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117 William Shakespeare Quotes & 6 Interesting Facts

Shakespeare is possibly one of the most commonly quoted writers of all time – even when we may not realize we are quoting him. We’ve gathered a vast collection of his time-tested quotes below.

Whether you’re looking for quotes from Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet or Julius Caesar, or are simply curious about his most famous lines, we’ve got quotes for all these categories and more.

And if you’re interested in learning about the fascinating life of this English poet and playwright, we’ve also compiled a list of interesting facts about William Shakespeare below.

Best Quotes from William Shakespeare to Think about

Best Quotes from William Shakespeare to Think about

With so many classics under his belt, there’s no denying that William Shakespeare (1564–1616) is one of the most acclaimed writers of all time.

His many plays and poems are studied in English literature classes around the world for their skillful use of language and their broad range of themes.

From histories, to tragedies and comedies, Shakespeare’s plays cover many different topics with stories that are still reimagined and reinterpreted to this day.

His iconic plays such as Macbeth, King Lear and Othello are full of famous lines that people can quote without a second thought.

You’ll find many of these quotes below, along with countless others that you may not have comes across before. So dive right in and discover the legendary lines of William Shakespeare.

Here you’ll find more smart quotes to think about.

Shakespeare Quotes about Love

Shakespeare Quotes about Love

William Shakespeare’s love quotes have been passed between lovers for centuries now, thanks to his many romantic plays and poems.

Shakespeare’s writing often centers around matters of the heart, meaning we have our choice of love quotes.

Whether you’re on the hunt for quotes about the trials and tribulations of love, a broken heart or the romance of falling in love, The Bard has a quote for you.

  1. The course of true love never did run smooth.
  2. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
  3. Love is holy.
  4. But love is blind and lovers cannot see
    The pretty follies that themselves commit.
  5. Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
  6. My love as deep; the more I give to thee
    The more I have, for both are infinite.
  7. Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?
  8. Love me or hate me, both are in my favour.
    If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…
    If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.
  9. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.
  10. Excellent wretch!
    Perdition catch my soul
    But I do love thee!
    and when I love thee not,
    Chaos is come again.

Most Famous Quotes by Shakespeare

Most Famous Quotes by Shakespeare

Shakespeare has written some of the most famous lines in all of English literature. His iconic quotes have captured the attention of countless readers over the years, with lines ranging from inspiring to funny to tragic.

The famous quotes below are sure to be familiar to you, but you may also find some hidden gems that you haven’t come across before.

  1. Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
  2. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
  3. How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
  4. Nothing can come of nothing.
  5. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
  6. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
  7. We are such stuff as dreams are made on.
  8. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
  9. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
  10. Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
  11. The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
  12. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
  13. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
  14. Why then, the world’s mine oyster, which I
    with sword will open.

William Shakespeare Quotes about Life

William Shakespeare Quotes about Life

The many ups and downs of life are a hot topic in the world of literature, and this is no different in Shakespeare’s writing.

The English playwright provided many insightful messages on life and its challenges throughout his various plays and poems.

Explore The Bard’s thought-provoking insights on life below and allow yourself to be inspired by his unique way with words.

  1. Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
    Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
  2. We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
  3. How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
  4. No legacy is so rich as honesty.
  5. All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.
  6. All that glisters is not gold.
  7. It’s not enough to speak, but to speak true.
  8. Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.
  9. In time we hate that which we often fear.
  10. Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.
  11. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
  12. This day I breathed first: time is come round,
    And where I did begin there shall I end;
    My life is run his compass.

Quotes from Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Quotes from Macbeth by William Shakespeare

“The Scottish Play” is well-known for being thought to be cursed in the world of theater, with patrons refusing to mention its real title on set.

The Tragedy of Macbeth offers iconic imagery that is referenced all around the world: who doesn’t immediatly imagine three witches stirring a cauldron when they hear the words "double, double, toil and trouble"?

