William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1609-10):
Imo. [Aside.] These are kind creatures. Gods, what lies I have heard!
Our courtiers say all's savage but at court:
Experience, O, thou disprovest report!
The imperious seas breed monsters; for the dish,
Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish. (4.2.32-36)
[Post.] Being an ugly monster,
'Tis strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds,
Sweet words. (5.3.70-72)
William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1593-94):
Bion. Why, Petruchio is coming in a new hat and an old jerkin; a pair of old breeches thrice turn'd; a pair of boots that have been candle-cases, one buckled, another lac'd; an old rusty sword ta'en out of the town armory, with a broken hilt, and chapeless; with two broken points; his horse hipp'd, with an old mothy saddle and stirrups of no kindred; besides, possess'd with the glanders and like to mose in the chine, troubled with the lampass, infected with the fashions, full of windgalls, sped with spavins, ray'd with the yellows, past cure of the fives, stark spoil'd with the staggers, begnawn with the bots, sway'd in the back, and shoulder-shotten, near-legged before, and with a half-cheek'd bit and a head-stall of sheep's leather, which being restrain'd to keep him from stumbling, hath been often burst, and now repair'd with knots; one girth six times piec'd, and a woman's crupper of velure, which hath two letters for her name fairly set down in studs, and here and there piec'd with packthread.
Bap. Who comes with him?
Bion. O, sir, his lackey, for all the world caparison'd like the horse; with a linen stock on one leg, and a kersey boot-hose on the other, gart'red with a red and blue list; an old hat, and the humor of forty fancies prick'd in't for a feather: a monster, a very monster in apparel, and not like a Christian footboy or a gentleman's lackey. (3.2.43-71)
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96):
Snout. O Bottom, thou art chang'd! What do I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? You see an ass-head of your own, do you?
Quin. Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou art translated. Exit.
Bot. I see their knavery. This is to make an ass of me. (3.1.114-21)
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nole I fixed on his head:
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass. (3.2.6-34)
William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1601-03):
[Alex.] This man, lady, hath robb’d many beasts of their particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant; a man into whom nature hath so crowded humors that his valor is crush’d into folly, his folly sauc’d with discretion. There is no man hath a virtue that he hath not a glimpse of, nor any man an attaint but he carries some stain of it. He is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair; he hath the joints of every thing, but everything so out of joint that he is a gouty Briareus, many hands and no use, or purblind Argus, all eyes and no sight. (1.2.19-30)
Ther. Why, ‘a stalks up and down like a peacock – a stride and a stand; ruminates like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning; bites his lip with a politic regard, as who should say there were wit in this head, an 'twould out – and so there is; but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man's undone forever, for if Hector break not his neck i' the combat, he'll break't himself in vain-glory. He knows not me: I said 'Good morrow, Ajax’; and he replies 'Thanks, Agamemnon.' What think you of this man that takes me for the general? He's grown a very land-fish, language-less, a monster. A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin. (3.3.251-65)
[Tro.] In all Cupid's pageant there is presented no monster.
Cres. Nor nothing monstrous neither?
Tro. Nothing but our undertakings, when we vow to weep seas, live in fire, eat rocks, tame tigers; thinking it harder for our mistress to devise imposition enough than for us to undergo any difficulty impos’d. This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confin’d, tat the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit.
Cres. They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform; vowing more than the perfection of ten, and discharching less than the tenth part of one. They that have the voice of lions and the act of hares, are they not monsters? (3.2.74-89)
William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611):
[Trin.] What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lazy out ten to see a dead Indian. Legged like a man and his fins like arms! Warm, o’ my truth! I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer: this is no nosh, but an islander, that hath lately suffer’d by a thunderbolt. (2.2.24-37)
[Ste.] If I can recover him, and keep him tame, and get to Naples with him, he's a present for any emperor…. If I can recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him; he shall pay for him that hath him, and that soundly. (2.2.68-78)
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606):
Macb. I’ll not fight with thee.
Macd. Then yiled thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time!
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted on a pole, and underwrit,
'Here may you see the tyrant.' (5.8.22-27)
William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV (1596-97):
Mort. Fie, cousin Percy, how you cross my father!
Hot. I cannot choose. Sometimes he angers me
With telling me of the mouldwarp and the ant,
Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,
And of a dragon and a finless fish,
A clip-wing'd griffin and a moulten raven,
A couching lion and a ramping cat,
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
As puts me from my faith. (3.1.145-53)
William Shakespeare, Othello (1604):
[Iago.] Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs. (1.1.115-17)
[Oth.] I spoke of … men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. (1.3.134-45)
Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. (3.3.165-67)
[Iago.] Would you would bear your fortune like a man!
Oth. A horned man's a monster and a beast.
Iago. There's many a beast then in a populous city,
And many a civil monster. (4.1.61-64)
William Shakespeare, Love's Labours Lost (1594-95; rev. 1597):
[Hol.] O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look! (4.2.23)
William Shakespeare, King Lear (1605):
[Lear.] Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Than the sea-monster! (1.4.259-61)
[Lear.] Monster ingratitude! (1.5.40)
[Alb.] If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep. (4.2.46-50)
[Lear.] Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
Though women all above.
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Beneath is all the fiend's.
There's hell, there's darkness, there's the sulphurous pit;
burning, scalding, stench, consumption. Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah! (4.6.124-29)
William Shakespeare, Coriolanus (1607-08):
[3. Cit.] Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude: of the which we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members. (2.3.9-13)
William Shakespeare, Pericles (1606-08):
[Gow.] But alack,
That monster envy, oft the wrack
Of earned praise. (4.Cho.11-13)
William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1598):
[Rum.] Rumor is a pipe,
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and plain a stop
The blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav'ring multitude,
Can play upon it. (Ind.15-20)