Cover image for The Arden dictionary of Shakespeare quotations
The Arden dictionary of Shakespeare quotations
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Uniform Title:
Works. Selections. 2001
Publication Information:
London [England] : Thomson Learning, 2001.

Physical Description:
xii, 396 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
"First published 1999 by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. Reprinted 2001 by Thomson Learning ... Arden Shakespeare is an imprint of Thomson Learning."--T.p. verso.

"The text and act/scene/line references are taken from the Arden Shakespeare Complete Works (1998)"--Pref.

Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR2892 .A73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this addition to the Arden Shakespeare series, approximately 3000 quotations, both familiar and little-known, are drawn from throughout Shakespeare's work, both plays and poems. Quotations are selected for their intrinsic interest and organised by topic, as being both user-friendly and stimulating for the casual reader, with speaker and play reference, and with some annotation to give a context to the quotation.

Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The most frequently quoted (and misquoted) writer in the English language is well served by this compact collection of more than 3,000 quotations from his plays and poems, indexed by keyword, topic, and play title. Additional features include a glossary and a brief biography of the Bard. The text used is the 1998 Arden Shakespeare Complete Works, long a favorite of students as well as performers. The entries are arranged by topic, from Absence to Youth, and presented alphabetically by play title under each category. The act, scene, and line are indicated, as are the speaker and, when the excerpt is other than a soliloquy, the character spoken to. You may well ask, Why another book of Shakespeare quotations? In this case the question should be, Why not? With its modest price and carefully constructed indexes, The Arden Dictionary of Shakespeare Quotations is the place to brush up your Shakespeare. Smaller library collections that might not be able to afford other compilations of Shakespeare quotes would find this title a useful addition, and larger collections might want to add a circulating copy as well as one for reference use.--Mulac, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist