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Christopher Plummer Playing Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.


Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.


Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.


Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.


Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

London and theatrical career

"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, Act II, Scene 7, 139–42.


It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592.He was well enough known in London by then to be attacked in print by the playwright Robert Greene in his Groats-Worth of Wit:


...there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country.


Scholars differ on the exact meaning of these words, but most agree that Greene is accusing Shakespeare of reaching above his rank in trying to match university-educated writers such as Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe and Greene himself (the "university wits").The italicised phrase parodying the line "Oh, tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide" from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3, along with the pun "Shake-scene", identifies Shakespeare as Greene's target. Here Johannes Factotum—"Jack of all trades"— means a second-rate tinkerer with the work of others, rather than the more common "universal genius".


Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare’s career in the theatre. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks. From 1594, Shakespeare's plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company owned by a group of players, including Shakespeare, that soon became the leading playing company in London.After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the company was awarded a royal patent by the new king, James I, and changed its name to the King's Men.


In 1599, a partnership of company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, which they called the Globe. In 1608, the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre. Records of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments indicate that the company made him a wealthy man. In 1597, he bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place, and in 1605, he invested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford.


Some of Shakespeare's plays were published in quarto editions from 1594. By 1598, his name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages. Shakespeare continued to act in his own and other plays after his success as a playwright. The 1616 edition of Ben Jonson's Works names him on the cast lists for Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Sejanus His Fall (1603). The absence of his name from the 1605 cast list for Jonson’s Volpone is taken by some scholars as a sign that his acting career was nearing its end. The First Folio of 1623, however, lists Shakespeare as one of "the Principal Actors in all these Plays", some of which were first staged after Volpone, although we cannot know for certain which roles he played. In 1610, John Davies of Hereford wrote that "good Will" played "kingly" roles. In 1709, Rowe passed down a tradition that Shakespeare played the ghost of Hamlet's father. Later traditions maintain that he also played Adam in As You Like It and the Chorus in Henry V, though scholars doubt the sources of the information.


Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford during his career. In 1596, the year before he bought New Place as his family home in Stratford, Shakespeare was living in the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, north of the River Thames. He moved across the river to Southwark by 1599, the year his company constructed the Globe Theatre there. By 1604, he had moved north of the river again, to an area north of St Paul's Cathedral with many fine houses. There he rented rooms from a French Huguenot called Christopher Mountjoy, a maker of ladies' wigs and other headgear.



Canonical plays

The plays are here according to the order in which they are given in the First Folio of 1623. Plays marked with an asterisk (*) are now commonly referred to as the 'romances'. Plays marked with two asterisks (**) are sometimes referred to as the 'problem plays'.



The Tempest *

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Measure for Measure **

The Comedy of Errors

Much Ado About Nothing

Love's Labour's Lost

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Merchant of Venice **

As You Like It

The Taming of the Shrew

All's Well That Ends Well **

Twelfth Night

The Winter's Tale *

Pericles, Prince of Tyre * (not included in the First Folio)

The Two Noble Kinsmen * (not included in the First Folio)



King John

Richard II

Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 2

Henry V

Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 3

Richard III

Henry VIII



Troilus and Cressida **


Titus Andronicus

Romeo and Juliet

Timon of Athens

Julius Caesar



King Lear


Antony and Cleopatra


Chronology Plays by Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589–1591)

The Taming of the Shrew (1590–1591)

Henry VI, Part 2 (1590–1591)

Henry VI, Part 3 (1591)

Henry VI, Part 1 (1591)

Titus Andronicus (1591–1592)

Richard III (1592–1593)

Edward III [26] (1594)

The Comedy of Errors (1594)

Love's Labour's Lost (1594–1595)

Love's Labour's Won (1595–1596)

Richard II (1595)

Romeo and Juliet (1595)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595)

The Life and Death of King John (1596)

The Merchant of Venice (1596)

Henry IV, Part 1 (1596–1597)

The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597–1598)

Henry IV, Part 2 (1596–1597)

Much Ado About Nothing (1598–1599)

Henry V (1598–1599)

Julius Caesar (1599)

As You Like It (1599–1600)

Hamlet (1599–1601)

Twelfth Night (1601)

Troilus and Cressida (1602)

Measure for Measure (1603–1604)

Othello (1603–1604)

King Lear (1605–1606)

Timon of Athens (1605–1606)

Macbeth (1606)

Antony and Cleopatra (1606)

All's Well That Ends Well (1606–1607)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607)

Coriolanus (1608)

The Winter's Tale (1609–1610)

Cymbeline (1610–1611)

The Tempest (1610–1611)

Cardenio (1612–1613)

Henry VIII, or All is True (1613)

The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613)

Christopher Plummer and his stage performances


Early life


Plummer studied to be a concert pianist, but developed a love for the theatre at an early age, and began acting in high school. Plummer took up acting after seeing Laurence Olivier's film Henry V (1944). He travelled by train to gain experience with the Canadian Repertory Theatre (the CRT) in Ottawa.




