Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (2022)

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (1)

"To be, or not to be?" That's a question many of us are familiar with and can recognize right away as one of Shakespeare's many classic lines. But this beyond-talented writer, poet, and playwright provided plenty of other quotable gems—after all, he wasn't called the "Bard of Avon" for nothing! The 125 best William Shakespeare quotes will refresh your memory with some of his best lines, and surprise you with others that you didn't even realize were written by him!

From Romeo and Juliet to King Lear to Macbeth to all of his stunning sonnets and other works, William Shakespeare's top spot in the literary world has been solidified for centuries. Although his work is well-covered in many schools, famous Shakespeare quotes do not only belong in English courses for study. We can all appreciate his tongue-in-cheek observations about society and individuals' behavior, as well as gain inspiration and wisdom from his quick-witted quips and smart sense of humor. Not only that, he can help us find beauty through language—including an appreciation for vulnerable declarations of love.

So, whether you're interested in funny Shakespeare quotes, classic lines about life, or Shakespeare love quotes, we've got the all-time best William Shakespeare quotes for you!

125 Best Shakespeare Quotes

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (2)

1. "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

2. "We know what we are, but know not what we may be."

3. "Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head."

4. "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt."

5. "Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice."

6. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown."

7. "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

8. "Nothing can come of nothing."

Related: 7 Movies You Didn't Know Were Based on Shakespeare's Plays

9. "How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

10. "What's done can't be undone."

11. "Though she be but little, she is fierce."

12. "No legacy is so rich as honesty."

13. "This above all; to thine own self be true."

14. "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

15. "The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief."

16. "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."

17. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

18. "What is past is prologue."

19. "Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."

20. "Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge."

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (3)

21. "'Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after."

22. "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."

23. "Ambition should be made of sterner stuff."

24. "I bear a charmed life."

(Video) Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! #quotes #motivation

25. "Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself."

26. "Talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds."

27. "In time we hate that which we often fear."

28. "Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise."

29. "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come."

30. "Boldness be my friend."

31. "Words without thoughts never to heaven go."

32. "Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast."

33. "Pleasure and action make the hours seem short."

34. "When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain."

35. "Such as we are made of, such we be."

36. "And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse."

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

38. "To be, or not to be: that is the question."

39. "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."

40. "All that glisters is not gold."

41. "Words are easy, like the wind; faithful friends are hard to find."

42. "The fault...is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

43. "And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (4)

44. "Expectation is the root of all heartache."

45. "I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it."

46. "Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."

47. "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."

48. "My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break."

49. "Brevity is the soul of wit."

50. "Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up o-er wrought heart and bids it break."

51. "Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it."

52. "One may smile, and smile, be a villain."

53. "Conscience doth make cowards of us all."

54. "Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me."

(Video) Timeless,Quick-Witted, and TenderHere are the Greatest Shakespeare Quotes | Quotes

55. "Et tu, Brute?"

56. "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on."

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57. "If we are true to ourselves, we can not be false to anyone."

58. "Be great in act, as you have been in thought."

59. "Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind."

60. "All things are ready, if our mind be so."

61. "Many a true word hath been spoken in jest."

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62. "For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds."

63. "The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape."

64. "Thought is free."

65. "April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."

66. "Summer's lease hath all too short a date."

67. "Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners."

68. "The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?"

69. "Men should be what they seem."

70. "He jests at scars that never felt a wound."

Shakespeare Quotes About Love

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (8)
(Video) Shakespeare's 60 Greatest Quotes Part 01

71. "I would not wish any companion in the world but you."

72. "Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting."

73. "Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love."

74. "I am one who loved not wisely but too well."

75. "A young woman in love always looks like patience on a monument smiling at grief."

76. "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."

77. "They do not love that do not show their love."

78. "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest."

79. "Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake."

80. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate."

81. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."

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82. "Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love."

83. "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."

84. "Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly. Then your love would also change."

85. "If music be the food of love, play on."

86. "Love is too young to know what conscience is."

87. "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."

88. "Don't waste your love on somebody, who doesn't value it."

89. "And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays."

90. "Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs."

91. "Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know."

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (9)

92. "In black ink my love may still shine bright."

93. "Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom."

94. "See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. O, that I were a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek!"

95. "The course of true love never did run smooth."

96. "Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better."

97. "For which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?"

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98. "Speak low, if you speak love."

(Video) Shakespeare's Sonnets

99. "Love comforteth like sunshine after rain."

100. "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow."

101. "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this and this gives life to thee."

102. "For you, in my respect, are all the world."

103. "Love is merely a madness."

104. "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds."

Funny Shakespeare Quotes

Timeless, Quick-Witted, and Tender—Here are the 125 Greatest Shakespeare Quotes! (10)

105. "How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?"

106. "I wish my horse had the speed of your tongue."

107. "Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak."

108. "I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me."

109. "'I can see that he's not in your good books,' said the messenger. 'No, and if he were I would burn my library.'"