Despite its short nature, the tragic Scottish play, Macbeth, is full of memorable lines, some of which have come to be part of the modern English language. Have a read and see how many you recognize.

  1. Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
  2. Something wicked this way comes.
  3. Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
    May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
    Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
    Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
    But be the serpent under 't.
  4. When shall we three meet again
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
  5. What’s done cannot be undone.
  6. One fell swoop.
  7. False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
  8. Nothing is
    But what is not.
  9. What! can the devil speak true?
  10. Come what come may,
    Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
  11. Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
  12. Letting 'I dare not" wait upon 'I would,'
    Like the poor cat i' the adage.

Best Quotes from Hamlet by Shakespeare

Best Quotes from Hamlet by Shakespeare

Another tragedy, Hamlet revolves around the eponymous Danish prince and his attempts at revenge on his father’s murderer, his own uncle.

This play is considered one of the most influential tragedies of all time and has been retold countless times.

The quotes from Hamlet below are full of instantly recognizable lines and insightful messages. So jump right in and share your favorite with your fellow literature buffs.

  1. Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.
  2. Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
  3. The lady protests to much, methinks.
  4. To be or not to be, that is the question.
  5. To thine own self be true.
  6. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  7. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
  8. God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.
  9. I must be cruel only to be kind;
    Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
  10. Listen to many, speak to a few.
  11. Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio.
  12. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Funny Shakespeare Quotes

Funny Shakespeare Quotes

Despite his penchant for writing tragedies, Shakespeare also dabbled in his fair share of comedies, such as Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice and All’s Well That End’s Well.

These comedies are full of funny quotes, which we have gathered below for your entertainment. Get ready for a giggle.

  1. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.
  2. I do desire we may be better strangers.
  3. There live not three good men unhanged in England: and one of them is fat.
  4. Mine eyes smell onions.
  5. More of your conversation would infect my brain.
  6. I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands.
  7. Villain, I have done thy mother.
  8. Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
  9. What you egg!
  10. Thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows.

Find here more funny quotes.

Romantic Quotes from William Shakespeare

Romantic Quotes from William Shakespeare

If you’re looking for the right words to woo that special someone in your life, whether that’s on a date, on Valentine’s Day or simply to show them your love, Shakespeare’s words never fail.

Below you will find a collection of Shakespeare’s most romantic quotes to ensure you succeed in your romantic endeavors.

  1. Thou art wise as thou art beautiful.
  2. Doubt thou the stars are fire;
    Doubt that the sun doth move;
    Doubt truth to be a liar;
    But never doubt I love.
  3. I do love nothing in the world so well as you.
  4. I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.
  5. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate
  6. The gifts she looks from me are pack’d and lock’d
    Up in my heart; which I have given already,
    But not deliver’d. O, hear me breathe my life
    Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
    Hath sometime loved!
  7. You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings
    and soar with them above a common bound.
  8. An angel is like you, and you are like an angel.
  9. Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
    Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
    Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears;
  10. What is it else? A madness most discreet,
    A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
  11. Under loves heavy burden do I sink.
  12. Turn him into stars and form a constellation in his image. His face will make the heavens so beautiful that the world will fall in love with the night and forget about the garish sun.

Find here beautiful quotes about true love.

Famous Shakespeare Quotes from Romeo and Juliet

Famous Shakespeare Quotes from Romeo and Juliet

Perhaps Shakespeare’s most famous work, Romeo and Juliet is a tragic romance that deals with the love between two young Italians from feuding families.

It has been adapted for the silver screen numerous times and is as popular today as it was upon its release.

As such, the tragedy is full of many of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, which you can find below.

  1. O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
  2. Abraham: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
    Sampson: I do bite my thumb, sir.
  3. A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.
  4. Educated men are so impressive!
  5. The sweetest honey is loathsome in its own deliciousness. And in the taste destroys the appetite. Therefore, love moderately.
  6. But, soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
  7. Good night, good night!
    Parting is such sweet sorrow,
    That I shall say good night till it
    be morrow.
  8. Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
    Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,
    And I am proof against their enmity.
  9. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other word would smell as sweet.
  10. There’s an old saying that applies to me: you can’t lose a game if you don’t play the game.
  11. Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.
  12. A plague o’ both your houses!

