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90+ William Shakespeare Quotes on the Beauty of Love and the Tragedy of Death

William Shakespeare is an English playwright and poet, writing a number of tragedies and comedies, nearly 200 sonnets, and 2 full volumes of poetry. He is regarded as (one of) the greatest writers in the English language. Keep reading for some of the best William Shakespeare quotes to really get a sense of his writing:

Shakespeare: Biography

While his true date of birth is not fully known, esteemed playwright, William Shakespeare, was baptized on April 26th, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Shakespeare spent his days doing what he loved: writing, acting, and producing plays.

On November 28th, 1582, he made Anne Hathaway his wife, and together they bore 3 children: Susanne and the twins, Hamnet and Judith. Shortly after starting his family, he became a member of Lord Chamberlain’s company of players, “King’s Men,” in 1594. Joining this company allowed him to create the famous Globe Theater, work with the best actors, and become the greatest writer of his time.

With his death on April 23rd, 1616, William Shakespeare left behind a large legacy. Seldom did he know that he would be spoken about for centuries to come. He wrote 37 plays, described as tragedies, comedies, or histories, wrote 154 sonnets, and published 2 full volumes of poetry. Alongside his widely read and analyzed writings, he also introduced the iambic pentameter, which is now a form of poetry commonly used amongst writers. He also introduced upwards of 1,700 words into the English language that was not standardized in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

William Shakespeare’s work left behind a vast amount of famous quotes and sayings that we still use today. Read the article below to find a Shakespeare quote to adore from one of his popular plays or sonnets:

William Shakespeare Quotes
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William Shakespeare Quotes From Twelfth Night

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene V

“Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.”William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene V

“If music be the food of love, play on.”William Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 1

“This is very midsummer madness.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene IV

William Shakespeare Quotes From Romeo and Juliet

“How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene V

“Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene I

“Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.” William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene I

“Don’t waste your love on somebody who doesn’t value it.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene I


William Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare Quotes From Hamlet

“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene III

“Sweets to the sweet.” William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene I

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene II

“Get thee to a nunnery.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene V

“Conscience does make cowards of us all.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

“Doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene III

“And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene III

“Doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene III

“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene III

“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come…”William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

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William Shakespeare Quotes From Macbeth

“What’s done is done.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene II

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene I

“Something wicked this way comes.” William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene I

“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene V

“I bear a charmed life.”William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene VIII

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene VII

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene II

“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene V

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” William Shakespeare,  Act V, Scene V

William Shakespeare Quotes From As You Like It

“The whole world is a stage, and all the men and women merely actors. They have their exits and their entrances, and in his lifetime, a man will play many parts, his life separated into seven acts.” William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene VII

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene I

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene VII

“How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!”William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene II

“Can one desire too much of a good thing?” William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene I

William Shakespeare Quotes From Much Ado About Nothing

“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I

“I do love nothing in the world so well as you — is that not strange?” William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene I

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, / Men were deceivers ever, / One foot in sea and one on shore, / To one thing constant never.” William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene III

“Everyone can master a grief, but he that has it.” William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene II

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William Shakespeare Quotes From Other Plays

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene I

“They do not love that do not show their love.” William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, Scene II

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare, All’s Well that Ends Well, Act I, Scene I

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene I

“Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

“Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.”William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part III, Act V, Scene VI

“So we’ll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too- Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out- And take upon ‘s the mystery of things, As if we were God’s spies; and we’ll wear out, In a wall’d prison, packs, and sects of great ones That ebb and flow by th’ moon.”William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act V, Scene III

“Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe.”William Shakespeare, King Richard III, Act V, Scene III

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene I

“What is honour? a word. What is in that word honour? What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? no.”William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I, Act V, Scene I

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene II

“Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest.”William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I, Scene IV

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act III, Scene I

“The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.”William Shakespeare, Othello, Act I, Scene III

“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene I

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I

“Delays have dangerous ends.”William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I, Act III, Scene II

“Why, then the world’s mine oyster.”William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene II

“The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.” William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act III, Scene I

“A man can die but once.” William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene II

“We have seen better days.” William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act IV, Scene II

“To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.” William Shakespeare, Othello, Act I, Scene III

“You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely.” William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act I, Scene I

“The common curse of mankind – folly and ignorance.” William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene III

“The world is grown so bad that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.” William Shakespeare, King Richard III, Act I, Scene III

“Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.” William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act II, Scene I

“All that glitters is not gold.”William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene VII

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene I

“I am one who loved not wisely but too well.” William Shakespeare, Othello, Act V, Scene II

“Nothing will come of nothing.” William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I, Scene I

“I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.” William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, Scene II

“Age, I do abhor thee, youth, I do adore thee.” William Shakespeare, The Passionate Pilgrim, Verse 12

“The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, Scene II

“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.”William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act IIII, Scene III

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William Shakespeare Quotes from Sonnets

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

“In black ink, my love may still shine bright.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 65

“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

“Love is not love / which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove. / O no! It is an ever-fixed mark.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

“I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, / But no such roses see I in her cheeks; / and in some perfumes, there is more delight / Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 98

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

“If you read this line, remember not / the hand that writ it, for I love you so / that I in your sweet thoughts would be forget, / if thinking on me then should make you woe.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 71

“Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, / but bears it out even to the edge of doom: / If this be error and upon me proved, / I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

“What should I do but tend / Upon the hours and times of your desire? / I have no precious time at all to spend, / Nor services to do, till you require.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 57

“The worst was this: my love was my decay.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 80

“O, learn to read what silent love hath writ: / To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.” William Shakespeare, Sonnet 23

Shakespeare’s Famous Works for Further Reading

More Quotes:

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