The Great Poet Emily DickinsonThe Great Poet Emily Dickinson    

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“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”

(William Shakespeare)

William Shakespeare needs no introduction: With more than twice the vocabulary in his works than in that of even his closest rivals, and with his unforgettable use of language, and range of themes and characters, his influence on language, culture, poetry, theatre, literature, history, society and the minds and hearts of humanity bears no comparison; his genius was one of the most remarkable in history, and can perhaps be partly summarized by the way he combined both style and substance - both form and content - both beautiful language and profound theme - in a way few writers have ever managed. Below is only a very small sampling of a few beautiful poetic passages of his whose fame, celebrated down through the ages, by generation after generation, is so richly deserved. . .

N.B. Most of Shakespeare's poetry was written for, and voiced by, specific characters in his plays, each playing their roles and expressing themselves differently, and so it seems to me an oversight when quotations are attributed (as they usually are) only to Shakespeare, and not to his characters. . . I have therefore aimed mostly to indicate the character(s) responsible for each poetic offering, as this, too, forms part of the significance behind each passage! On the one hand, it is great lyrical poetry; on the other hand, most of it is also great dramatic poetry, with meanings deepened by context, scene and character. . . Simon Rees, March 2007

A Selection of Some of My Favourite Poetry by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet - O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

Sonnet XVIII - Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Macbeth - Out, out, brief candle!

Macbeth - Doubtful it stood; as two spent swimmers that do cling together

Macbeth - Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care

As You Like It - All the world’s a stage

Hamlet - There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio

Hamlet - What is this quintessence of dust?

Hamlet - To be, or not to be: that is the question

Hamlet - Neither a borrower nor a lender be; To thine own self be true

The Merchant of Venice - If you prick us, do we not bleed?

The Merchant of Venice - The quality of mercy is not strain’d

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - The course of true love never did run smooth

The Tempest - We are such stuff as dreams are made on

Sonnet CLIV - Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love

Sonnet CXXX - My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

Other golden nuggets - Miscellaneous other great quotations from the works of Shakespeare

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© Copyright 2007 Simon Rees, Kevin Eakins and SYY Integrated Health Systems, Ltd.  

Disclaimer: The information at this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content of this website comprises only the observations and opinions of the authors and contributors: it does not constitute medical advice to readers.


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