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Songs

While we think of Shakespeare as a playwright and poet, not a Broadway lyricist, he did write lyrics for songs that appeared in several of his plays. We know little about the music that scored these songs. Songs in the passages on this website are italicized and indented and usually preceded by an italicized stage direction. To find a specific song to which you know a few words, use the Search & Filter Quotes and Notes page and select “Songs” under Source Types and enter the words in the Keywords field.

Now come, my Ariel. Bring a corollary

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Prospero
Now come, my Ariel. Bring a corollary
Rather than want a spirit. Appear, and pertly.
 Soft music.
No tongue. All eyes. Be silent.

Spirits, which by mine art
I have from their confines called to enact
My present fancies.

 Enter Iris.
Iris
Ceres, most bounteous lady,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 64

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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I thank my noble lord

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Caliban
I thank my noble lord. Wilt thou be pleased
to harken once again to the suit I made to thee?
Stephano
Marry, will I. Kneel and repeat it. I will
stand, and so shall Trinculo.
 Enter Ariel, invisible.
Caliban, kneeling
As I told thee before,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 42

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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All the infections that the sun sucks up

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Caliban
All the infections that the sun sucks up
From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall and make him
By inchmeal a disease!

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.

His spirits hear me,
And yet I needs must curse. But they’ll nor pinch,
Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i’ th’ mire,
Nor lead me like a firebrand in the dark
Out of my way,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Will you grant with me That Ferdinand is drowned?

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Antonio
Will you grant with me
That Ferdinand is drowned?
Sebastian
He’s gone.
Antonio
Then tell me,
Who’s the next heir of Naples?
Sebastian
Claribel.

We all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act
Whereof what’s past is prologue

Antonio
She that is Queen of Tunis;
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 276

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Come unto these yellow sands

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Arielinvisible, playing and singing.

Come unto these yellow sands,
 And then take hands.
Curtsied when you have, and kissed
 The wild waves whist.
Foot it featly here and there,
 And sweet sprites bear
The burden. Hark,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 452

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Which is he that killed the deer?

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Jaques
Which is he that killed the deer?
First Lord
Sir, it was I.

What shall he have that killed the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.

Jaques, to the other Lords
Let’s present him to the
Duke like a Roman conqueror. And it would do well
to set the deer’s horns upon his head for a branch of
victory.—Have you no song,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Musicians, O musicians, “Heart’s ease,”

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Peter
Musicians, O musicians, “Heart’s ease,”
“Heart’s ease.” O, an you will have me live, play
“Heart’s ease.”
First Musician
Why “Heart’s ease?”
Peter
O musicians, because my heart itself plays “My
heart is full.” O, play me some merry dump to
comfort me.

I’ll re you, I’ll fa you.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 5
Line 106

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Themes:

Figures of Speech:

This is thy negligence

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Oberon, to Robin
This is thy negligence. Still thou mistak’st,
Or else committ’st thy knaveries willfully.
Robin 
Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise
That I have ’nointed an Athenian’s eyesAphesis;
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 3
Scene 2
Line 366

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Figures of Speech:

Roses, their sharp spines being gone

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Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odor faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
And sweet thyme true;
Primrose, firstborn child of Ver,
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
With her bells dim;
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:
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Spoken by:

My mother had a maid called Barbary

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Desdemona
My mother had a maid called Barbary.
She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
And did forsake her. She had a song of willow,
An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortune,
And she died singing it. That song tonight
Will not go from my mind. I have much to do
But to go hang my head all at one side
And sing it like poor Barbary.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 3
Line 28

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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