circa 1600 english playwright and poet william shakespeare picture  672110b7 a59d 4f9e 9fa5 dae2a5099646

William Shakespeare, Four Centuries Later

The Bard died on April 23, 1616, at age 52. His 37 plays have been performed in nearly every major language, on every continent, by some of the world's finest actors.

KATHERINE HEPBURN IN "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA," 1960 Martha Holmes/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images KATHERINE HEPBURN IN "ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA," 1960 My salad days,
When I was green in judgement, cold in blood.
—Cleopatra, "Antony and Cleopatra," Act 1 Scene 5
DUSTIN HOFFMAN IN "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE," 1989 Georges De Keerle/Getty Images DUSTIN HOFFMAN IN "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE," 1989 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?
—Shylock, "The Merchant of Venice," Act 3 Scene 1
ANNE HATHAWAY IN "TWELFTH NIGHT," 2009 Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage ANNE HATHAWAY IN "TWELFTH NIGHT," 2009 O time, thou must untangle this, not I.
It is too hard a knot for me t'untie.
—Viola, "Twelfth Night," Act 2 Scene 2
DENZEL WASHINGTON IN "MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING," 1993 Afro Newspaper/Gado/Getty Images DENZEL WASHINGTON IN "MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING," 1993 Speak low if you speak love.
—Don Pedro,"Much Ado about Nothing," Act 2 Scene 1
CLAIRE DANES AND LEONARDO DICAPRIO IN "ROMEO + JULIET," 1996 20th Century Fox/Getty Images CLAIRE DANES AND LEONARDO DICAPRIO IN "ROMEO + JULIET," 1996 What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
—Juliet,"Romeo and Juliet," Act 2 Scene 2
KENNETH BRANAGH IN "HAMLET," 1996 Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images KENNETH BRANAGH IN "HAMLET," 1996 Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
—Hamlet, "Hamlet," Act 5 Scene 1
MICHELLE PFEIFFER IN "A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM," 1999 Getty Images MICHELLE PFEIFFER IN "A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM," 1999 Methought I was enamoured of an ass.
—Titania, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Act 4 Scene 1
MARLON BRANDO IN "JULIUS CAESAR," 1952 John Swope/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images MARLON BRANDO IN "JULIUS CAESAR," 1952 Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
—Mark Antony, "Julius Caesar," Act 3 Scene 1
PETER O'TOOLE IN "MACBETH," 1980 Chris Ball/Getty Images PETER O'TOOLE IN "MACBETH," 1980 Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
—Macbeth, "Macbeth," Act 2 Scene 1
VANESSA REDGRAVE IN "AS YOU LIKE IT," 1961 Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images VANESSA REDGRAVE IN "AS YOU LIKE IT," 1961 I pray you do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine.
—Rosalind, "As You Like It," Act 3 Scene 5
ANTHONY HOPKINS AND DIANA RIGG IN "MACBETH," 1972 Steve Wood/Getty Images ANTHONY HOPKINS AND DIANA RIGG IN "MACBETH," 1972 That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold:
What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
—Lady Macbeth, "Macbeth," Act 2 Scene 2
CHARLTON HESTON IN "JULIUS CAESAR," 1969 Terry O'Neill/Getty Images CHARLTON HESTON IN "JULIUS CAESAR," 1969 Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
—Mark Antony, "Julius Caesar," Act 3 Scene 2
LILY RABE AND AL PACINO IN "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE," 2010 Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images LILY RABE AND AL PACINO IN "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE," 2010 The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
—Portia, "The Merchant of Venice," Act 4 Scene 1