Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third.
England's genius filled all measureOf heart and soul, of strength and pleasure,Gave to the mind its emperor,And life was larger than before:Nor sequent centuries could hitOrbit and sum of Shakespeare's wit.The men who lived with him becamePoets, for the air was fame.
Ben Jonson, To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare (1618)
Burgesss Shakespeare is not a patient empire builder or visionary, but rather an unhappy man caught in an unenviable position, at the midlife crisis age of forty-six. … Burgess's point may well be that literary quality is not always recognized during one's lifetime … due to an ill-advised display of
For there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.
Dolt & ass that I am I have lived more than 29 years, & until a few days ago, never made close acquaintance with the divine William. Ah, he's full of sermons-on-the-mount, and gentle, aye, almost as Jesus. I take such men to be inspired. I fancy that this moment Shakespeare in heaven ranks with Gabr
This BookeWhen Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee lookeFresh to all Ages.
I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture
Consider now, if they asked us, Will you give up your Indian Empire or your Shakespeare, you English: never have had any Shakespeare? Really it were a grave question. Official persons would an swer doubtless in official language: but we, for our part too, should not be forced, to answer: Indian Empi
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
I never quite despair and I read Shakspeare - indeed I shall I think never read any other Book much [...] I am very near Agreeing with Hazlit that Shakspeare is enough for us.
He that tries to recommend him by select Quotations, will succeed like the Pedant in Hierocles, who, when he offered his House to Sale, carried a Brick in his Pocket as a Specimen.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones.
Our myriad-minded Shakespeare.
But my God, how beautiful Shakespeare is, who else is as mysterious as he is; his language and method are like a brush trembling with excitement and ecstasy. But one must learn to read, just as one must learn to see and learn to live.
Shakespeare was the Jonson was the Virgil, the pattern of elaborate writing. I admire him, but I love Shakespeare.
This figure that thou here seest put,It was for gentle Shakespeare cut,Wherein the graver had a strifeWith Nature, to out-do the life:O could he but have drawn his witAs well in brass, as he has hitHis face; the print would then surpassAll that was ever writ in brass:But since he cannot, reader, loo
Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nighTo learned Chaucer, and rare Beaumont lieA little nearer Spenser, to make roomFor Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold tomb.
EDMUND (sits down opposite his father - contemptuously) . Yes, facts don't mean a thing, do they? What you want to believe, that's the only truth! (Derisively.) Shakespeare was an Irish Catholic, for example. TYRONE (stubbornly) . So he was. The proof is in his plays.
Shakespeare is a savage with sparks of genius which shine in a horrible night.
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
Children are made to learn bits of Shakespeare by heart, with the result that ever after they associate him with pedantic boredom. If they could meet him in the flesh, full of jollity and ale, they would be astonished, and if they had never heard of him before they might be led by his jollity to see
Shakespeare has united the powers of exciting laughter and sorrow not only in one mind but in one composition. Almost all his plays are divided between serious and Ludicrous characters and they sometimes produce sorrow and sometimes laughter. That this is a practice contrary to the rules of criticis
Soul of the Age!The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!My Shakespeare...Thou art a monument, without a tomb,And art alive still while thy book doth live,And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
On this planet the reputation of Shakespeare is secure. When life is discovered elsewhere in the universe and some interplanetary traveler brings to this new world the fruits of our terrestrial culture, who can imagine anything but that among the first books carried to the curious strangers will be
[last lines] My story starts at sea... a perilous voyage to an unknown land... a shipwreck... The wild waters roar and heave... The brave vessel is dashed all to pieces, and all the helpless souls within her drowned... all save one... a lady... whose soul is greater than the ocean... and her spirit
I'm always ill after Shakespeare,' said Mrs Wititterly. 'I scarcely exist the next day; I find the reaction so very great after a tragedy, my lord, and Shakespeare is such a delicious creature.'
Shikspur, Shikspur! Who wrote it?No, I never read Shikspur.Then you have an immense pleasure to come.
Shakespeare - the nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.