
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.           
March on, join bravely, let us to ’t pell-mell;           
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell. (Richard III, 4.3.336-340)

O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me. (Richard III, 5.3.198)

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.(Henry VI Part II, 3.2.241-244)

Contentment

My crown is in my heart, not on my head; 
Not deck’d with diamonds and Indian stones, 
Nor to be seen: my crown is call’d content. (Henry VI Part III, 3.1.65-67)

He that commends me to mine own content, 
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
(The Comedy of Errors, 1.2.35-38)

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Contrast

The more fair and crystal is the sky, 
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly. (Richard II, 1.1.44-45) 

Cosmetics

God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another. (Hamlet, 3.1.131)

Courage

Gloucester, 'tis true that we are in great danger;
The greater therefore should our courage be. (Henry V, 4.1.3-4)

A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
Advance our standards! set upon our foes!
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons! (Richard III, 5.3.377-380)

Cowardice

Cowards die many times before their deaths; 
The valiant never taste of death but once. (Julius Caesar, 2.2.37-38)

But, woe the while! our fathers’ minds are dead,  
And we are govern’d with our mothers’ spirits;  
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish. (Julius Caesar, 1.3.88-90)

You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,           
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard. (King John, 2.1.143-144)    

                     Thou art by no means valiant;           
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork           
Of a poor worm. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.17-19)

Foul-spoken coward, that thunder’st with thy tongue,           
And with thy weapon nothing dar’st perform. (Titus Andronicus, 2.1.63-64)

Curses

Some devil whisper curses in mine ear,   
And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth   
The venomous malice of my swelling heart! (Titus Andronicus, 5.3.13-15)

Danger

Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. (Henry IVPart I, 2.3.6)

Men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and, some say, 
knives have edges. (Henry V, 2.1.10)

Dawn

             [T]he eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.413-415)
Neptune is the god of the sea.

Death

A plague o’ both your houses! 
They have made worms’ meat of me. (Romeo and Juliet, 3.1.70-71)
Mercutio, Romeo's friend, speaks those words while dying after being wounded in a duel. 

When beggars die there are no comets seen; 
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. (Julius Caesar, 2.2.35-36)

They'll give him death by inches. (Coriolanus, 5.4.19)

Cowards die many times before their deaths; 
The valiant never taste of death but once. (Julius Caesar, 2.2.37-38)

Beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, 
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there. (Romeo and Juliet, 5.3.97-99)

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange. (The Tempest, 1.2.457)

This fell sergeant, death, 
Is strict in his arrest. (Hamlet, 5.2.277-278)

’Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,   
When men are unprepar’d and look not for it. (Richard III, 3.2.66-67)

Give me my Romeo: and, when he shall die, 
Take him and cut him out in little stars,  
And he will make the face of heaven so fine 
That all the world will be in love with night, 
And pay no worship to the garish sun. (Romeo and Juliet, 3.2.23-27)

There is no sure foundation set on blood, 
No certain life achieved by others’ death. (King John, 4.2.107-108)

Death, death: O, amiable lovely death!
Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness!           
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night. (King John, 3.4.28)

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.142-145)

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near. (Henry V, 2.1.32)

He that cuts off twenty years of life           
Cuts off so many years of fearing death. (Julius Caesar, 3.1.115-116)  

                              If I must die,           
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.91-93) 

[T]o die, and go we know not where;           
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;          
This sensible warm motion to become           
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit           
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside           
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice; 
To be imprison’d in the viewless winds,           
And blown with restless violence round about           
The pendant world; or to be worse than worst           
Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts     
Imagine howling: ’tis too horrible! (Measure for Measure, 131-141)

Deceit

Look like the innocent flower, 
But be the serpent under ’t. (Macbeth, 1.5.63-64)

Away, and mock the time with fairest show: 
False face must hide what the false heart doth know. (Macbeth, 1.7.94-95)

Ye have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts. (Henry VIII, 3.1.151)

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
 Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never. (Much Ado About Nothing, 2.3.33)

To show an unfelt sorrow is an office 
Which the false man does easy. (Macbeth, 2.3.135-136)

A goodly apple rotten at the heart. 
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! (The Merchant of Venice, 1.3.83-84)

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, 
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night. (Sonnet 147, lines 13-14) 

Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger; 
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted; 
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.14-16)

Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light. (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.3.203)

Let's write good angel on the devil's horn. (Measure for Measure, 2.4.18).

Deeds

I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more. (Titus Andronicus, 5.1.145-148)

How far that little candle throws his beams! 
So shines a good deed in a naughty world. (The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.101-102)

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes ill deeds done! (King John, 4.2.233-234) 

Defeat

I better brook the loss of brittle life 
Than those proud titles thou hast won of me. (Henry IV Part I, 5.4.85-86)

Delay

Delays have dangerous ends. (Henry VI Part I, 3.2.37)

Desire

Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance? (Henry IV, Part 2, 2.4.114)

Can one desire too much of a good thing? (As You Like It, 4.1.50)

Devotion

A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary   
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.5.11-12)

Dirt

We turn not back the silks upon the merchant 
When we have soil’d them. (Troilus and Cressida, 2.2.73-74) 

Disgrace

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes 
I all alone beweep my outcast state, 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, 
And look upon myself, and curse my fate. (Sonnet 29, lines 1-4)

Disloyalty

Et tu, Brute! (And you, Brutus!). (Julius Caesar, 3.1.87) 
Brutus, whom Caesar thought a loyal friend, is part of a band of conspirators who are in the act of assassinating Caesar. 

