William Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

Born: 23 April 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Died: 23 April 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England

Shakespeare’s date of birth is presumed, based on his recorded baptism on the 26th, possibly so readily agreed to because of the resonance of his dying on the same date. He probably was educated in Latin and the classics at the King’s New School at Stratford, his father’s position would have entitled him to attend. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582, they had a daughter six months later and twin sons. Nothing is known of his life until 1592, at which time he was attacked in print for his pretension as a writer. He joined the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an actors’ cooperative in 1594; after Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603 they received a royal patent from James I and became the King’s Men. Shakespeare’s recorded property holdings indicate he did quite well.

By 1613, when he retired to Stratford, he had written at least 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His works have been translated into more languages than any other English author, and he is the most quoted author of all time.

William Shakespeare quotes:

A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.

William Shakespeare

Cassius speaking to Brutus in Julius Caesar (1599)
A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!

William Shakespeare

Richard III Act V, scene iv (ca. 1592)
A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one of sprites and goblins. When daffodils begin to peer, With heigh! the doxy, over the dale, Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year; For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.

William Shakespeare
A surfeit of the sweetest things
the deepest loathing to the stomach brings.

William Shakespeare
Action is eloquence.

William Shakespeare

Coriolanus (1607)
Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy.

William Shakespeare

Friar Laurence speaking in Romeo & Juliet (1595)
Affection is a coal that must be cool’d
Else, suffered, it will set the heart of fire.

William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis (1593)
All that glisters is not gold; Often have you heard that told.

William Shakespeare
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

As You Like It (1599)
Ambition is made of sterner stuff.

William Shakespeare
An enterprise,when fairly once begun,should not be left till all that ought is won

William Shakespeare
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey
And last eat up himself.

William Shakespeare

Ulysses speaking in Troilus and Cressida (1601-02)
As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods.
They kill us for their sport.

William Shakespeare

Gloucester in King Lear (1605-06)
As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.

William Shakespeare
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.

William Shakespeare

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
The eyes of men without an orator.

William Shakespeare

The Rape of Lucrece (1594)
Blow, blow thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

William Shakespeare
Boldness be my friend.

William Shakespeare
Brevity is the soul of wit.

William Shakespeare
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

William Shakespeare

Romeo & Juliet (1595)
But then I sigh, and, with a piece of Scripture, tell them – that God bids us do good for evil: and thus I clothe my naked villainy, with old odd ends, stolen forth of Holy Writ: and seem a saint, when most I play the devil. Why, I can smile and murder while I smile: and cry, content, to that which grieves my heart; and wet my cheeks with artificial tears, and frame my face to all occasions.

William Shakespeare
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night.
Give me my Romeo, and when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

William Shakespeare

Romeo & Juliet (1595)
Courage mounteth with occasion.

William Shakespeare
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

William Shakespeare
Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

William Shakespeare
Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

William Shakespeare
Everything that grows holds in perfection but a moment.

William Shakespeare
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
  Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
  Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
  Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

William Shakespeare
Fight till the last gasp.

William Shakespeare

Joan La Pucelle in King Henry VI, Part I (1592)
For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother tomorrow.

William Shakespeare

Frame thy mind to mirth and merriment
which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.

William Shakespeare

Messenger in The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, scene ii (1593)
Friends, Romans, countryman, lend me your ears
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

William Shakespeare

Marc Antony speaking in Julius Caesar (1599)
Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love.

William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
Get thee glass eyes;
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.

William Shakespeare

Lear in King Lear, Act IV, scene vi (1605)
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

William Shakespeare

Polonius in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act I, scene iii (1600)
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.

William Shakespeare
God grant us patience!

William Shakespeare

Longaville in Love’s Labour’s Lost< Act I, scene i (1594)
God made him, therefore let him pass for a man.

William Shakespeare
Gold that’s put to use more gold begets.

William Shakespeare
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.

William Shakespeare

King Lear Act I, scene iv
He is well paid that is well satisfied.

William Shakespeare

Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, scene i (1596)
He wears the rose
of youth upon him.

William Shakespeare

Antony spekaing of Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
That it do singe yourself.

William Shakespeare

Norfolk in Henry VIII, Act I, scene iii (1612)
He’s mad, that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.

William Shakespeare

King Lear Act III, scene vi
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

William Shakespeare

Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Act V, scene i (1596)

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,
What old December’s bareness everywhere!

William Shakespeare

“Sonnet 97” in Sonnets (1609)
How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

William Shakespeare

Iago in Othello (1602-04)
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child!

William Shakespeare

Lear speaking in King Lear Act I, scene iv (1605–06)
I have had a dream — past the wit of man to say what dream it was.

William Shakespeare

Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, scene i (1595)
I set it down that
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

William Shakespeare

Hamlet in Hamlet (1604)
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock;
My thoughts are minutes.

William Shakespeare

Richard in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, Act V, scene v (1595)
I wish you all the joy you can wish.

William Shakespeare
If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.

