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William Shakespeare

1564–1616. English playwright and poet.

Misattributions (So Far)

“what dear old Shakespeare says—that charity thinketh no evil” (The Blue Castle, chapter 11). Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4–5 (KJV).

“what that verse of Shakespeare in the old Fifth Reader says—‘the brave man is not he who feels no fear’ . . . ‘he whose noble soul its fear subdues’” (Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 5). Joanna BaillieBasil: A Tragedy (1798 play).

At a Glance (So Far)

Anne’s House of Dreams (3)
Rilla of Ingleside (6)
The Blue Castle (3)
Jane of Lantern Hill (3)

The Wreck of the “Marco Polo” (1)

Summary (So Far)

As You Like It (1)
Hamlet (3)
Henry V (1)
King John (1)
King Lear (1)
Macbeth (4)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1)
Troilus and Cressida (1)

As You Like It (1595 play)

But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love,
For I must tell you friendly in your ear,
Sell when you can; you are not for all markets.
Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer. (Act 3, scene 5, lines 62–66)

Jane of Lantern Hill, chapter 11 (“Jane would have thanked God, fasting, if she had ever heard of the phrase”).

Hamlet (1623 play)

                                         What may this mean
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls? (Act 1, scene 4, lines 56–61)

Jane of Lantern Hill, chapter 23 (“‘Glimpses of the moon’”).

That he’s mad, ’tis true; ’tis true ’tis pity,
And pity ’tis ’tis true
—a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art. (Act 2, scene 2, lines 105–6)

Anne’s House of Dreams, chapter 3 (“‘’Tis true, ’tis pity, and pity ’tis, ’tis true’”).

POLONIUS, (aside) Though this be madness, yet there is
method in ’t.
—Will you walk out of the air, my lord? (Act 2, scene 2, lines 223–24)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 6 (“a method in her madness”).

To be or not to be—that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished.
To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
(Act 3, scene 1, lines 64–90)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 32 (“that devoutly desired consummation”).

Anne’s House of Dreams, chapter 3 (“‘Ah, there’s the rub,’ sighed Anne”).

Anne’s House of Dreams, chapter 1 (“Hamlet’s opinion that it may be better to bear the ills that we have than fly to others that we know not of”).

Henry V (1600 play)

It must be as it may. Though patience be a tired
mare, yet she will plod.
There must be conclusions.
Well, I cannot tell. (Act 2, scene 1, lines 24–26)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 17 (“Patience is a tired mare but she jogs on”).

King John (1623 play)

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
A fellow by the hand of nature marked,
Quoted, and signed to do a deed of shame,

This murder had not come into my mind. (Act 4, scene 2, lines 230–34)

The Blue Castle, chapter 11 (“A fellow by the hand of nature marked, / Quoted and sighed to do a deed of shame”).

King Lear (1608 play)

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child. (Act 1, scene 4, lines 301–2)

The Blue Castle, chapter 9 (“it is sharper than a serpent’s tooth to have a thankless child”).

Macbeth (1623 play)

Enter the Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeth’s place. (Act 3, scene 4, line 42)

The Blue Castle, chapter 1 (“Its ghost appeared Banquo-like at every subsequent family feast”).

I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse.
Question enrages him. At once, good night.
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once. (Act 3, scene 4, lines 144–47)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 26 (“stood not upon the order of his going”).

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes. (Act 4, scene 1, lines 44–45)

Jane of Lantern Hill, chapter 16 (“Jane’s thumbs pricked”).

As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield
To one of woman born. (Act 5, scene 8, lines 11–15)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 22 (“They seemed to bear charmed lives”).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600 play)

But I might see young Cupid’s fiery shaft
Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat’ry moon,
And the imperial vot’ress passèd on
In maiden meditation, fancy-free. (Act 2, scene 1, lines 167–70)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 27 (“in maiden meditation fancy free”).

Troilus and Cressida (1609 play)

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise newborn gauds,
Though they are made and molded of things past,
And give to dust that is a little gilt
More laud than gilt o’erdusted. (Act 3, scene 3, lines 181–85)

The Wreck of the ‘Marco Polo’” (“the kindly neighbors crowded around with that ‘touch of nature that makes the whole world kin’”).


All quotations from Shakespeare’s Plays, Sonnets and Poems, from The Folger Shakespeare, edited by Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles. Folger Shakespeare Library.

This page last updated on 22 November 2023. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.