Shakespeare, Richard II,
Act V, Scene V
of his (Richard’s) Death and last words:
Ha, ha! Keep
time: — how sour sweet music is
When time is
broke and no proportion kept!
So is in the
music of men’s lives,
And here have I
the daintiness of ear
To check time
broke in a disorder’d string;
But, for the
concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear
to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time,
and now doth time waste me;
For now hath
time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are
minutes; and, with sighs, they jar
on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
finger, like a dial’s point,
still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the
sound that tells what hour it is,
groans that strike upon my heart,
Which is the
bell: so sighs, and tears, and groans,
times, and hours: — but my time
Runs posting on
in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,
While I stand
fooling here, his Jack ‘o the clock.
This music mads
me; let it sound no more;
For though it
have holp madmen to their wits,
For me it seems
it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on
his heart that gives it me!
For ‘tis a sign
of love; and love to Richard
Is a strange
brooch in this all-hating world.
my soul! Thy seat is up on high;
Whilst my gross
flesh sinks downward, here to die.
Act V, Scene I
Death of Othello and Desdemona:
you: a word or two before you go.
have done the state some service, and they know’t:
more of that. — I pray you, in your letters,
you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
one that loved not wisely, but too well;
one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
tears as fast as the Arabian trees
medicinal gum. Set you down this:
say besides that in Aleppo once,
a malignant and turbaned Turk
a Venetian and traduced the state,
took by th’ throat the circumcised dog
smote his — thus.
Lodovico: O bloody period.
All that is spoke is marred.
kissed thee ere I killed thee.
No way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.
This did I fear, but thought he had no
For he was great of heart.
Lodovico: [To Iago] O Spartan dog,
More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
Look on the tragic loading of this bed:
This is thy work. The object poisons sight;
Let it be
curtains are drawn]
Gratiano, keep the house
And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
For they succeed on you. To you, lord governor,
The time, the place, the torture: O, enforce it!
Myself will straight abroad, and to the state
This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
Shakespeare, Hamlet 1603
Act 4 Scene 7
Death of Ophelia:
One woe doth tread upon another’s heel,
So fast they follow. Your sister’s drowned,
Drowned? O, where?
There is a willow grows askant the
That shows his hoar leaves in the
Therewith fantastic garlands did she
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies,
and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a
But our cold maids do “dead men’s
fingers” call them.
There on the pendant boughs her
Clamb’ring to hang, an envious
When down her weedy trophies and
Fell in the weeping brook. Her
clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like awhile they bore
Which time she chanted snatches of
As one incapable of her own distress
Or like a creature native and endued
Unto that element. But long it could
Till that her garments, heavy with
Pulled the poor wretch from her
to muddy death.
Alas, then she is drowned.
Laertes: Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears. But yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will. When these are gone,
The woman will be out. — Adieu, my lord.
I have a speck o’fire that fain would blaze,
But that this folly drowns it.
Shakespeare, King Henry V, 1605
Act II, Scene III
Death of Falstaff:
Quickly: Nay, sure, he’s not in hell: he’s in
Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to
bosom. ‘A made a finer end, and went away,
an it had been any christom child; ‘a parted
even just between twelve and one, even at the
turning o’ the tide: for after I saw him fumble
with the sheets, and play with the flowers, and
upon his fingers’ ends, I knew there was but one
way; for his nose was as
sharp as a pen, and ‘a
babbled of green fields.
now, Sir John!
quoth I: what, man! Be o’ good
cheer. So ‘a
cried out — God, God, God! Three or
Now I, to comfort him bid him ’a
think of God; I hoped there was no
trouble himself with any such
to ‘a bade me to lay more clothes on
I put my hand into the bed and felt
they were as cold as any stone; then
I felt to his
knees, and so upward and upward, and
cold as any stone.
Anthony And Cleopatra, 1605
Act V, Scene II
Death of Cleopatra:
Cleopatra: Give me my robe. Put on my crown. I
Immortal longings in me. Now
The juice of Egypt’s grapes
shall moist this lip.
Yare, yare, good Iras; quick,
Methinks I hear
Anthony call. I see him rouse
To praise my noble act. I hear
The luck of Caesar, which the
god’s give men
To excuse their after wrath.
Husband, I come!
Now to that name my courage
prove my title!
I am fire and air; my other
I give to baser life. So have
Come then and take the last
warmth of my lips.
Farewell, kind Charmian.
Iras long farewell
Kisses them. Iras falls and dies.
Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?
If thou and nature can so gently part,
The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch,
Which hurts, and is desired. Dost though lie
If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world
It is not worth leave-taking.
Shakespeare, King Lear, 1606
Act V, Scene
Death of Cordelia:
Enter Lear, with Cordelia in
[the Officer and others following].
howl, howl! O you are men of stones:
your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack.
