Literary Quotations
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by: William Shakespeare

Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth.

--Lysander, Act I, scene i

Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.

--Helena, Act I, scene i

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.

--Helena, Act I, scene i

And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.

--Helena Act I, scene i

But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.

--Theseus, Act I, scene i

O hell! to choose love with another's eye.

--Hermia, Act I, scene i

Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.

--Flute, Act I, scene ii

A lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing.

--Bottom, Act III, scene i

We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one and crowned with one crest,
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

--Helena, Act III, scene ii

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

--Puck, Act III, scene ii

Night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards.

--Puck, Act III, scene ii

My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamoured of an ass.

--Titania, Act IV, scene i

The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.

--Bottom, Act IV, scene i

Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

--Theseus, Act V, scene i

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

--Theseus, Act V, scene i

As imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

--Theseus, Act V, scene i

A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
Which is as 'brief' as I have known a play,
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Which makes it 'tedious'. For in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
And 'tragical', my noble lord, it is,
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself,
Which when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more 'merry' tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

--Philostrate, Act V, scene i

For never anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.

--Theseus, Act V, scene i

I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged,
And duty in his service perishing.

--Hippolyta, Act V, scene i

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve;
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.

--Theseus, Act V, scene i

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck
If we have unearnéd luck,
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

--Puck, Act V, scene ii

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