William Shakespeare

Prince Henry in Henry VI, Part I, Act I, scene ii (1591)
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly.

William Shakespeare

Macbeth in Macbeth, Act I, scene vii (1605)
If music be the food of love, play on.

William Shakespeare
In nature there’s no blemish but the mind;
None can be call’d deform’d but the unkind.

William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night
In thy face I see
The map of honor, truth, and loyalty.

William Shakespeare

King Henry in Henry VI, Part II, Act III, scene i (1590)
Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, Manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?

William Shakespeare
It is one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.

William Shakespeare
Jesters do often prove prophets.

William Shakespeare

Let them obey that know not how to rule.

William Shakespeare
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

Macbeth in Macbeth, Act V, scene v (1605)
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end,
Each changing place with that which goes before
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

William Shakespeare

Sonnets
Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none.

William Shakespeare
Love from one side hurts, but love from two sides heals.

William Shakespeare
Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.

William Shakespeare
Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares.

William Shakespeare
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

William Shakespeare
Man, proud man! dressed in a little brief authority, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep.

William Shakespeare

Measure for Measure Isabella at II, ii
Many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills and dare scarce come thither.

William Shakespeare

Hamlet, Act 2, scene II (1600)
Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.

William Shakespeare

Adam to Orlando in As You Like It (1599)
Memory, the warder of the brain.

William Shakespeare

Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (1606)
Men in rage strike those that wish them best.

William Shakespeare

Iago in Othello (1602-04)
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.

William Shakespeare
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.

William Shakespeare

My pride fell with my fortunes.

William Shakespeare

Rosalind in As You Like It, Act I, scene ii (1599)
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment.

William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
Nay, my lords,
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.

William Shakespeare

Timon in Timon of Athens, Act I, scene ii (1607)
Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality.

William Shakespeare

Henry V, Act I, scene i
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

William Shakespeare

Polonius in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act I, scene ii (1600)
No profit grows where there is no pleasure ta’en.

William Shakespeare

Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, scene i (1593)
No, I will be the pattern of all patience,
I will say nothing.

William Shakespeare
Not Hercules could have knock’d out his brains, for he had none.

William Shakespeare
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.

William Shakespeare

Richard III Act I, scene i (ca. 1592)
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.

William Shakespeare
O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.

William Shakespeare

Iago to Othello in Othello (1602–04)
Of all knowledge the wise and good seek most to know themselves.

William Shakespeare
Oh God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!

William Shakespeare

Cassio speaking of alcohol in Othello (1602–04)
Oh, it is excellent
To have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

William Shakespeare

Isabella in Measure for Measure, Act II, scene ii (1604)
Oh, what a bitter thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.

William Shakespeare

Orlando in As You Like It, Act V, scene ii (1599)

Oh, what a world of vile ill-favoured faults,
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!

William Shakespeare

Anne Page in The Merry Lives of Windsor, Act III, scene iv (1600)
Oh! that a man might know the end of this day’s business ere it come.

William Shakespeare
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger.

William Shakespeare

Henry V, act III, scene i
One ought to see everything that one has a chance of seeing; because in life not many have one chance and no one has two.

William Shakespeare
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

William Shakespeare
Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

William Shakespeare

Measure for Measure (1604-05)
Our fears do make us traitors.

William Shakespeare

Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (1606)
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven.

William Shakespeare

Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well, Act I, scene i (1602)
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

Macbeth in Macbeth, Act V, scene v (1605)
Out, damned spot! Out, I say!

William Shakespeare
Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.

William Shakespeare

Iago in Othello (1602-04)
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
As self-neglecting.

William Shakespeare

Dauphin in Henry V, Act II, scene iii (1598)
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
Simply the thing I am shall make me live.

William Shakespeare
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

William Shakespeare

Some are born great; some achieve greatness; and some have greatness thrust upon them.

William Shakespeare

Malvolio to Fabian in Twelfth Night, Act II, scene v (1599)
Striving to be better, oft we mar what’s well.

William Shakespeare
Suit the action to the word, word to action.

William Shakespeare
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind: The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

William Shakespeare
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

William Shakespeare

Duke Senior in As You Like It, Act II, scene i (1599)
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

William Shakespeare

Duke Senior in As You Like It, Act II, scene i (1599)
Talkers are no good doers.

William Shakespeare
Tempt not a desperate man.

William Shakespeare
That, if then I had waked after a long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming, the clouds me thought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked I cried to dream again.

William Shakespeare
The art of our necessities is strange,
And can make vile things precious.

William Shakespeare

King Lear Act III, scene ii
The barge she sat in, like a burnishd throne, burnd on the water; the poop was beaten gold, purple the sails, and so perfumed, that the winds were love-sick with them, the oars were silver, which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made the water which they beat to follow faster, as amorous of their strokes. For her own person, it beggard all description.

William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar (1599)
The best beer is where priests go to drink. For a quart of Ale is a dish for a king.

William Shakespeare

The Winter’s Tale
The course of true love never did run smooth.

