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Pagina 365 - All murder'd : for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus Comes at the last and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king...
Pagina 318 - To plague the inventor : this even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice To our own lips. He's here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek...
Pagina 3 - Shakespeare is, above all writers, at least above all modern writers, the poet of nature ; the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places, unpractised by the rest of the world ; by the peculiarities of studies or professions, which can operate but upon small numbers ; or by the accidents of transient fashions or temporary opinions : they are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as the world...
Pagina 207 - How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica. Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines...
Pagina 198 - If you prick us, do we not bleed ? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die ? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge ? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility'? revenge : If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example ? why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute ; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
Pagina 4 - ... distressed; to deliver them as nothing human ever was delivered; is the business of a modern dramatist. For this probability is violated, life is misrepresented, and language is depraved. But love is only one of many passions; and as it has no great influence upon the sum of life, it has little operation in the dramas of a poet, who caught his ideas from the living world, and exhibited only what he saw before him. He knew, that any other passion, as it was regular or exorbitant, was a cause of...
Pagina 42 - Have wak'd their sleepers ; /op'd and let them forth, By my so potent art: But this rough magic I here abjure: and, when I have requir'd Some heavenly music (which even now I do), To work mine end upon their senses, that This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And, deeper than did ever plummet sound, I'll drown my book.
Pagina 3 - Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how nearly they are copied. The irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile, by that novelty, of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest ; but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth.
Pagina 16 - Notes are often necessary, but they are necessary evils. Let him, that is yet unacquainted with the powers of Shakspeare, and who desires to feel the highest pleasure that the drama can give, read every play, from the first scene to the last, with utter negligence of all his commentators. When his fancy is once on the wing, let it not stoop at correction or explanation.
Pagina 9 - Shakspeare is a forest, in which oaks extend their branches, and pines tower in the air, interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles, and sometimes giving shelter to myrtles and to roses ; filling the eye with awful pomp, and gratifying the mind with endless diversity.