Dissension

Civil dissension is a viperous worm 
That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth. (Henry VI Part I, 3.1.74-78)

Disunity

If all our wits were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south. (Coriolanus, 2.3.7)

Dog

Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. (Hamlet, 5.1.179-180)

I have dogs, my lord,           
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,   
And climb the highest promontory top. (Titus Andronicus, 2.2.25-27)

Doubt

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. (Measure for Measure, 1.4.87-88)

Dreams

True, I talk of dreams, 
Which are the children of an idle brain, 
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy. (Romeo and Juliet, 1.4.105-107)

We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep. (The Tempest, 4.1.168-170)

O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time! (Richard III, 1.4.9)

Drinking

MacDuff: What three things does drink especially provoke? 
Porter: Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. (Macbeth, 2.3.8-9)
"Nose-painting" means the drinker's nose turns red.

[Drink] provokes the desire, but takes away the performance. (Macbeth, 2.3.9) 

I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment. (Othello, 2.3.26)

Eating

Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock 
And strike you home without a messenger. (The Comedy of Errors, 1.2.69-70)

Emotions

His heart's his mouth:
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent. (Coriolanus, 3.1.320-321)

Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at grave-making? (Hamlet, 5.1.30)

I will wear my heart upon my sleeve 
For daws to peck at. (Othello, 1.1.67-68)

England

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle, 
 This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, 
This other Eden, demi-paradise, 
This fortress built by Nature for herself 
Against infection and the hand of war, 
This happy breed of men, this little world, 
This precious stone set in the silver sea, 
Which serves it in the office of a wall, 
Or as a moat defensive to a house, 
Against the envy of less happier lands, 
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, 
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, 
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Is now leas’d out,—I die pronouncing it,— 
Like to a tenement, or pelting farm. (Richard II, 42-54, 61-62)

You degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame; (King John, 5.2.157-158)

Envy

When Envy breeds unkind division:
There comes the ruin, there begins confusion. (Henry VI Part I, 4.1.197-198)

Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost, 

That bites the first-born infants of the spring. (Love's Labour's Lost, 1.1.104-105)

Evil

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; 
I come to bury Cćsar, not to praise him. 
The evil that men do lives after them, 
The good is oft interred with their bones. ( Julius Caesar: 3.2.52-55)

The world is grown so bad 
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. (Richard III, 1.3.74-75)

Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues 
We write in water. (Henry VIII, 4.2.52-53)

Excess

They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. (The Merchant of Venice, 1.2.4)

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, 
To throw a perfume on the violet, 
To smooth the ice, or add another hue 
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light 
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, 
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. (King John, 4.2.13-17)

To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little 
More than a little is by much too much. (Henry IV Part I, 3.2.74-75)

Experience

Experience is by industry achiev'd
And perfected by the swift course of time. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.3.25.26)

Failure

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there 
Where most it promises; and oft it hits 
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits. (All's Well That Ends Well, 2.1.144-146)

Faith

There are no tricks in plain and simple faith (Julius Caesar, 4.2.26)

Fame

He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause. (Titus Andronicus, 1.1.405)

Faults

Oftentimes excusing of a fault 
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse. (King John, 4.2.32-33)

Fatherhood

To you, your father should be as a god; 
One that compos’d your beauties, yea, and one 
To whom you are but as a form in wax 
By him imprinted, and within his power. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1.1.51-54)

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. (Hamlet, 2.2.125-128)
Polonius is speaking to his daughter, Ophelia.

Fear

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety. (Henry V, 3.2.6)
Boy (the name of a character) speaks this line during a battle.

To fear the worst oft cures the worse. (Troilus and Cressida, 3.2.47)

He that cuts off twenty years of life           
Cuts off so many years of fearing death. (Julius Caesar, 3.1.115-116)  

Fighting

Fight till the last gasp. (Henry VI Part I, 1.2.133) 

Fire

            The fire in the flint 
Shows not till it be struck. (Timon of Athens, 1.1.30-31). 

Fishing

The pleasant’st angling is to see the fish          
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,   
And greedily devour the treacherous bait. (Much Ado About Nothing, 3.1.30-33)

Flattery

When I tell him he hates flatterers, 
He says he does, being then most flattered. (Julius Caesar, 2.1.225-226)

The sweet breath of flattery conquers strife. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.30)

                   My beauty, though but mean, 
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise. (Love's Labour's Lost, 2.1.15-16)

He water’d his new plants with dews of flattery, 
Seducing so my friends. (Coriolanus, 5.5.30-31) 

Flowers

At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth. (Love's Labour's Lost, 1.1.109-110)

Fair flowers that are not gather’d in their prime 

Rot and consume themselves in little time. (Venus and Adonis, 131-132) 

Food

With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder. (Richard II, 2.1.39)

The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida. (Othello, 1.3.333).
Coloquintida is a lemon-sized bitter fruit. It can serve as a laxative.

