Ugliness in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):

  [Chorus]  The cripple tardy-gaited night …
like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. (4.Ch.20-22)

William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI (1589-90; rev. 1594-95):

  Puc.  Dolphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleas’d
To shine on my contemptible estate.
Lo, whilest I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me
And in a vision full of majesty
Will'd me to leave my base vocation
And free my country from calamity.
Her aid she promis’d and assur’d success;
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infused on me
That beauty am I bless'd with which you see. (1.2.72-86)

  [York.]  See, how the ugly witch doth bend her brows,
As if with Circe she would change my shape!
  Puc.  Chang’d to a worser shape thou canst not be….
  York.  Fell banning hag, enchantress, hold thy tongue!
  Puc.  I prithee give me leave to curse a while.
  York.  Curse, miscreant, when thou com’st to the stake. (5.3.34-44) 

William Shakespeare, Richard III (1592-93):

  Glou.  Foul wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight? (1.3.163)

  [Glou.]  Thou hateful with’red hag. (1.3.214)

William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606):

  Ban.  What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so. (1.3.39-47)

  [Macb.]  Filthy hags. (4.1.115)

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96):

  Hel.  How happy some o’er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know;
And he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind;
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind. (1.1.226-35)

  [Hel.]  Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
For beasts that meet me run away for fear.
Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne? (2.2.90-99) 

William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):

  [K. Hen.]  By mine honour, in true English, I love thee, Kate: by which honour I dare not swear thou lovest me; yet my blood begins to flatter me that thou dost, notwithstanding the poor and untempering effect of my visage. Now, beshrew my father's ambition! he was thinking of civil wars when he got me: therefore was I created with a stubborn outside, with an aspect of iron, that, when I come to woo ladies, I fright them. But, in faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear: my comfort is, that old age, that ill layer up of beauty, can do no more, spoil upon my face: thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. (5.2.220-33)

William Shakespeare, Sonnets (1593-1609):

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
     As any she belied with false compare. (130)

William Shakespeare, Richard II (1595):

  [Bull.]  The more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly. (1.1.41-42)

William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1599):

  [Duke S.]  Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. (2.1.12-14)