Shakespeare Quotes about Friendship

Shakespeare Quotes about Friendship

It was not just romantic relationships that Shakespeare wrote about, he also offered insights on the importance of platonic ones.

The topic of friendships recurs throughout Shakespeare’s plays, and he wrote many pearls of wisdom on the matter.

If you are looking for some quotes to highlight the importance of your friendships, the quotes below from Shakespeare have got you covered.

  1. Friendship is constant in all other things
    Save in the office and affairs of love.
  2. I would not wish,
    Any companion in the world but you.
  3. I count myself in nothing else so happy
    As in a soul remembering my good friends.
  4. That which I would discover
    The law of friendship bids me to conceal.
  5. A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.
  6. Thy friendship makes us fresh.
    And doth beget new courage in our breasts.
  7. …ceremony was but devised at first
    To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
    Recanting goodness, sorry ere ’tis shown;
    But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
    Pray, sit. More welcome are you to my fortunes
    Than my fortunes to me.
  8. Thy sting is not so sharp
    As friend remembered not…
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
  9. The private wound is deepest. O, time most
    ’Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!
  10. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel
  11. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end.

Here you’ll get more quotes about true friendship.

Shakespeare Quotes from Julius Caesar

Shakespeare Quotes from Julius Caesar

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a history play depicting the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The play is full of famous lines and illustrative quotes, some of which have even gone on to become traditional proverbs.

We’ve gathered Shakespeare quotes from Julius Caesar here so that you can quote the play to your friends and family.

  1. Beware the Ides of March.
  2. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
    But in ourselves.
  3. Et tu, Brute? – Then fall, Caesar!
  4. Men at some time are masters of their fates.
  5. Cry “Havoc”, and let slip the dogs of war.
  6. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus; and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
  7. But, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
  8. Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods.
  9. The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones.
  10. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
  11. There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
  12. Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.

Interesting Facts about William Shakespeare

Interesting Facts about William Shakespeare

Despite how long ago Shakespeare lived, historians have unearthed a large amount about The Bard’s life and legacy. And some facts about his life are truly fascinating and definitely worth a share.

As such, we’ve gathered the most interesting facts to give you an insight into this esteemed playwright’s life many centuries ago. Share them with your friends and impress them with your vast knowledge of William Shakespeare’s life.

1. Shakespeare was also an actor

Although best known as a writer, Shakespeare also had acting roles in many plays. He acted in both his own plays and those written by others. There is even evidence that he played the ghost in Hamlet.

2. Shakespeare disappeared for 7 years

Between the years 1585 and 1592, The Bard disappeared from historical records. This period is referred to as the “lost years” by historians.

3. We likely spell his name incorrectly

During Shakespeare’s lifetime, his last name was spelled more than 80 different ways, from “Shappere” to “Shaxberd”. In the various surviving signatures of Shakespeare’s, he usually signed with an abbreviated form of his name and not once did he spell his last name as “Shakespeare”.

4. Shakespeare invented many phrases we use today

The Bard had a huge influence on the English language we speak today. Hundreds of modern phrases were first used by Shakespeare in his writing. These include “green-eyed monster”, “in a pickle”, “cruel to be kind” and “wild goose chase.”

5. Shakespeare died on his birthday

Shakespeare’s funeral is documented as having taken place on April 25th, 1616. In keeping with the tradition of the time of being buried 2 days after dying, it is likely Shakespeare died on April 23rd, which was also his birthday.

6. Shakespeare cursed his grave

Shakespeare wrote an epitaph on his grave that cursed anyone who would disturb his body. It read:

Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.

Despite the custom of digging up bones to make room for new graves, Shakespeare’s grave remains undisturbed.

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