                           Thy food is such
As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.6.110-111)

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground. (Sonnet 75)

Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food. (Titus Andronicus, 5.3.185-186 )

Foolery

Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere.–Twelfth Night: Act III, Scene I. 

Fools

The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. (As You Like It, 1.2.18). 

Lord, what fools these mortals be!. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.121)

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. (As You Like It, 5.1.22).

Folly in fools bears not so strong a note 
As foolery in the wise. (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.2.79-80) 

Forgiveness

The nature of his great offense is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
The incensing relics of it. (All's Well That Ends Well, 5.3.29-31).

Deep malice makes too deep incision: 

Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed. (Richard II, 1.1.158-159) 

Fortune

There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. (Julius Caesar, 4.3.249-250)

O! I am Fortune's fool. (Romeo and Juliet, 3.1.103)

When Fortune means to men most good, 
She looks upon them with a threatening eye. (King John, 3.4.124-125) 

Fortune cannot recompense me better 
Than to die well and not my master’s debtor. (As You Like It, 2.3.78-79) 

Fox

Were’t not madness, then,
To make the fox surveyor of the fold? (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.256-257)

Friends

He that wants money, means, and content is . . . without three good friends. (As You Like It, 3.2.16)

More in peace my soul shall part to heaven,   
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth. (Richard III, 2.1.7-8)

Future

O, that a man might know
The end of this day's business ere it come! (Julius Caesar, 5.1.138-139)

The woe's to come; the children yet unborn.
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn. (Richard II, 4.1.333-334)

The blood weeps from my heart when I do shape   
In forms imaginary the unguided days   
And rotten times that you shall look upon   
When I am sleeping with my ancestors. (Henry IV Part II, 4.4.62-65)

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Getting Even

For ’tis the sport to have the engineer 
Hoist with his own petard: and it shall go hard. (Hamlet, 3.4.228-229)

Gifts

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. (Hamlet, 3.1.113)

Prayers and tears have moved me, gifts could never. (Henry VI Part II, 4.7.32)

O you gods!
Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
And snatch them straight away? (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 3.1.27-29)

Glory

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought. (Henry VI Part I, 1.2.139-141)

NERRISA   When the moon shone, we did not see the candle.           
PORTIA   So doth the greater glory dim the less:     
A substitute shines brightly as a king           
Until a king be by, and then his state           
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook           
Into the main of waters. Music! hark! (The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.103-108)

Gold and Silver

Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back 
When gold and silver becks me to come on. (King John, 3.3.14-15)
Philip Faulconbridge, a fierce warrior, utters these words when the king tells him to prepare for battle.
"Bell, book, and candle" refers to the Roman Catholic rite of excommunication.

God

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will. (Hamlet, 5.2.12-13)

Goodness

There is some soul of goodness in things evil, 
Would men observingly distil it out. (Henry V, 4.1.6-7)

Greatness

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. (Twelfth Night, 2.5..74)

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, 
Remembers me of all his gracious parts, 
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form. (King John, 3.4.98-102)

I swear, ’tis better to be lowly born, 
And range with humble livers in content, 
Than to be perk’d up in a glist’ring grief 
And wear a golden sorrow. (Henry VIII, 2.3.25-28)

Growth

They say my uncle grew so fast,   
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old. (Richard III, 2.4 29-30)

Guests

Unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone. (Henry VI Part I, 2.2.58-59)

Groveling

As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,        
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber. (Julius Caesar, 3.1.64-65)

Guilt

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer. (Henry VI Part III, 5.6.13-14)

So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. (Hamlet, 4.5.22.23)

The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,   
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two   
Guiltier than him they try. (Measure for Measure, 2.1.22-24)

Habit

How use doth breed a habit in a man! (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 5.4.3)

Hallucination

Is this a dagger which I see before me, 
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee: 
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. 
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but 
A dagger of the mind, a false creation, 
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? (Macbeth, 2.1.44-50)

Haste

They stumble that run fast. (Romeo and Juliet, 2.3.100)

Hatred

O strange men! 
That can such sweet use make of what they hate. (All's Well That Ends Well, 4.4.25-26)

Thou cold sciatica, 
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt 
As lamely as their manners. Lust and liberty 
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth, 
That ’gainst the stream of virtue they may strive, 
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains, 
Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop 
Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath, 
That at their society, as their friendship, may 
Be merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee, 
But nakedness, thou detestable town! 
Take thou that too, with multiplying bans! 
Timon will to the woods; where he shall find 
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind. 
The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all— 
The Athenians both within and out that wall! 
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow 
To the whole race of mankind, high and low! Amen. (Timon of Athens, 4.1.25-42) 

 Heart

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted! (Henry VI Part II, 3.2.241)

Heart’s discontent and sour affliction   
Be playfellows to keep you company!(Henry VI Part II, 3.2.312-313)