Christopher Plummer has played many of the great roles in classic repertoire. He did his apprenticeship with the Canadian Repertory Company (Ottawa, Ontario) from 1948–50, appearing in 75 roles, including Cymbeline in 1948 and The Rivals in 1950. He acted with the Bermuda Repertory Theatre in 1952, appearing in many plays, including The Playboy of the Western World, The Royal Family, The Little Foxes, The Petrified Forest, and The Constant Wife.




Plummer made his Broadway debut in January 1953 in The Starcross Story, a flop that closed on opening night. His next Broadway appearance, Home is the Hero, lasted 30 performances in September–October 1954. He appeared in support of Broadway legend Katharine Cornell and movie legend Tyrone Power in The Dark is Light Enough, which lasted 69 performances in February–April 1955. The play also toured several cities, with Plummer serving as Power's understudy. (In his autobiography, Plummer states that Cornell was his 'sponsor.’ Later that year, he appeared in his first hit on Broadway, co-starring with Julie Harris (who won a Tony Award) in Jean Anouilh's The Lark.


After appearing in another flop, Night of the Auk, Plummer was in another hit, Elia Kazan's production of Archibald Macleish's Pulitzer Prize-winning play J.B., for which he was nominated for his first Tony Award as Best Actor in Play. (J.B. also won Tonies as Best Play and for Kazan's direction.)

Plummer appeared less frequently on Broadway in the 1960s as he moved from New York to London. He appeared in the title role in a 1963 production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which flopped, but he had a great success in Peter Schaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun, playing conquistador Francisco Pizarro to David Carradine's Tony Award-nominated Atahuallpa. (In the 1969 film adaptation, Plummer would take the Atahuallpa role.)


From May to June 1973, he appeared on Broadway as the swordsman and poet Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Anthony Burgess (libretto and lyrics) and Michael J. Lewis (music). For that performance, Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance. Later that year, he played Anton Chekhov in Neil Simon's adaptation of several Chekhov short stories, The Good Doctor, which was a hit.


In the 1980s, he appeared on Broadway in two Shakespearean tragedies, Othello, playing Iago to James Earl Jones' Moor, and the title role in Macbeth with Glenda Jackson playing his lady. His Iago brought him another Tony nomination.

He appeared with Jason Robards in the 1994 revival of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and scored one of his greatest successes in 1997 in Barrymore, which he also toured with after a successful Broadway run. His turn as John Barrymore brought him his second Tony Award (this time as Best Actor in Play) and a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actor in a Play. He also was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his 2004 King Lear and for a Tony playing Henry Drummond in the 2007 revival of Inherit the Wind.

Stratford Festival


Plummer made his debut at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Ontario) in 1956, playing the title role in Henry V, which subsequently was performed that year at the Edinburgh Festival ( Edinburgh, Scotland). He played the title role in Hamlet and Sir Andrew Agueckeek in Twelfth Night at Stratford in 1957. The following year, he played Leontes in The Winter's Tale, Bardolph, in Henry IV, Part I, and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing. In 1960, he played Philip the Bastard in King John and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. In 1962, he played the title roles in both Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth then returned in 1967 to play Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra.

In 2002, he appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller. The production successfully transferred to New York City's Lincoln Center in 2004.


Plummer returned to the stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in August 2008 in a critically acclaimed performance as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff; this production was videotaped and shown in high-definition in Canadian cinemas on January 31, 2009 (with an encore presentation on February 23, 2009) and broadcast on April 4, 2009 on Bravo! in Canada. Plummer once again returned to the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2010 in The Tempest as the lead character, Prospero.




In April 1961, he appeared as Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (Stratford-Upon-Avon, England). He also appeared with the RSC in May 1961 in the lead role of Richard III. He made his London debut on June 11, 1961 playing King Henry II in Jean Anouilh's Becket with the RSC at the Aldwych Theatre, directed by Peter Hall. The production later transferred to the Globe for a December 1961 to April 1962 run. For his performance, Plummer won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor.

From June 1971 to January 1972, he appeared at the National Theatre, acting in repertory for the season. The plays he appeared in where Jean Giraudoux's Amphitryon 38 directed by Laurence Olivier; Georg Büchner's Danton's Death (director Jonathan Miller); Adrian Mitchell's Tyger; Luigi Pirandello's The Rules of the Game; and Eugene O'Neill' Long Day's Journey Into Night at the New Theatre in London.


