Engraving of William Shakespeare from the first folio edition.

William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)

William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. After choosing marriage over university at eighteen, he went on to become the indispensable dramatist of the theater company Lord Chamberlain’s Men. In the five-year span of 1599 to 1604, Shakespeare wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, and Othello. Playwright Ben Jonson, his contemporary, said Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time!”

All Writing

Voices In Time

c. 1595 | Navarre

Stand to Reason

William Shakespeare commits to studying.More

I count myself in nothing else so happy / As in a soul remembering my good friends.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1595

’Tis the sport to have the engineer / Hoist with his own petard.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1600

Some to the common pulpits, and cry out / “Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!”

—William Shakespeare, c. 1599

Men take diseases, one of another. Therefore let men take heed of their company.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1600

There’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1600

O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1599

Voices In Time

c. 1190 BC | Troy

Face Value

Shakespeare negotiates the worth of Helen.More

Jesters do oft prove prophets.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1605

Voices In Time

1598 | Forest of Arden

The Quip Modest

Quarreling wordplay, courtesy of William Shakespeare.More

When law can do no right,
Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1594

Voices In Time

1609 | Stratford-Upon-Avon

Mind’s Eye

William Shakespeare can’t stop thinking about you.More

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

—William Shakespeare, 1603

Men are merriest when they are from home.

—William Shakespeare, 1599

Voices In Time

c. 1200 | Denmark

Body Politic

Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh.More

O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!

—William Shakespeare, c. 1596

Voices In Time

1609 | Stratford-Upon-Avon

Trading Places

“I scorn to change my state with kings.”More

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1610

Voices In Time

1415 | Harfleur

The Unpruned Vine

Shakespeare on the relationship between peace and gardens.More

Voices In Time

1595 | Verona

Sweet Sorrow

Romeo and Juliet on the balcony.More

What is the city but the people?

—William Shakespeare, 1608

Voices In Time

44 BC | Rome

Last Words

I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar.More

’Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1595

Voices In Time

1623 | England


For Cordelia, nothing comes from nothing.More


“But soft! what light through yonder window breaks?/It speaks, and yet says nothing.” An apt description of TV, Marshall McLuhan said, when he quoted Shakespeare in Understanding Media. Romeo’s line is in fact “She speaks, yet she says nothing,” and refers to Juliet, who is likened to light—and it actually occurs in the play ten lines after the first.

Words pay no debts.

—William Shakespeare, 1601

Voices In Time

c. 1611 | Prospero’s Island

Claims Dispute

Who is the true lord of the land?More

I do desire we may be better strangers.

—William Shakespeare, 1600

Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear.

—William Shakespeare, 1592


In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macduff asks the Porter, “What three things does drink especially provoke?” The Porter replies, “nose painting, sleep, and urine”—the first of which is usually taken to mean the red flush that comes across a drinker’s face. It also leads to lechery, the Porter says, adding, “it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”


Titus Andronicus is William Shakespeare’s bloodiest play; the body count reaches fourteen. Rounding out the top-three deadliest plays are Richard III (eleven) and King Lear (ten).

Voices In Time

c. 1600 | Denmark

Finite Jest

William Shakespeare clowns around among the graves.More

Issues Contributed