Helping Others

Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. (Timon of Athens, 1.1.127-128)

Homebodies

Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.1.4)

Homeopathy

In poison there is physic. (Henry IV Part II, 1.1.153)

Honesty

This above all: to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man. (Hamlet, 1.3.85-87)

Honor

If it be a sin to covet honour, 
I am the most offending soul alive. (Henry V, 4.3.33-34)

He wears his honour in a box, unseen (All's Well That Ends Well, 2.3.219)

A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour. (All's Well That Ends Well, 4.4.38)

I love the name of honour more than I fear death. (Julius Caesar, 1.2.96-97)

[T]hey died in honour's lofty bed. (Titus Andronicus, 3.1.13)

Hunger

Our stomachs 
Will make what’s homely savoury. (Cymbeline, 3.6.35-36)

So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and wife
Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1.4.47-48)

Hope

Every cloud engenders not a storm. (Henry VI, Part III, 5.3.15)

Ignominy

Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, 
But not remember’d in thy epitaph! (Henry IV Part I, 5.4.107-108)

Ignorance

There is no darkness but ignorance. (Twelfth Night, 4.2.21)

This house is as dark as ignorance. (Twelfth Night, 4.2.45)

There will little learning die . . . that day thou art hanged. (Timon of Athens, 2.2.89)

Imagination

O! who can hold a fire in his hand   
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?   
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite           
By bare imagination of a feast?   
Or wallow naked in December snow   
By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?   
O, no! the apprehension of the good   
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse. (Richard II, 1.3.298-305)

Imperfection

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud. (Sonnet 35)

Ingratitude

Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Than the sea-monster! (King Lear, 1.4.173-175)

I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood. (Twelfth Night, 3.4.197-200)

Isolation

For now I stand as one upon a rock           
Environ’d with a wilderness of sea. (Titus Andronicus, 3.1.99-100)

Jealousy

Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame. (Coriolanus, 1.8.6).

How many fond fools serve mad jealousy! (The Comedy of Errors, 2.1.114)

The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth. (Comedy of Errors, 5.1.75-76)

Fell jealousy . . .
. . . troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage. (Henry V, 5.2.188-189)

O beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves! (Othello, 3.3.191-196)

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Judgment

What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong? (The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.93)

Kindness

Her brother, in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay. (King Lear, 2.4.115)

King

How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,   
Within whose circuit is Elysium. (Henry VI Part III, 1.2.32-33)


Killing

Ah! gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,   
And not with such a cruel threatening look.(Henry VI Part III, 1.3.19-20)

Law

Do as adversaries do in law, 
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends. (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.2.157)

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. (Henry VI Part II, 4.2.43)

Lethargy

She shows a body rather than a life, 
A statue than a breather. (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.3.33-34) 
Description of Octavia, whom Antony is to marry for political reasons

Life

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player 
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, 
And then is heard no more; it is a tale 
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing. (Macbeth, 5.5.29-33) 

I love long life better than figs. (Antony and Cleopatra, 1.2.27) 

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, 
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man. (King John, 3.4.113-114)

Lies

You lie, up to the hearing of the gods. (Antony and Cleopatra, 5.2.119)

That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword           
That it shall render vengeance and revenge,   
Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie   
In earth as quiet as thy father’s skull. (Richard II, 4.1.70-73)

Lion

Lions make leopards tame. (Richard II, 1.1.179)

Love

Then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe. (Othello, 5.2.399-404)

This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, 
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.129-130)

Love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit. (The Merchant of Venice, 2.6.41-42)

              I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. (King Lear, 1.1.76-77)
Cordelia loves her father, King Lear, dearly; but she says she cannot verbalize her feelings.

The course of true love never did run smooth. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1.1.139)

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee! (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4.1.25-28)

Ruin’d love, when it is built anew, 
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater. (Sonnet 119, lines 11-12)

It was a lover and his lass,
     With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
 That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
     In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
 When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
 Sweet lovers love the spring. (As You Like It, 5.3.11)

Love is a spirit all compact of fire, 
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire. (Venus and Adonis, lines 149-150)

O! how this spring of love resembleth 
        The uncertain glory of an April day, 
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, 
        And by and by a cloud takes all away! (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.3.88-91)

Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, 
Let’s not confound the time with conference harsh:
There’s not a minute of our lives should stretch 
Without some pleasure now. (Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1.52-55)

At first I did adore a twinkling star,   
But now I worship a celestial sun. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.6.11-12)

A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind. (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.3.281)

Reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.1.73)

Man

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! (Hamlet, 2.2.50)

Madness

Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t. (Hamlet, 2.2.205)

How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. (Hamlet, 2.2.207)

Marriage

As a walled town is . . . worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor. (As You Like It, 3.3.21)

As from a bear a man would run for life, 
So fly I from her that would be my wife. (3.2.120-121)

You have show’d a tender fatherly regard,      
To wish me wed to one half lunatic;           
A mad-cap ruffian and a swearing Jack. (The Taming of the Shrew, (2.1.288-290)         