William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1596)
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

William Shakespeare

Antonio in The Merchant of Venice (ca. 1596)
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath.

William Shakespeare

Antonio in The Merchant of Venice (ca. 1596)

The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby.

William Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus, Act IV, scene iv (1594)
The earth has music for those who listen.

William Shakespeare
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.

William Shakespeare

Marc Antony speaking in Julius Caesar (1599)
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

William Shakespeare

Cassius in Julius Caesar, Act I, scene ii (1599)
The King’s name is a tower of strength.

William Shakespeare

Richard in Richard III, Act V, scene iii (1592)
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

William Shakespeare
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope.

William Shakespeare

Claudio in Measure for Measure (1603)
The poet’s eye in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; and, as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name.

William Shakespeare
The prince of darkness is a gentleman.

William Shakespeare

King Lear Act III, scene iv
The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.

William Shakespeare
The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
The shadow of your face.

William Shakespeare

Bolingbroke in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, Act IV, scene i (1595)
The silence, often of pure innocence,
persuades where speaking fails.

William Shakespeare
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns.

William Shakespeare

on death in Hamlet (1604)
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

William Shakespeare

All’s Well That Ends Well (1603–04)
Then, England’s ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu,
My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
Where e’er I wander, boast of this I can:
Though banished, yet a true-born Englishman.

William Shakespeare

Bolingbroke in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, Act I, scene iii (1595)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Then are dreamt of in your philosophy.

William Shakespeare
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.

William Shakespeare
There is no darkness but ignorance.

William Shakespeare

Fool in Twelfth Night, Act IV, scene ii (1599)
There is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man’s commendation with women, than report of valor.

William Shakespeare
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats.
For I am arm’d so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not.

William Shakespeare
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

William Shakespeare
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it.

William Shakespeare

Hamlet
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.

William Shakespeare
There’s many a man has more hair than wit.

William Shakespeare
There’s small choice in rotten apples.

William Shakespeare

Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, scene i (1593)
Things done well and with a care exempt themselves from fear.

William Shakespeare
Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.

William Shakespeare
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

Polonius in Hamlet
This was the most unkindest cut of all:
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor’s arms,
Quite vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart.

William Shakespeare

Marc Antony speaking in Julius Caesar, Act III, scene ii (1599)
Those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculed in the country, as the behavior of the country is most mockable at the court.

William Shakespeare

Thou art a traitor. Off with his head! Now by Saint Paul I swear I will not dine until I see the same.

William Shakespeare

Richard III Act III, scene iv (ca. 1592)
Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.

William Shakespeare
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

William Shakespeare

Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II, scene vii (1594)
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.

William Shakespeare
Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.

William Shakespeare

Nym in Henry V, Act II, scene i (1599)
Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

William Shakespeare
Though those that are betrayed Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor Stands in worse case of woe.

William Shakespeare

Cymbeline (Imogen at III, iv)
Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried.

William Shakespeare

The Rape of Lucrece (1594)
Through tattered clothes small vices do appear; robes and furred gowns hide all.

William Shakespeare
‘Tis but a base ignoble mind
That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.

William Shakespeare

Gloucester speaking in King Henry VI (1592)
‘Tis not the many oaths that make the truth;
But the plain single vow, that is vow’d true.

William Shakespeare
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.

William Shakespeare

Hamlet in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III, scene ii (1600)
To be a well-flavored man is the gift of fortune, but to write or read comes by nature.

William Shakespeare
To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

William Shakespeare
To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.

William Shakespeare

To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.

William Shakespeare

Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1596)
To willful men,
The injuries that they themselves procure
Must be their schoolmasters.

William Shakespeare

Regan in King Lear, Act II, scene iv (1605)
Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ.

William Shakespeare

Iago in Othello (1602-04)
True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings.
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.

William Shakespeare
Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?

William Shakespeare

Hamlet, Act II, scene ii
Violent delights have violent ends, and in their triumph die; like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume. They are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.

William Shakespeare
Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.

William Shakespeare
We are advertis’d by our loving friends.

William Shakespeare

King Edward in King Henry VI, Part 3, Act V, scene iii (1591)
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare

Prospero in The Tempest, Act IV, scene i (1611)
We cannot all be masters.

William Shakespeare
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

William Shakespeare
Were kisses all the joys in bed,
One woman would another wed.

William Shakespeare

“Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music IV” in The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems (1914)
What fate imposes, men must needs abide; it boots not to resist both wind and tide.

William Shakespeare
What’s done cannot be undone.

William Shakespeare
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet Act II, scene ii (ca. 1595)

What do you think?

1.1k Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by MoneyNet

MoneyNet is the team behind the research and fact-checking of our net worth listings. We strive to provide the most up-to-date listings of the wealthiest people in the world from a wide range of industries and professions. If you have a tip, or think that we have something factually incorrect, then please let us know. Aside from that, enjoy learning everything there is to know about the rich and famous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tom Stoppard Quotes

Richest Radio Hosts In The World