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THE KEY DATES

1564
Shakespeare born in Stratford-upon-Avon

1594
Joins Lord Chamberlain's Men. Titus Andronicus, first quarto, published

1599
Globe playhouse built

1603
Death of Elizabeth I. Accession of James I

1613
Shakespeare's writing career over

1616
Shakespeare dies in Stratford-upon-Avon

1623
Publication of the First Folio

1642
Civil War closes the theatres

1660
Theatres reopen with restoration of Charles II

1769
Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon

 
 
 

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Sweet Swan of Avon

Quote for William Shakespeare

There Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o’ the world; oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861), "A Vision of Poets"

With this same key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart' once more!
Did Shakespeare? If so, the less Shakespeare he!
Robert Browning (1812-1899), "House"

Priceless Shakspeare was the free gift of Nature; given altogether silently -- received altogether silently, as if it had been a thing of little account. And yet, very literally, it is a priceless thing..
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) "Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History"

If called to define Shakespeare's faculty, I should say superiority of intellect, and think I had included all under that.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) "Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History"

The souls most fed with Shakespeare's flame
Still sat unconquered in a ring,
Remembering him like anything.
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) "The Shakespeare Memorial"

Our myriad-minded Shakespeare.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), "Biography. Chap. xv"

He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul.
John Dryden (1631-1700), "Essay of Dramatic Poesy"

He is the very Janus of poets; he wears almost everywhere two faces; and you have scarce begun to admire the one, ere you despise the other.
John Dryden (1631-1700), "Essay on Dramatic Poetry of the Last Age"

But Shakespeare’s magic could not copied be;
Within that circle none durst walk but he.
John Dryden (1631–1700) "Essay of Dramatic Poesy"

He was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature. He looked inwards, and found her there.
John Dryden (1631–1700) "Essay of Dramatic Poesy"

"I am the owner of the sphere
Of the seven stars and the solar year,
Of Caesar's hand, and Plato's brain
Of Lord Christ's heart, and Shakespeare's strain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), "The Absorbing Soul"

Nor sequent centuries could hit
Orbit and sum of Shakespeare’s wit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), "May-Day and Other Pieces"

When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, “Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) "Letters and Social Aims"

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
Robert Graves (1895-1985)

A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller: he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire.
Ben Jonson (1573-1637) "Shakespeare"

My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room.
Ben Jonson (1573 - 1637) "Shakespeare"

Sweet Swan of Avon!
Ben Jonson (1573 - 1637) "Shakespeare"

He was not of an age, but for all time!
Ben Jonson (1573-1637) "Shakespeare"

I have of late had the same thought - for things which I do half at Random are afterwards confirmed by my judgment in a dozen features of Propriety. Is it too daring to fancy Shakespeare this Presider?
John Keats (1795-1821), "Letter to B.R. Haydon, May 1817"

When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
John Milton (1608-1674), "L'Allegro"

What needs my Shakespeare for his honour’d bones,
The labour of an age in piled stones,
Or that his hallow’d relics should be hid
Under a star-y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
John Milton (1608-1674), "Epitaph on Shakespeare"

And so sepulchered in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
John Milton (1608- 1674), "Epitaph"

And one wild Shakespeare, following Nature's lights,
Is worth whole planets, filled with Stagyrites.
Thomas More (1779-1852), "The Sceptic"

Shakespeare - The nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.
Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) Wonderful women! Have you ever thought how much we all, and women especially, owe to Shakespeare for his vindication of women in these fearless, high-spirited, resolute and intelligent heroines?
Dame Ellen Terry (1848-1928)

One of the greatest geniuses that ever existed,
Shakespeare, undoubtedly wanted taste.
Horace Walpole (1717-1797), "Letter to Wren, 1764"

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), "Miscellaneous Sonnets"

 
       
         
           

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