Quotes about William Shakespeare
451 Sourced Quotes
Here is how [life] happens. We find something we want to do, if we are lucky, or something we need to do, if we are like most people. We use it as a way to obtain food, shelter, clothing, mates, comfort, a first folio of Shakespeare, model airplanes, American Girl dolls, a handful of rice, sex, solitude, a trip to Venice, Nikes, drinking water, plastic surgery, child care, dogs, medicine, education, cars, spiritual solace — whatever we think we need. To do this, we enact the role we call "me," trying to brand ourselves as a person who can and should obtain these things.
The king is not responsible for the fate of each man's soul. Every man is responsible to God, but not the king, for this. Shakespeare, while displaying unflinchingly the defects of kingly rule, does not in the English histories have on his horizon any alternative to divine right monarchy. The American Founding's Lockean republican political theory provides an answer to the defects of Christian divine right monarchy, the answer that Lincoln inherited. This supplied as well the theoretical foundation for Lincoln's assault on slavery.
That Swinburne was altogether new to the three types of men-of-the-world before him; that he seemed to them quite original, wildly eccentric, astonishingly gifted, and convulsingly droll, Adams could see; but what more he was, even Milnes hardly dared say. They could not believe his incredible memory and knowledge of literature, classic, mediaeval, and modern; his faculty of reciting a play of Sophocles or a play of Shakespeare, forward or backward, from end to beginning; or Dante, or Villon, or Victor Hugo.
Maybe Delacroix stands for Romanticism. He stuffed himself with too much Shakespeare and Dante, thumbed through too much Faust. His palette is still the most beautiful in France, and I tell you no one under the sky had more charm and pathos combined than he, or more vibration of colour. We all paint in his language, as you all write in Hugo's.
It is a very helpful insight to say we are vehicles for our DNA, we are hosts for DNA parasites which are our genes. Those are insights which help us to understand an aspect of life. But it's emotive to say, that's all there is to it, we might as well give up going to Shakespeare plays and give up listening to music and things, because that's got nothing to do with it. That's an entirely different subject.
I'm not one of these people that go, "Oh well, I'm just going to do my art and I don't give a shit what anybody thinks." I don't feel that way. I really, really love to have people honestly be moved and inspired. And whether it's just here or just here — it's always better if it's the both. That's why Shakespeare is so great, because he gets you from the gut to the heart to the head, and that's what I aspire to do, more than anything.
Dostoyevsky wrote of the unconscious as if it were conscious; that is in reality the reason why his characters seem 'pathological', while they are only visualized more clearly than any other figures in imaginative literature... He was in the rank in which we set Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe.
To lose somebody is to lose not only their person but all those modes and manifestations into which their person has flowed outwards; so that in losing a beloved one may find so many things, pictures, poems, melodies, places lost too: Dante, Avignon, a song of Shakespeare's, the Cornish sea.
To see just how bad contemporary taste in Germany is, just visit any theatre. There you will see the abominable plays of Shakespeare being performed in German translations and the audiences deriving great pleasure from these ridiculous farces which merit only to be performed in front of savages in Canada.
The players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been 'Would he had blotted a thousand'…But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned.
When the book appeared, a few reviewers found this plot incredible; they accused Professor O'Neal of having too little art to persuade them to suspend their disbelief in his assertion that Shakespeare was a precocious girl. Perhaps this was because they knew that the life of literary people is usually devoid of exciting external incident.