Medicine

I have seen a medicine 
That’s able to breathe life into a stone, 
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch, 
Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay, 
To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand, 
And write to her a love-line. (All's Well That Ends Well, 2.1.67-73)

He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark 
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake. (Julius Caesar, 1.2.127-129)

Mercy

The quality of mercy is not strain’d, 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
 Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d; 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 
’Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown; 
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty, 
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway, 
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, 
It is an attribute to God himself, 
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s 
When mercy seasons justice. (The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.180-193)

No ceremony that to great ones belongs, 
Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword, 
The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe, 
Become them with one half so good a grace 
As mercy does. (Measure for Measure, 2.2.79-83) 

When many times the captive Grecian falls, 
Even in the fan and wind of your fair sword, 
You bid them rise, and live. (Troilus and Cressida, 5.3.47-49) 

There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger. (Coriolanus, 5.4.11) 

       ’Tis necessary he should die; 
Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy. (Timon of Athens, 3.5.5-5)

Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge. (Titus Andronicus, 1.1.124)

Misanthropy

Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself. (Timon of Athens, 1.2.62-63)

Mischief

Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt! (Julius Caesar, 3.2.239-240)

Misery

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. (Tempest, 2.2.23)

My heart is drown'd with grief,
Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
My body round engirt with misery. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.202-204)

Monarchy

A sceptre snatch’d with an unruly hand     
Must be as boisterously maintain’d as gain’d. (King John, 3.4.140-141)

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. (Henry IV Part 2, 3.1.33)

Morning

But, look, the morn in russet mantle clad, 
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastern hill. (Hamlet, 1.1.186-187)

See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun. (Henry VI Part III, 2.1.23-24) 

Murder

All murders past do stand excus’d in this: 
And this, so sole and so unmatchable, 
Shall give a holiness, a purity, 
To the yet unbegotten sin of times; 
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, 
Exampled by this heinous spectacle. (King John, 4.3.56-61)
Believing King John ordered the death of a child, Pembroke says all murders
of the past are minor infractions compared to the king's heinous crime.

Music

Music oft hath such a charm 
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm. (Measure for Measure, 4.1.11-12) 

Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit. (Henry IV Part II, 4.5.3)

Thou remember’st   
Since once I sat upon a promontory,   
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back           
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,   
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,   
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres   
To hear the sea-maid’s music. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1.153-159)


Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain tops that freeze,
Bow themselves when he did sing:
To his music plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring. 
Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or hearing, die. (Henry VIII, Song, 3.1.5)

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.(The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.93-98)

Tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once. (Much Ado About Nothing, 2.3.17-18)

Names

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.47-48)

Neighbors

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle, 
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best 
Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality. (Henry V, 1.1.64-67) 

Night

’Tis now the very witching time of night, 
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out 
Contagion to this world. (Hamlet, 3.2.277-279)

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. (Romeo and Juliet, 3.5.11-12)

Noise

Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?           
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?           
Have I not heard the sea, puff’d up with winds,           
Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?           
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,           
And heaven’s artillery thunder in the skies?      
Have I not in a pitched battle heard           
Loud ’larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets’ clang? (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.2.175-182)

Nothing

Nothing will come of nothing. (King Lear, 1.1.75)
Parmenides, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others presented this view in their own words.

Oaths

But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year. (Henry VI Part III, 1.2.19-20)

Grant I may never prove so fond,

To trust man on his oath or bond. (Timon of Athens, 1.2.64-65)

One for the Road

Let's have one other gaudy night: call to me
All my sad captains; fill our bowls once more;
Let's mock the midnight bell. (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.11.225-227)

Pain

One fire burns out another’s burning, 
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish. (Romeo and Juliet, 1.2.42-43)

T
here was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently. (Much Ado About Nothing, 5.1.38-39)

[T]he poor beetle, that we tread upon,           
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great           
As when a giant dies. (Measure for Measure, 3.1.86-88)

Parting Wish

I do desire we may be better strangers. (As You Like It, 3.2.98) 

Passion

Violent fires soon burn out themselves. (Richard II, 2.1.36)

Pastry

[If] I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy gingerbread. (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.1.34)

Patience

I’ll be as patient as a gentle stream 
And make a pastime of each weary step. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.7.36-37)

Peace

Plenty and peace breeds cowards. (Cymbeline, 3.6.23)

A peace is of the nature of a conquest;   
For then both parties nobly are subdu’d,          
And neither party loser. (Henry IV Part II, 4.2.94-95)

Piety

All his mind is bent to holiness,
To number Ave-Maries on his beads;
His champions are the prophets and apostles,
His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
Are brazen images of canonized saints. (Henry VI Part II, 1.3.38-43)

Pity

For pity is the virtue of the law, 
And none but tyrants use it cruelly. (Timon of Athens, 3.5.11-12) 

Politics

Behold! these are the tribunes of the people, 
The tongues o’ the common mouth. (Coriolanus, 3.1.29-30)

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot 
That it do singe yourself. (Henry VIII, 1.1.170-171)

Pomp

The wife of Antony
Should have an army for an usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach. (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.6.52-54)

Poverty

Ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear, for I have no more doublets than backs, no more
stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet- nay, sometime more feet than
shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather. (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, 2.7)