Other venues


Edward Everett Horton hired Plummer to appear as Gerard in the 1953 road show production of Andre Roussin's Nina, a role originated on Broadway by David Niven in 1951.He appeared as Jason opposite Dame Judith Anderson in Robinson Jeffers' adaptation of Medea at the Theatre Sara Bernhardt in Paris in 1955. The American National Theatre and Academy production, directed by Guthrie McClintic, was part of Le Festival International.


Also in 1955, he played Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Ferdinand in The Tempest at the American Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Connecticut). He returned to the American Shakespeare Festival in 1981 to play the title role in Henry V.


Plummer appeared in Lovers and Madmen at the Opera House, Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. in 1973 and in Love and Master Will at the same venue in 1975. Love and Master Will consisted of selections from the works of William Shakespeare on the subject of love, arranged by Plummer. His co-stars were Zoe Caldwell, Bibi Andersson, and Leonard Nimoy.


He played the part of Edgar in E.L. Doctorow's Drinks before Dinner with the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public/Newman Theatre in New York City in 1978.



Other works


Christopher Plummer has also written for the stage, television and the concert-hall. Plummer and Sir Neville Marriner rearranged Shakespeare’s Henry V with Sir William Walton’s music as a concert piece. They recorded the work with Marriner's chamber orchestra the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

He performed it and other works with the New York Philharmonic and symphony orchestras of London, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax. With Marriner he made his Carnegie Hall debut in his own arrangements of Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

William Shakespeare quotes such as "To be, or not to be" and "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" form some of literature's most celebrated lines. Other famous Shakespeare quotes such as "I 'll not budge an inch", "We have seen better days" ,"A dish fit for the gods" and the expression it's "Greek to me" have all become catch phrases in modern day speech. Furthermore, other William Shakespeare quotes such as "to thine own self be true" have become widely spoken pearls of wisdom.


Sonnet 18


"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".




To be, or not to be: that is the question". - (Act III, Scene I).


"Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry". - (Act I, Scene III).


"This above all: to thine own self be true". - (Act I, Scene III).


"Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.". - (Act II, Scene II). 


"That it should come to this!". - (Act I, Scene II). 


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so". - (Act II, Scene II). 


"What a piece of work is 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! ". - (Act II, Scene II).


"The lady doth protest too much, methinks". - (Act III, Scene II). 


"In my mind's eye". - (Act I, Scene II).


"A little more than kin, and less than kind". - (Act I, Scene II).


"The play 's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king". - (Act II, Scene II). 


"And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man". - (Act I, Scene III)."This is the very ecstasy of love". - (Act II, Scene I).


"Brevity is the soul of wit". - (Act II, Scene II).


"Doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love". - (Act II, Scene II).


"Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind". - (Act III, Scene I).


"Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?" - (Act III, Scene II).


"I will speak daggers to her, but use none". - (Act III, Scene II).


"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions". - (Act IV, Scene V).


As You Like It


"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" - (Act II, Scene VII). 


"Can one desire too much of a good thing?". - (Act IV, Scene I). 


"I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - (Act II, Scene IV).


"How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!" - (Act V, Scene II).


"Blow, blow, thou winter wind! Thou art not so unkind as man's ingratitude".(Act II, Scene VII).


"True is it that we have seen better days". - (Act II, Scene VII). 


"For ever and a day". - (Act IV, Scene I).


"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool". - (Act V, Scene I).


King Richard III


"Now is the winter of our discontent". - (Act I, Scene I). 


"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!". - (Act V, Scene IV). 


"Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe". - (Act V, Scene III).


"So wise so young, they say, do never live long". - (Act III, Scene I). 


"Off with his head!" - (Act III, Scene IV). 


"An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told". - (Act IV, Scene IV). 


"The king's name is a tower of strength". - (Act V, Scene III). 


"The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch". - (Act I, Scene III).


Romeo and Juliet


"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?". - (Act II, Scene II).


"It is the east, and Juliet is the sun" . - (Act II, Scene II).


"Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow." - (Act II, Scene II).


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". - (Act II, Scene II).


"Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast". - (Act II, Scene III).


"Tempt not a desperate man". - (Act V, Scene III).


"For you and I are past our dancing days" . - (Act I, Scene V).


"O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright". - (Act I, Scene V).


"It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" . - (Act I, Scene V).


"See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!". - (Act II, Scene II).


"Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty". - (Act IV, Scene II).


The Merchant of Venice


"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see".


"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?". - (Act III, Scene I).


"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose". - (Act I, Scene III).


"I like not fair terms and a villain's mind". - (Act I, Scene III).


The Merry Wives of Windsor


"Why, then the world 's mine oyster" - (Act II, Scene II).


"This is the short and the long of it". - (Act II, Scene II).


"I cannot tell what the dickens his name is". - (Act III, Scene II).


"As good luck would have it". - (Act III, Scene V).


Measure for Measure


"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt". - (Act I, Scene IV).


