He brought us many of the greatest plays and beloved tragedies the world has ever known. Even today, William Shakespeare’s spirit is still alive and well in the many recreations of his famous works on stage and screen. Are you looking for famous William Shakespeare quotes and sayings from his writings?
William Shakespeare (baptized 1564 – 23 April 1616) is known as one of the greatest writers and playwrights in history. Famous for his poems (sonnets), performances (as an actor), and plays (Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, etc.), excerpts from his works has been quoted time and again.
While there were so many profound words written in what could be considered too short a lifetime, here is a list of 50 of the most famous Shakespeare quotes. Many you have surely heard, some may be new or unknown that they had been written by him.
We each have our favorites, I know I do. I hope that I have found yours here.
William Shakespeare Quotes About Life
1. 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. (As You Like it)
2. To be, or not to be: that is the question. (Hamlet) (see more quotes from Hamlet)
3. Now is the winter of our discontent. (Richard III)
4. Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? (Macbeth) (see all Macbeth quotes)
5. Full fathom five thy father lies, of his bones are coral made. Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange. (The Tempest)
6. A man can die but once. (Henry IV, Part 2)
7. How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child! (King Lear)
8. 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? (The Merchant of Venice)
10. To do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottage princes’ palaces. (The Merchant of Venice)
11. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep. (The Tempest)
12. 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. (Macbeth)
13. Beware the Ides of March. (Julius Caesar)
14. Get thee to a nunnery. (Hamlet)
15. As merry as the day is long. (Much Ado about Nothing)
16. By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap to pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon, or dive into the bottom of the deep, where fathom-line could never touch the ground, and pluck up drowned honor by the locks. (Henry IV Part 1)
17. To thine own self be true. (Hamlet)
18. All that glitters is not gold. (The Merchant of Venice)
20. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. (Julius Caesar)
William Shakespeare Quotes on Friendship
21. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is. (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
22. The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. (Julius Caesar)
23. Nothing will come of nothing. (King Lear)
24. Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. (Sonnet 116)
25. Lord, what fools these mortals be! (A Midsummer Night’s dream)
26. A horse! A horse! my kingdom for a horse! (Richard III)
27. Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day. (Macbeth)
28. 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. (Julius Caesar)
29. But, for my own part, it was Greek to me. (Julius Caesar)
31. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. (Hamlet)
32. The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, burn’d on the water. (Antony and Cleopatra)
33. Off with his head! (Richard III)
34. Lies the head that wears the crown. (Henry IV, Part 2)
35. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. (The Tempest)
36. This is very midsummer madness. (Twelfth Night)
Also check out these Othello quotes from the famous William Shakespeare play.
William Shakespeare Quotes About Love
37. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. (Sonnet 18)
38. If music be the food of love play on. (Twelfth Night)
39. Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? (Romeo and Juliet)
40. Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. (Much Ado about Nothing)
41. The course of true love never did run smooth. (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
42. Whoever loved that loved not at first sight? (As You Like It)
43. What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet)
44. We have seen better days. (Timon of Athens)
45. I am a man more sinned against than sinning. (King Lear)
47. Lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust. (Cymbeline)
More Shakespeare quotes
48. Royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle…This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. (Richard II)
49. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. (Romeo and Juliet)
50. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
If you’re enjoying this article, you’ll also love our collection of Maya Angelou quotes that will warm your heart.
51. “Like madness is the glory of this life.” – Timon of Athens
52. “So quick bright things come to confusion.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
53. “But I am bound upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears do scald like moulten lead.” – King Lear
54. “Life is better life past fearing death, Than that which lives to fear.” – Measure for Measure
55. “In all my life only that dream is real.” – Hamlet
56. “I am sure care’s an enemy to life.” – Twelfth Night
Did you find your favorite Shakespeare quotes here?
Don’t forget to visit your local library or bookstore to know more about this brilliant man and his wonderful works. Even though Shakespeare passed on centuries ago, his legacy, wit, and wisdom will stay with us and with future generations.
June 10, 2021 6:00 AM EST