It’s raining outside. It’s windy. It’s blowing a gale. Now really is the winter of our discontent! The cold may get you down, but nobody puts the winter blues into words quite like William Shakespeare.

Winter in general

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iStockphoto

 

I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.

Henry VI pt iii

 

For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque’d with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where.

Sonnet (V)

 

Thou knowest, winter tames man, woman, and beast.

The Taming of the Shrew

 

Winter, which, being full of care, makes summer’s welcome thrice more wished, more rare.

Sonnet 56

 

Frost

 

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iStockphoto

 

What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen,

What old December’s bareness everywhere!

Sonnet 97

 

Rain

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iStockphoto

 

The rain it raineth every day

The Tempest

 

Wind

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iStockphoto

 

Blow, blow thou winter wind,

Thou are not so unkind as man’s ingratitude

As You Like It

 

Storms

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iStockphoto

 

Blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!

The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.

Julius Caesar

 

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples.

King Lear

 

I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv’d the knotty oaks, and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.

Julius Caesar

 

When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.

Richard III

 

Snow

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iStockphoto

 

A little snow, tumbled about, anon becomes a mountain.

King John

 

Lightning

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iStockphoto

 

Merciful Heaven,

Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split’st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle.

Measure for Measure

 

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say “Behold”
The jaws of darkness do devour it up.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

And on keeping warm…

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iStockphoto

 

In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow

And keep eternal spring-time on thy face.

Titus Andronicus