She’s gone for ever.
I know when one is dead and when one
She’s dead as earth. Lend me a
If that her breath will mist or
stain the stone,
Why then she lives.
this the promised end?
image of that horror?
feather stirs — she lives! If it be so,
a chance which does redeem all sorrows
ever I have felt.
Kent: O my good
noble Kent, your friend.
plague upon you murderers, traitors all!
might have saved her; now she’s gone for ever.
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
is’t thou sayest? Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman.
killed the slave that was a-hanging thee.
‘Tis true, my lords, he did.
Lear: Did I not, fellow?
have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
would have made him skip. I am old now,
these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
eyes are not o’ th’ best, I’ll tell you straight.
Fortune brag of two she loved and hated,
of them we behold.
Lear: This is
a dull sight. Are you not Kent?
Kent: The Same —
servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?
Lear: He’s a
good fellow, I can tell you that;
strike, and quickly too. He’s dead and rotten.
Kent: No, my
good lord; I am the very man.
Lear: I’ll see
from your first of difference and decay
followed your sad steps.
Lear: You are
Kent: Nor no man else. All’s cheerless, dark and deadly.
eldest daughters have fordone themselves,
desperately are dead.
Lear: Ay, so I
knows not what he says, and vain is it
we present us to him.
Enter a Messenger
Edmund is dead my lord.
That’s but a trifle here.
lords and noble friends, know our intent:
comfort to this great decay may come
be applied. For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old majesty,
him our absolute power; [To Edgar and Kent] you to Your rights,
boot and such addition as your honors
more than merited. All friends shall taste
wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their deservings. — O
Death of Lear:
Lear: And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no life!
should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
And though no breath at all?
Thou’lt come no more:
Never, never, never, never, never.
you, undo this button. Thank you sir.
you see this? Look on her! Look, her lips!
there, look there.
Edgar: He faints. My lord,
Kent: Break, heart; I
Kent: Vex not his ghost,
O, let him pass! He hates him
That would upon
the rack of this tough world
Edgar: He is gone indeed.
Kent: The wonder is
that he hath endured so long;
Albany: Bear them from
hence. Our present business
woe. [To Kent and Edgar] Friends of my soul,
Rule in this
realm and the gored state sustain.
Kent: I have a journey,
sir, shortly to go.
My master calls
me; I must not say no.
Edgar: The weight of this
sad time we must obey,
Speak what we
feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath
borne most: we that are young
Shall never see
so much, nor live so long.
with a dead march.
Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1606
Act V, Scene 1
Death of Lady Macbeth:
Enter Lady Macbeth, with a taper
Lo you here she comes! This is her very guise, and, upon
my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand
Doctor: How came she by that light?
Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; ‘tis her
You see, her eyes are open.
Ay, but their senses are shut.
Doctor: What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her
Gentlewoman: It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus
her hands. I have know her to
continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Yet here’s a spot.
Hark! She speaks. I will set down what come from her, to
my remembrance the more strongly.
Out, damned spot! Out, I say! — One; two. Why,
Then ‘tis time to do’t — Hell is murky. —
Fie, my lord, fie!
a soldier, and afeard? What need we
fear who knows it, when
none can call our power to account? — Yet
who would have
thought the old man to have had so much
blood in him?
Doctor: Do you mark that?
The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? — What, will
these hands ne’er be clean? — No more o’ that, my lord,
no more o’ that! You mar all with this
Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.
She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that Heaven
knows what she has known.
Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten
this little hand. O, O,
Doctor: What a sigh is there!
The heart is sorely
Gentlewoman: I would not
have such a heart in my bosom
for the dignity of
the whole body.
Doctor: Well, well,
Gentlewoman: Pray God it
This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those which have walked in their
sleep who have died holily in their beds.
Wash your hands, put on your nightgown, look not so pale:
I tell you again, Banquo’s
buried; he cannot come out on’s
Lady Macbeth: To bed, to bed; there’s knocking at
the gate. Come, come,
come, come, give me
your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.
To bed, to bed, to
Doctor: Will she now go to bed?
Doctor: Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
unnatural troubles. Infected minds
deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! Look
Remove from her the means of
And still keep eyes upon her.
So good night.
I think, but dare not speak.
Gentlewoman: Good night, good
Act V, Scene v
Macbeth to the death of Lady Macbeth:
Queen, my lord, is dead.
should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for
such a word. —
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and
Creeps in this petty pace from day
To the last syllable of recorded
And all our yesterdays have lighted
The way to dusty death. Out, out,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor
That struts and frets his hour upon
And then is heard no more. It is a
Told by an idiot, full of sound and