Pride

My pride fell with my fortunes. (As You Like It, 1.2.132)

I can see his pride
Peep through each part of him: whence has he that,
If not from hell? (Henry VIII, 1.1.80-82)

You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the pow'rful sun,
To fall and blast her pride! (King Lear, 2.4.161-164)

On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd. (Macbeth, 2.4.15-17)

All souls that will be safe fly from my side,
For time hath set a blot upon my pride. (Richard II, 3.2.83-84)

My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. (Romeo and Juliet, 1.2.10-13)

Pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle. (Troilus and Cressida, 2.3.96)

Psychology

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart? (Macbeth, 5.3.50)

Quality

He's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's
entertainment. (All's Well That Ends Well, 3.6.7)

The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality, and that this day
Shall change all griefs and quarrels into love. (Henry V, 5.2.20-22)

Rebuke

O! why rebuke you him that loves you so?     
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.48-49)
Reputation
The purest treasure mortal times afford   
Is spotless reputation. (Richard II, 1.1.182-183)

Rest in Peace

Rome’s readiest champions, repose you here in rest,           
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!           
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,           
Here grow no damned drugs, here are no storms, 
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:           
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons! (Titus Andronicus, 1.1.157-161)

Revenge

I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge. (Henry VI, 2.3.31-33).

The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. (Hamlet, 4.4.35)

I'll be merry in my revenge. (Cymbeline, 3.5.146)

Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge. (Hamlet, 1.5.35-37)

O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason. (Henry VI Part I, 3.2.55)

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
Let not a traitor live! (Julius Caesar, 3.2.183-184)

Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief. (Macbeth, 4.3.254)

Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all. (Othello, 5.2.92-93)

It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth you. (Richard III, 1.2.142-143)

Tell them my dreadful name,
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake. (Titus Andronicus, 5.2.42-43)

Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be revenged on him. (Titus Andronicus, 5.2.97-98)

Rumor

His affairs come to me on the wind. (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.6.75)

Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav'ring multitude,
Can play upon it. (Henry IV Part II, Prologue, 17-22)

Rural Life

Under the greenwood tree
       Who loves to lie with me,
       And turn his merry note
       Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
 Come hither, come hither, come hither:
             Here shall he see
             No enemy
But winter and rough weather. (As You Like It, 2.5.4)

Sadness

For never was a story of more woe 
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. (Romeo and Juliet, 5.3.331-332)

(See also Sorrow)

Scripture

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. (The Merchant of Venice, 1.3.80)

Seasons

At Christmas I no more desire a rose 
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth; 
But like of each thing that in season grows. (Love's Labour's Lost, 1.1.109-111) 

Seafaring

                           The sails conceive 
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1.133-134) 

Secrets

Infected minds / To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets (Macbeth, 5.1.36.37)

Sickness

How has he the leisure to be sick
In such a rustling time? (Henry IV Part I, 4.1.22-23)

Sin

O! what authority and show of truth 
Can cunning sin cover itself withal. (Much Ado About Nothing, 4.1.28-29)

Singing

She sung, and made the night-bird mute. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.Prologue.27)

Shame

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.12)

Dark shall be my light, and night my day (Henry VI Part II, 2.4.44-45)

The Duchess of Gloucester utters these words when carrying out a humiliating
public sentence for being found guilty of sorcery. (She is innocent.)

Slander

For slander lives upon succession, 
For ever housed where it gets possession. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.1.113-114)

I’ll devise some honest slanders          
To stain my cousin with. One doth not know   
How much an ill word may empoison liking. (Much Ado About Nothing, 3.1.90-93)


Slander,

Whose sting is sharper than the sword’s. (The Winter's Tale, 2.3.108-109)

Sleep

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,      
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie. (Romeo and Juliet, 2.3.39-40) 

Pluck the wings from painted butterflies           
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.1.101-102)         

So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow           
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe.
(A Midsummer Night's Dream,3.2.89-90)

Smallness

A little pot and soon hot. (The Taming of the Shrew, 4.1.3)

Smile

I can smile, and murder while I smile. (Henry VI Part III, 3.2.186)

There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody. (Macbeth, 2.3.139-140)

Sorrow

Gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite   
The man that mocks at it and sets it light. (Richard II, 1.3.296-297)

Sorrow concealed, like to an oven stopp’d,           

Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is. (Titus Andronicus, 2.4.39-40)    
 
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,           
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.  
O! what a sympathy of woe is this;           
As far from help as limbo is from bliss. (Titus Andronicus, 3.1.151-154)  

Speech

His speech, was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 5.1.130)

Spring

Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now and they’ll o’ergrow the garden. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.33-34).

