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SHAKESPEARE
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[ Also see Acting Authors Authorship Plagiarism Poetry Poets Quotations Stage Theatre ]

Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation.
      - John Dryden

But Shakespeare's magic could not copied be;
  Within that circle none durst walk but he.
      - John Dryden, The Tempest--Prologue

His imperial muse tosses the creation like a bauble from hand to hand, to embody any capricious thought that is uppermost in her mind. The remotest spaces of nature are visited, and the farthest sundered things are brought together by a subtle spiritual connection.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

No nation has produced anything like his equal. There is no quality in the human mind, there is no class of topics, there is no region of thought, in which he has not soared or descended, and none in which he has not said the commanding word.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What king has he not taught state, as Talma taught Napoleon? What maiden has not found him finer than her delicacy? What lover has he not outloved? What sage has he not outseen? What gentleman has he not instructed in the rudeness of his behavior?
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The passages of Shakespeare that we most prize were never quoted until within this century.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Letters and Social Aims--Quotation and Originality

Nor sequent centuries could hit
  Orbit and sum of Shakespeare's wit.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        May Day and Other Pieces--Solution
         (l. 39)

What point of morals, of manners, of economy, of philosophy, of religion, of taste, of the conduct of life, has he not settled? What mystery has he not signified his knowledge of? What office, or function, or district of man's work, has he not remembered? What king has he not taught state, as Talma taught Napoleon? What maiden has not found him finer than her delicacy? What lover has he not outloved? What sage has he not outseen? What gentleman has he not instructed in the rudeness of his behavior?
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Representative Men--Shakespeare

I'll moider da bum.
      - Tony Galento,
        when asked what he thought of William Shakespeare

Now you who rhyme, and I who rhyme,
  Have not we sworn it, many a time,
    That we no more our verse would scrawl,
      For Shakespeare he had said it all!
      - Richard Watson Gilder, The Modern Rhymer

The sage and seer of the human heart.
      - Henry Giles

Shakespeare is a great psychologist, and whatever can be known of the heart of man may be found in his plays.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Shakespeare is dangerous to young poets; they cannot but reproduce him, while they fancy that they produce themselves.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whatever can be known of the heart of man may be found in Shakespeare's plays.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To him the mighty mother did unveil her awful face.
      - Thomas Gray

If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.
      - William Hazlitt (1),
        Table Talk--On the Ignorance of the Learned

There is only one writer in whom I find something that reminds me of the directness of style which is found in the Bible. It is Shakespeare.
      - Heinrich Heine

Mellifluous Shakespeare, whose enchanting Quill
  Commandeth Mirth or Passion, was but Will.
      - Thomas Heywood,
        Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels

I think most readers of Shakespeare sometimes find themselves thrown into exalted mental conditions like those produced by music.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Shakespeare is one of the best means of culture the world possesses. Whoever is at home in his pages is at home everywhere.
      - Henry Norman Hudson

Corneille is to Shakespeare as a clipped hedge is to a forest.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

In his comic scenes, Shakespeare seems to produce, without labor, what no labor can improve.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

It was said of Euripides, that every verse was a precept; and it may be said of Shakespeare, that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The stream of Time, which is continually washing the dissoluble fabrics of other poets, passes without injury by the adamant of Shakespeare.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Preface to Works of Shakspere

He was honest, and of an open and free nature.
      - Ben Jonson


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