110. "God has given you one face, and you make yourself another."

111. "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."

112. "He that loves to be flattered is worthy o' the flatterer."

113. "Life is as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man."

114. "Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them, they want everything."

115. "O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil."

116. "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

117. "I will praise any man that will praise me."

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118. "My pride fell with my fortunes."

119. "Better a witty fool than a foolish wit."

120. "Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?"

121. "I dote on his very absence."

122. "There's many a man has more hair than wit."

123. "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once."

124. "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."

125. "I am not bound to please thee with my answer."

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FAQs

What is the famous line from The Taming of the Shrew? ›

If I be waspish, best beware my sting. To change true rules for old inventions. Forward, I pray, since we have come so far, And be it moon, or sun, or what you please.

What was one famous quote from Shakespeare? ›

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.

What are Shakespeare's 5 famous quotes? ›

50 Of Shakespeare's Most Famous Quotes
  • 1. ' To be, or not to be: that is the question' ...
  • 2. ' All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. ...
  • 3. ' Romeo, Romeo! ...
  • 4. ' Now is the winter of our discontent' ...
  • 5. ' Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?' ...
  • 6. ' ...
  • 7. ' ...
  • 8. '

What are 5 phrases from Shakespeare? ›

Common Phrases in Shakespeare's Plays
  • "A wild goose chase" - Romeo and Juliet.
  • “I have been in such a pickle” - The Tempest.
  • “I must be cruel, only to be kind” - Hamlet.
  • “Laugh oneself into stitches” - Twelfth Night.
  • "For goodness' sake" - Henry VIII.
  • "Neither here nor there" – Othello.
  • “One fell swoop” - Macbeth.

What is a meaningful quote from Shakespeare? ›

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

What is Shakespeare's most famous poem? ›

Sonnet 18 is the most famous poem written by William Shakespeare and among the most renowned sonnets ever written.

What is the moral of The Taming of the Shrew? ›

Instead, The Taming of the Shrew emphasizes the economic aspects of marriage—specifically, how economic considerations determine who marries whom. The play tends to explore romantic relationships from a social perspective, addressing the institutions of courtship and marriage rather than the inner passions of lovers.

What is the meaning behind The Taming of the Shrew? ›

(Shrew is an old-fashioned word for a bad-tempered woman.) She behaves unpleasantly to him but he pretends not to notice. In the end he marries her and ' tames' her by treating her roughly until she becomes as easy to control as wives were expected to be at that time.

What Shakespeare said about life? ›

"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."

What phrases did Shakespeare invent that we still use today? ›

7 Words and Phrases Invented by Shakespeare
  • "Uncomfortable" Shakespeare was very fond of creating new words by attaching prefixes or suffixes to existing phrases. ...
  • "Fashionable" ...
  • "All that glitters is not gold" ...
  • "Manager" ...
  • "Jealousy is the green-eyed monster" ...
  • "Cold-blooded" ...
  • "Hoist with his own petard" ...
  • 70 Years of Nutcracker.

What is the most famous line in Macbeth? ›

Look out for the most famous line in 'Macbeth': "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble," said by the three witches.

What is the Shakespeare quote all the world's a stage? ›

The most famous speech in As You Like It is the Seven Ages of Man, which begins 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players' (Act 2, Scene 7).

What did Shakespeare say about love? ›

Romeo, perhaps Shakespeare's most famous lover, also describes Love this way: “Alas that love, whose view is muffled still, / Should without eyes see pathways to his will” (Romeo and Juliet, 1.1). “Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.” “There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.”

How do you say hello in Shakespearean? ›

HELLO = = GOODBYE

Good Morrow, Mistress Patterson.

Why is Shakespeare still so famous give 3 reasons? ›

Shakespeare's works have strong themes that run through each piece. And again, these themes are still relevant today – love, death, ambition, power, fate, free will, just to name a few. So Shakespeare's works are timeless and universal. That also makes them relatable.

What are 3 direct quotes from William Shakespeare? ›

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall. The course of true love never did run smooth. Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

What is considered the best poem ever written? ›

The Ten Best Poems of All Time
  • “Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314) by Emily Dickinson.
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot.
  • Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
  • Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.
  • O Captain! ...
  • The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas.
  • i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings.
28 Apr 2021

What is the most famous Shakespeare monologue? ›

Among Shakespeare's most famous monologues is Henry V's 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more' speech, where the king is leading his troops into battle.

What is Shakespeare's saddest sonnet? ›

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry (Sonnet 66) by William Shakespeare - Poems | poets.org.