O! how this spring of love resembleth 
The uncertain glory of an April day, 
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, 
And by and by a cloud takes all away! (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.3.88-91)

Stealth

The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.57) 

Stinginess

PROTEUS:   Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
SPEED:   And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.1.110-111)

Strength

O! it is excellent 
To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous 
To use it like a giant. (Measure for Measure, 2.2.133-135)

Success

Didst thou never hear 
That things ill got had ever bad success? (Henry VI Part III, 47-48)

Suicide

Why should I play the Roman fool, and die 
On mine own sword? (Macbeth, 5.7.42-43)

Sun

The eastern gate, all fiery-red,   
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,   
Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.413-415)

The golden sun salutes the morn,           

And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,      
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach;           
And overlooks the highest-peering hills. (Titus Andronicus, 2.1.7-10)

When the searching eye of heaven is hid,
Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
In murders and in outrage, boldly here. (Richard II, 3.2.39-42)

Sweetness

Sweetest nut hath sourest rind. (As You Like It, 3.2.41)

A surfeit of the sweetest things 
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings. (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.2.130-131)

Teaching

Nature teaches beasts to know their friends. (Coriolanus, 2.1.6)

Tears

Give me thy hand,           
That I may dew it with my mournful tears;   
Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place,   
To wash away my woeful monuments.(Henry VI Part II, 3.2.350-353)

Her tears will pierce into a marble heart
. (Henry VI Part III, 3.1.41)

And if the boy have not a woman’s gift 
To rain a shower of commanded tears, 
An onion will do well for such a shift. (The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, 1.123-125)

Theft

                                   O! theft most base, 
That we have stol’n what we do fear to keep! (Troilus and Cressida, 2.2.96-97)

Threats

You tempt the fury of my three attendants,   
Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire. (Henry VI Part I, 4.2.13-14)

Time

Come what come may, 
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. (Macbeth, 1.3.161-162)

Time will bring on summer, 
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns, 
And be as sweet as sharp. (All's Well That Ends Well, 4.4.37-39)

Temper

The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree. (The Merchant of Venice, 1.2.7)

Toleration

The eagle suffers little birds to sing. (Titus Andronicus, 4.4.85)

Transience of Power

Kingdoms are clay. (Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1.41)

Transparency

There is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. (Hamlet, 2.2.244)

Travel

The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail. (Hamlet, 1.3.63)

I’ll be as patient as a gentle stream   
And make a pastime of each weary step. (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2.7.36-37)

Treachery

O, monstrous treachery! Can this be so,   
That in alliance, amity, and oaths,          
There should be found such false dissembling guile? (Henry VI Part I, 4.1.64-66)

Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. (King Lear, 1.2.57)

Treason

The purest spring is not so free from mud 
As I am clear from treason to my sovereign. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.105-106)

Trouble

Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and cauldron bubble. (Macbeth, 4.2.12-13)

Tempest of commotion, like the south, 
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt 
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads. (Henry IV Part II, 2.4.167-169) 

Trust

My two schoolfellows, 
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d. (Hamlet, 3.4.224-225)

Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes. (Henry V, 2.3, 24-25)

Grant I may never prove so fond, 
To trust man on his oath or bond; 
Or a harlot for her weeping; 
Or a dog that seems a-sleeping; 
Or a keeper with my freedom; 
Or my friends, if I should need ’em. (Timon of Athens, 1.2.62)

Truth

Tell truth and shame the devil. (Henry IV Part I, 3.1.61)

They breathe truth that breathe their words in pain. (Richard II, 2.1.10)

Victory

Upon your sword 
Sit laurel victory! and smooth success 
Be strew’d before your feet! (Antony and Cleopatra, 1.3.121-123)

Show me one scar character’d on thy skin: 
Men’s flesh preserv’d so whole do seldom win. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.305-306)

Villainy

Thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol’n forth of holy writ, 
And seem a saint when most I play the devil. (Richard III, 1.3.345-347)

When rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will. (Much Ado About Nothing, 3.3.48)

Virginity

If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,   
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.3.72-73)

Virtue

He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause. (Titus Andronicus, 1.1.405)

Virtue is choked with foul ambition. (Henry VI Part II, 3.1.147)

War

       When the blast of war blows in our ears, 
Then imitate the action of the tiger; 
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, 
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage. (Henry V, 3.1.7-10)

The war-like service he has done, consider; think   
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show   
Like graves i’ the holy churchyard. (Coriolanus, 3.3.67-70)

The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, 
And the flesh’d soldier, rough and hard of heart, 
In liberty of bloody hand shall range 
With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass 
Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants. (Henry V, 3.3.12-16)

The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords 
In . . . a just and charitable war. (King John, 2.1.37-38)

This battle fares like to the morning’s war,   
When dying clouds contend with growing light. (Henry VI Part III, 2,5.3-4)  

                The fat ribs of peace 
Must by the hungry now be fed upon. (King John, 3.3.11-12) 

      Tame the savage spirit of wild war, 
That, like a lion foster’d up at hand, 
It may lie gently at the foot of peace. (King John, 5.278-80)
 
                        This is no world 
To play with mammets [dolls] and to tilt with lips: 
We must have bloody noses and crack’d crowns. (Henry IV Part I, 2.3.68-70) 

Come, let us take a muster speedily: 
Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily. (Henry IV Part I, 4.1.145-146)

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war. (Julius Caesar, 3.1.298)

Weakness

The weakest kind of fruit 
Drops earliest to the ground. (The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.120)

