William Shakespeare Quotes

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William Shakespeare

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Born Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Baptised 26 April 1564
Died 23 April 1616 (aged 52)
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Resting place Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon
Occupation Playwright, poet, actor
Era Elizabethan era
Movement English Renaissance
Spouse(s) Anne Hathaway (m. 1582–1616)

Susanna Hall
Hamnet Shakespeare
Judith Quiney

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
How well he's read, to reason against reading!

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.
O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.
William Shakespeare
Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing.
Children wish fathers looked but with their eyes; fathers that children with their judgment looked; and either may be wrong.
William Shakespeare
The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
I say there is no darkness but ignorance.
The love of heaven makes one heavenly.
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
Fishes live in the sea, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones.
William Shakespeare
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
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, his acts being seven ages.
William Shakespeare
Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them, they want everything.
William Shakespeare
Where every something, being blent together turns to a wild of nothing.
Listen to many, speak to a few.
The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.
We cannot conceive of matter being formed of nothing, since things require a seed to start from… Therefore there is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements.
William Shakespeare
Exceeds man's might: that dwells with the gods above.
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage where every man must play a part, And mine is a sad one.
William Shakespeare
Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
William Shakespeare
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.
William Shakespeare
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.
Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottage princes' palaces.
William Shakespeare
Boldness be my friend.
Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?
I see that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man.
The wheel is come full circle.
The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, which hurts and is desired.
He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.
Speak low, if you speak love.
And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.
William Shakespeare
The fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.
To be, or not to be, that is the question.
The most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company.
William Shakespeare
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare
By that sin fell the angels.
But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes.
William Shakespeare
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
William Shakespeare
This above all; to thine own self be true.
'Tis better to bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.
William Shakespeare
O! Let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven; keep me in temper; I would not be mad!
William Shakespeare
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.
Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better.
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.
I may neither choose who I would, nor refuse who I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father.
William Shakespeare
Use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping?
He is winding the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike.
There's many a man has more hair than wit.
The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.
I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture.
I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
As he was valiant, I honour him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him.
Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying!
This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is 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
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
William Shakespeare
In time we hate that which we often fear.
'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after.
Nothing can come of nothing.
O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.
William Shakespeare
Mind your speech a little lest you should mar your fortunes.
Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless!
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
Having nothing, nothing can he lose.
I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad and to travel for it too!
William Shakespeare
How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
William Shakespeare
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
I was adored once too.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!
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
I bear a charmed life.
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes.
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
Love is too young to know what conscience is.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.
William Shakespeare
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time.
What is past is prologue.
Farewell, fair cruelty.
Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
If we are marked to die, we are enough to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor.
William Shakespeare
Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
William Shakespeare
Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.
They say miracles are past.
What, man, defy the devil. Consider, he's an enemy to mankind.
Faith, there hath been many great men that have flattered the people who ne'er loved them.
William Shakespeare
I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.
William Shakespeare
Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
William Shakespeare
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
For my part, it was Greek to me.
Give thy thoughts no tongue.
He that loves to be flattered is worthy o' the flatterer.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
It is the stars, The stars above us, govern our conditions.
Desire of having is the sin of covetousness.
Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.
There's place and means for every man alive.
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.
William Shakespeare
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.
William Shakespeare
Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
What's done can't be undone.
God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
There is no darkness but ignorance.
My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.
They do not love that do not show their love.
No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
Time and the hour run through the roughest day.
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes ill deeds done!
The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
William Shakespeare
Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
William Shakespeare
Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.
A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.
William Shakespeare
Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore, so do our minutes, hasten to their end.
William Shakespeare
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
Men's vows are women's traitors!
If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul.
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
He does it with better grace, but I do it more natural.
I dote on his very absence.
Such as we are made of, such we be.
I will praise any man that will praise me.
How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
William Shakespeare
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
Death is a fearful thing.
Let no such man be trusted.
Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.
William Shakespeare
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
Life is as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
William Shakespeare
O' What may man within him hide, though angel on the outward side!
Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.
William Shakespeare
Praise us as we are tasted, allow us as we prove.
Who could refrain that had a heart to love and in that heart courage to make love known?
William Shakespeare
As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.
William Shakespeare
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
In a false quarrel there is no true valor.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
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. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive.
There have been many great men that have flattered the people who ne'er loved them.
William Shakespeare
Lawless are they that make their wills their law.
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.
William Shakespeare
We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.
An overflow of good converts to bad.
There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.
'Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.
'Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.
Thou know'st the first time that we smell the air we wawl and cry. When we are born we cry, that we are come to this great state of fools.
William Shakespeare
I shall the effect of this good lesson keeps as watchman to my heart.
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
To do a great right do a little wrong.
Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.
William Shakespeare
I must be cruel, only to be kind.
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
William Shakespeare
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare
When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.
O God, O God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!
William Shakespeare
Well, if Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear.
Women may fall when there's no strength in men.
But men are men; the best sometimes forget.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
If music be the food of love, play on.
Go to you bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.
The attempt and not the deed confounds us.
For I can raise no money by vile means.
Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.
God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god.
William Shakespeare
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
William Shakespeare
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
William Shakespeare
Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.
William Shakespeare
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.
Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
Most dangerous is that temptation that doth goad us on to sin in loving virtue.
William Shakespeare
Talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.
William Shakespeare
O, had I but followed the arts!
My pride fell with my fortunes.
And why not death rather than living torment? To die is to be banish'd from myself; And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her Is self from self: a deadly banishment!
William Shakespeare
Now is the winter of our discontent.
No legacy is so rich as honesty.
There are many events in the womb of time, which will be delivered.
Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.
I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.