What is the most famous line of all time? ›

Famous Movie Quotes
  • “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
  • “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
  • “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
  • “ Carpe diem. ...
  • “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
  • “ It's alive! ...
  • “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
  • “ I'll be back.” -
21 Sept 2018

What is Einstein's most famous quote? ›

Here's my translation of some of his famous thoughts.
  1. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." ...
  2. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." ...
  3. "I have no special talent. ...
  4. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
13 May 2022

Is Taming of the Shrew a sexist play? ›

In the play The Taming of the Shrew by, William Shakespeare, there are a lot of sexist remarks and feminist criticism that comes into effect from the beginning to the end of the play. The main character, Kate, is usually the one that all of the sexist remarks and actions are directed towards.

Is The Taming of the Shrew misogynistic? ›

While it presents misogyny as well as abuse of power in both gender and class relations, The Taming of the Shrew seems to do this in an ironic way, with all the dangers of misinterpretation that irony always brings with it.

How is 10 Things I Hate About You like Taming of the Shrew? ›

In 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Bianca is allowed to start dating once Kat does. This is similar in The Taming of The Shrew (1967). Bianca can only marry once Katherine marries first. The difference between the two is that in the play, Katherine is to be tamed by her husband Petruchio.

Why was Katherine called shrew? ›

Katherine is the "shrew" of the play's title. Because she is stubborn, is sometimes ill-mannered, and does not allow herself to be ordered around by men, she is constantly insulted, made fun of, and otherwise denigrated by practically all the other characters in the play.

Is The Taming of the Shrew a love story? ›

Romance and marriage

The Taming of the Shrew has been described as a romantic comedy – and also as an anti-romantic comedy. It ends with weddings, as a romantic comedy should, but everyone's road to the altar is marked by tricks, lies and brute force. The contrast between the main couples is a complex one.

Why is Taming of the Shrew funny? ›

The Taming of the Shrew is most definitely a "Comedy" – a generic category that has a few basic rules and operating principles: a light and humorous tone; clever language and witty banter; deception, disguises, and cases of mistaken identity; young love that must overcome some kind of struggle; family drama; lots of ...

Who is the main character in Taming of the Shrew? ›

The Taming of the Shrew

How is marriage a theme in Taming of the Shrew? ›

It is usual in Shakespearian comedies that they end in marriage. The Taming of the Shrew does not end with a marriage but observes several as the play goes on. Moreover, the play considers the impact that a marriage has on family members, friends and servants and on how a relationship and bond are formed thereafter.

Why did Petruchio tame Katherine? ›

He simply wanted to tame her to be able to say he tamed the most shrewish woman. In this interpretation, Petruchio marries Katharine solely for her dowry. The counterargument is that Petruchio develops love for Katharine and tames her because he sees her shrewishness as a condition that she cannot cure on her own.

What is Shakespeare saying about life? ›

"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."

What sayings Did Shakespeare invent? ›

7 Words and Phrases Invented by Shakespeare
  • "Uncomfortable" Shakespeare was very fond of creating new words by attaching prefixes or suffixes to existing phrases. ...
  • "Fashionable" ...
  • "All that glitters is not gold" ...
  • "Manager" ...
  • "Jealousy is the green-eyed monster" ...
  • "Cold-blooded" ...
  • "Hoist with his own petard" ...
  • 70 Years of Nutcracker.

What is Shakespeare's most famous poem? ›

Sonnet 18 is the most famous poem written by William Shakespeare and among the most renowned sonnets ever written.

What is the most famous line of all time? ›

Famous Movie Quotes
  • “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
  • “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
  • “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
  • “ Carpe diem. ...
  • “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
  • “ It's alive! ...
  • “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
  • “ I'll be back.” -
21 Sept 2018

What is Einstein's most famous quote? ›

Here's my translation of some of his famous thoughts.
  1. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." ...
  2. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." ...
  3. "I have no special talent. ...
  4. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
13 May 2022

What are 3 quotes from Shakespeare? ›

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

What is the Shakespeare quote all the world's a stage? ›

The most famous speech in As You Like It is the Seven Ages of Man, which begins 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players' (Act 2, Scene 7).

What words did Shakespeare invent that we still use today? ›

15 Words Invented by Shakespeare
  • Bandit.
  • Critic.
  • Dauntless.
  • Dwindle.
  • Elbow (as a verb)
  • Green-Eyed (to describe jealousy)
  • Lackluster.
  • Lonely.
7 May 2019

What does Shakespeare say about aging? ›

These include praise of an “aging” Cleopatra: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety,” and the truly old servant Adam in As You Like It, who proclaims “Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty.” In The Merchant of Venice, we hear from Gratiano the encouraging words that: “With mirth and ...

What is considered the best poem ever written? ›

The Ten Best Poems of All Time
  • “Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314) by Emily Dickinson.
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot.
  • Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
  • Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.
  • O Captain! ...
  • The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas.
  • i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings.
28 Apr 2021

What is the most famous Shakespeare monologue? ›

Among Shakespeare's most famous monologues is Henry V's 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more' speech, where the king is leading his troops into battle.

What is Shakespeare's saddest sonnet? ›

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry (Sonnet 66) by William Shakespeare - Poems | poets.org.

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