"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall". - (Act II, Scene I).


"The miserable have no other medicine but only hope". - (Act III, Scene I).


King Henry IV, Part I 


"He will give the devil his due". - (Act I, Scene II). 


"The better part of valour is discretion". - (Act V, Scene IV). 


King Henry IV, Part II


"He hath eaten me out of house and home". - (Act II, Scene I).


"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown". - (Act III, Scene I).


"A man can die but once". - (Act III, Scene II). 


"I do now remember the poor creature, small beer". - (Act II, Scene II).


"We have heard the chimes at midnight". - (Act III, Scene II)


King Henry IV, Part III


"The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on". - (Act II, Scene II).


"Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer". - (Act V, Scene VI).


King Henry the Sixth, Part I


"Delays have dangerous ends". - (Act III, Scene II). 


"Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed". - (Act V, Scene II).


King Henry the Sixth, Part II


"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". - (Act IV, Scene II).


"Small things make base men proud". - (Act IV, Scene I).


"True nobility is exempt from fear". - (Act IV, Scene I).


King Henry the Sixth, Part III


"Having nothing, nothing can he lose".- (Act III, Scene III).


Taming of the Shrew


"I 'll not budge an inch". - (Induction, Scene I).


Timon of Athens


"We have seen better days". - (Act IV, Scene II).


 Julius Caesar


"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him". - (Act III, Scene II).


"But, for my own part, it was Greek to me". - (Act I, Scene II).


"A dish fit for the gods". - (Act II, Scene I).


"Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war". - (Act III, Scene I).


"Et tu, Brute!" - (Act III, Scene I).


"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". - (Act I, Scene II).


"Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". - (Act III, Scene II).


"Beware the ides of March". - (Act I, Scene II).


"This was the noblest Roman of them all". - (Act V, Scene V).


"When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff". - (Act III, Scene II).


"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous". (Act I, Scene II).


"For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men". - (Act III, Scene II).


"As he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him" . - (Act III, Scene II).


"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come". - (Act II, Scene II).




"There 's daggers in men's smiles". - (Act II, Scene III).


"what 's done is done".- (Act III, Scene II).


"I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none". - (Act I, Scene VII).


"Fair is foul, and foul is fair". - (Act I, Scene I).


"I bear a charmed life". - (Act V, Scene VIII). 


"Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness." - (Act I, Scene V).


"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red" - (Act II, Scene II). 


"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." - (Act IV, Scene I).


"Out, damned spot! out, I say!" - (Act V, Scene I).. 


"All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." - (Act V, Scene I).


"When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done,

When the battle 's lost and won". - (Act I, Scene I).


"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me". - (Act I, Scene III).


"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it; he died as one that had been studied in his death to throw away the dearest thing he owed, as 't were a careless trifle". - (Act I, Scene IV).


"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under 't." - (Act I, Scene V).


"I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other." - (Act I, Scene VII).


"Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand?" - (Act II, Scene I).


"Out, out, brief candle! 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." - (Act V, Scene V).


King Lear


"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" - (Act I, Scene IV). 


"I am a man more sinned against than sinning". - (Act III, Scene II).


"My love's more richer than my tongue". - (Act I, Scene I).


"Nothing will come of nothing." - (Act I, Scene I).


"Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest". - (Act I, Scene IV).


"The worst is not, So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.' " . - (Act IV, Scene I).




"‘T’is neither here nor there." - (Act IV, Scene III).


"I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at". - (Act I, Scene I). 


"To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on". - (Act I, Scene III).


"The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief". - (Act I, Scene III).


Antony and Cleopatra


"My salad days, when I was green in judgment." - (Act I, Scene V).




"The game is up." - (Act III, Scene III).


"I have not slept one wink.". - (Act III, Scene III).


Twelfth Night


"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them". - (Act II, Scene V).


"Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better" . - (Act III, Scene I).


The Tempest


"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep".


King Henry the Fifth


"Men of few words are the best men" . - (Act III, Scene II).


A Midsummer Night's Dream


"The course of true love never did run smooth". - (Act I, Scene I).


"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind". - (Act I, Scene I).


Much Ado About Nothing


"Everyone can master a grief but he that has it". - (Act III, Scene II).


Titus Andronicus


"These words are razors to my wounded heart". - (Act I, Scene I). 


The Winter's Tale


"What 's gone and what 's past help should be past grief" . - (Act III, Scene II).


"You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely". - (Act I, Scene I).


Taming of the Shrew


"Out of the jaws of death". - (Act III, Scene IV).


"Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges". - (Act V, Scene I).


"For the rain it raineth every day". - (Act V, Scene I). 


Troilus and Cressida


"The common curse of mankind, - folly and ignorance". - (Act II, Scene III).




"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends". - (Act II, Scene I).