"Shakespeare reserves all his adoration for his heroines. His good women are angelic beings. His young heroines, Miranda, Cordelia, Imogen,
Juliet, Perdita seem all to be spirits of the same
heaven, and are like different aspects of the same
woman rather than different women: they are the
quintessence of romanticism. His heroines of mature years, as for instance, Hermione (in A Winter's Tale), and Queen Katherine, have the same quality. He cannot refrain from throwing a dash of connubial romance into Cleopatra."
John Jay Chapman, A Glance Toward Shakespeare
On Shakespeare's Genius
"It may be reckoned one of the rarest pieces of good-luck that ever fell to the share of a race, that (as was true of Shakespeare) its most rhythmic genius, its acutest intellect, its profoundest imagination, and its healthiest understanding should have been combined in one man, and that he should
have arrived at the full development of his powers at the moment when the material in which he was to work — that wonderful composite called English, the
best result of the confusion of tongues — was in its freshest perfection."
James Russell Lowell, Literary Essays, Vol. 3, 1890
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once. Julius Caesar (2.2), Cæsar
Although there were earlier Elizabethan plays on the subject of Julius Caesar and his turbulent rule, Shakespeare's penetrating study of political life in ancient Rome is the only version to recount the demise of Brutus and the other conspirators. Here are the top ten quotations from Julius Caesar.
Shakespeare mentions law more than any other profession. Although we assume Shakespeare did not formally study law, we see from the many references in the plays that he had acquired a significant general knowledge of legal terminology. The legal jargon in Hamlet’s speech in Act 5 is especially impressive. Read on...
Granted, Shakespeare gave us more memorable quotes than any other writer, but often he gets credit for the clever quips of other greats, like Ben Franklin and John Milton. Here are some of the most common words of wisdom mistakenly attributed to the Bard.