Wealth

The gods sent not 
Corn for the rich men only. (Coriolanus, 1.1.176-177)

Gilded tombs do worms infold. (The Merchant of Venice, part of a poem following line 67 of 2.7)

Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt? (Timon of Athens, 4.2.37-38)

Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures. (Venus and Adonis, 1150)

Weather

Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot;           
Some airy devil hovers in the sky    
And pours down mischief. (King John, 3.2.3-5)

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,      
Thou art not so unkind      
As man’s ingratitude;      
Thy tooth is not so keen,      
Because thou art not seen,      
Although thy breath be rude,      
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:      
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.      
Then heigh-ho! the holly!      
This life is most jolly. (As You Like It, 2.7.184)

When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks. (Richard III, 2.3.37)

Weeds

Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace. (Richard III, 2.4.15)

Wine

I am falser than vows made in wine. (As You Like It, 3.5.74)

Wine lov'd I deeply, dice dearly; and in woman out-paramour'd the Turk. (King Lear, 3.4.73)

Let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. (The Merchant of Venice, 1.1.87-88)

O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil! (Othello, 2.3.228)

Winter

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,      
Thou art not so unkind      
As man’s ingratitude. (As You Like It, 2.7.184)      

Wisdom

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. (As You Like It, 5.1.22)

It is a wise father that knows his own child. (The Merchant of Venice, 2.2.22)

Modest doubt is call’d 
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches 
To the bottom of the worst. (Troilus and Cressida, 2.2.17-19)

Women

A woman moved is like a fountain troubled, muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty. (The Taming of the Shrew, 5.2.160.161)

Frailty, thy name is woman! (Hamlet, 1.2.50)

Two women placed together makes cold weather. (Henry VIII, 1.4.29)

Words

Brevity is the soul of wit. (Hamlet, 2.2.100)

Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. (The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.22)

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: 
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. (Hamlet, 3.3.105-106)

These words are razors to my wounded heart. (Titus Andronicus, 1.1.327)

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. (Love's Labour's Lost, 5.1.7)

Words pay no debts. (Troilus and Cressida, 3.2.40)

Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain. (Richard II, 2.1.9)

These haughty words of hers
Have batter'd me like roaring cannon-shot,
And made me almost yield upon my knees. (Henry VI Part I, 3.3.83-85)

World

Why, then the world’s mine oyster, 
Which I with sword will open. (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2.2.4-5)

Youth

Young blood doth not obey an old decree. (Love's Labour's Lost, 4.3.163)

So wise so young, they say, do never live long.(Richard III, 3.1.83)

.

Alphabetized Index of Topics

Acting
Action
Advice
Aging
Ambition
Adversity
Anger
Appearances That Deceive
April 15 (Tax Time in U.S.)
Autumn
Beauty
Blackness
Blood
Books
Borrowing and Lending
Brain
Bravery
Business
Caesar, Julius
Calumny
Chastity
Children
Choice
Cleopatra
Climate Change
Commiseration
Conflict
Conscience
Contentment
Contrast
Cosmetics
Courage
Cowardice
Curses
Danger
Dawn
Death
Deceit
Deeds
Defeat
Delay
Desire
Devotion
Dirt
Disgrace
Disloyalty
Dissension
Disunity
Dog
Doubt
Dreams
Drinking
Eating
Emotions
England
Envy
Evil
Excess
Experience
Failure
Faith
Fame
Fatherhood
Faults
Fear
Fighting
Fire
Fishing
Flattery
Flowers
Food
Foolery
Fools
Forgiveness
Fortune
Fox
Friends
Future
Getting Even
Gifts
Glory
Gold and Silver
God
Goodness
Greatness
Grief
Groveling
Growth
Guests
Guilt
Habit
Hallucination
Haste
Hatred
Helping Others
Heart
Homebodies
Homeopathy
Honesty
Honor
Hope
Hunger
Ignominy
Ignorance
Imagination
Imperfection
Ingratitude
Isolation
Jealousy
Judgment
Killing
Kindness
King
Law
Lethargy
Lies
Life
Lion
Love
Madness
Man
Marriage
Medicine
Mercy
Misanthropy
Mischief
Misery
Monarchy
Morning
Murder
Music
Names
Neighbors
Night
Noise
Nothing
Oaths
One for the Road
Pain
Parting
Passion
Pastry
Patience
Peace
Piety
Pity
Politics
Pomp
Poverty
Pride
Psychology
Quality
Rebuke
Reputation
Rest in Peace
Revenge
Rumor
Rural Life
Sadness
Scripture
Seafaring
Seasons
Secrets
Shame
Sickness
Sin
Singing
Slander
Sleep
Smallness
Smile
Sorrow
Speech
Spring
Stealth
Stinginess
Strength
Success
Suicide
Sun
Sweetness
Teaching
Tears
Temper
Theft
Threats
Time
Toleration
Transience of Power
Transparency
Travel
Treachery
Treason
Trouble
Trust
Truth
Victory
Villainy
Virginity
Virtue
War
Weakness
Wealth
Weather
Weeds
Wine
Winter
Wisdom
Women
Words
World
Youth