William Shakespeare Quotes With Subjects

William Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer and poet ever known in the English language who authored world’s greatest poems, drama and sonnets. The bard, who remains an icon in the literary world, wrote over 38 plays, 154 sonnets and several poems and most of his works are still performed all over the world.

May these William Shakespeare’s quotes on life, death, love, war, and acting inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

See also: William Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare quotes about life

William Shakespeare quotes about love

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, produced a vast number of quotes on the subject of love.

All’s Well That Ends Well

  • Love all, trust a few,
    Do wrong to none

    • Act I, scene 1.
  • But love that comes too late,
    Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
    To the great sender turns a sour offence.

    • Act V, scene 3, line 5.

As You Like It

  • If thou remember’st not the slightest folly
    That ever love did make thee run into,
    Thou hast not lov’d.

    • Act II, scene 4, line 34.
  • We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
    • Act II, scene 4, lines 53-56.
  • It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the propositions of a lover.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 245.
  • But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
    Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 418.
  • O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the bay of Portugal.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 208.
  • No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason.
    • Act V, scene 2, line 36.
  • Good shepherd, tell this youth what ’tis to love.
    It is to be all made of sighs and tears;—
    It is to be all made of faith and service;—
    It is to be all made of fantasy.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 89.

Hamlet

  • This is the very ecstasy of love
    Whose violent property foredoes itself,
    And leads the will to desperate undertakings.

    • Act II, scene 1, line 102.
  • Doubt thou the stars are fire. Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar. But never doubt I love.
    • Act II, Scene 2, line 115.
  • He is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 188.
  • Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
    When little fears grow great, great love grows there.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 181.
  • Forty thousand brothers
    Could not, with all their quantity of love,
    Make up my sum.

    • Act V, scene 1, line 292.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

  • Love, whose month is ever May,
    Spied a blossom passing fair,
    Playing in the wanton air:
    Through the velvet leaves the wind,
    All unseen can passage find;
    That the lover, sick to death,
    Wish’d himself the heaven’s breath.

    • Act IV, scene 3. Song.
  • By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 10.
  • You would for paradise break faith and troth,
    And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 143.
  • A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
    A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 334.
  • Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
    For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
    Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 339.
  • And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
    Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 344.

The Merchant of Venice

  • But love is good, and lovers cannot view themsalves unto thee.
    The pretty follies that themselves commit.

    • Act II, scene 6, line 36.
  • Yet I have not seen
    So likely ayeyeye n ambassador of love;
    A day in April never came so sweet,
    To show how costly summer was at hand,
    As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.

    • Act II, scene 9, line 91.
  • And swearing till my very roof was dry
    With oaths of love.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 206.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • Good night, sweet friend: thy love ne’er alter, till thy sweet life end
    • Act ii, Scene 3.
  • Ay me! for aught that I ever could read,
    Could ever hear by tale or history,
    The course of true love never did run smooth.

    • Act I, scene 1, lines 132-34.
  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
    And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

    • Act I, scene 1, line 234.
  • Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
    In least speak most, to my capacity.

    • Act V, scene 1, line 104.

Much Ado About Nothing

  • When you depart from me sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
    • Act I, Scene 1.
  • Speak low, if you speak love.
    • Act II, scene 1, line 102.
  • Friendship is constant in all other things
    Save in the office and affairs of love:
    Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues;
    Let every eye negotiate for itself
    And trust no agent.

    • Act II, scene 1, line 182.
  • Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
    • Act III, scene 1, line 106.

Othello

  • Upon this hint I spake;
    She lov’d me for the dangers I had pass’d,
    And I lov’d her, that she did pity them.
    This only is the witchcraft I have us’d:
    Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

    • Act I, scene 3, line 166.
  • Perdition catch my soul,
    But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
    Chaos is come again.

    • Act III, scene 3, line 89.
  • What! keep a week away? seven days and nights?
    Eight score eight hours? and lovers’ absent hours,
    More tedious than the dial eight score times?
    O, weary reckoning!

    • Act III, scene 4, line 173.
  • If heaven would make me such another world
    Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
    I’ld not have sold her for it.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 144.
  • Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate
    Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
    Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,
    Perplexed in the extreme: of one, whose hand
    Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away,
    Richer than all his tribe: of one, whose subdued eyes,
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their medicinal gum.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 383. (“Base Indian” is “base Judean” in first folio).

Romeo and Juliet

  • From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharmed.
    • Act I, scene 1 (“uncharmed” instead of “unharmed” in Folio and early editions).
  • Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs;
    Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in a lover’s eyes;
    Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
    What is it else? a madness most discreet,
    A choking gall and a preserving sweet.

    • Act I, scene 1, line 196.
  • Steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks.
    • Act I, scene 5. Chorus at end. (Not in Folio).
  • Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
    Cry but—”Ay me!” pronounce but “love” and “dove.”

    • Act II, scene 1, line 9.
  • See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!

    • Act II, scene 2, line 23.
  • O, Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou, Romeo?
    • Act II, scene 2, line 33.
  • For stony limits cannot hold love out,
    And what love can do that dares love attempt.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 67.
  • At lovers’ perjuries,
    They say, Jove laughs.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 92.
  • 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.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 133.
  • Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their books,
    But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 156.
  • It is my soul that calls upon my name;
    How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
    Like soft music to attending ears.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 165.
  • ‘Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
    And yet no further than a wanton’s bird;
    Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
    Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
    And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
    So loving-jealous of his liberty.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 177.
  • Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 184.
  • Love’s heralds should be thoughts,
    Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams,
    Driving back shadows over louring hills;
    Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw love,
    And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

    • Act II, scene 5, line 4.
  • Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
    Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

    • Act II, scene 6, line 14.
  • Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
    Take him, and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine,
    And all the world will be in love with night,
    And pay no worship to the garish sun.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 21.

“You must love thee but what lies in thy heart not by what lies in thy eyes’

Troilus and Cressida

  • Sweet, above thought I love thee.
    • Troilus and Cressida, Act III, scene 1, line ??.
  • They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 91.
  • For to be wise, and love
    Exceeds man’s might; that dwells with gods above.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 163.
  • The noblest hateful love that e’er I heard of.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 33.

Twelfth Night

  • If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.

    • Act I, scene I, line 1.
  • O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
    That notwithstanding thy capacity
    Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
    Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
    But falls into abatement and low price,
    Even in a minute!

    • Act I, scene 1, line 9.
  • Journeys end in lovers meeting,
    Every wise man’s son doth know.

    • Act II, scene 3, lines 44-45.
  • Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
    Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.

    • Act II, scene 4, line 37.
  • She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek; she pin’d in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    She sat like patience on a monument,
    Smiling at grief.

    • Act II, scene 4, line 114.
  • Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.
    • Act III, scene I, line 167.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

  • For he was more than over shoes in love.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 23.
  • Love is your master, for he masters you;
    And he that is so yoked by a fool,
    Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.

    • Act I, scene 1, line 39.
  • And writers say, as the most forward bud
    Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
    Even so by love the young and tender wit
    Is turn’d to folly, blasting in the bud,
    Losing his verdure even in the prime.

    • Act I, scene 1, line 45.
  • How wayward is this foolish love,
    That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse
    And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod.

    • Act I, scene 2, line 57.
  • O, how this spring of love resembleth
    Th’ uncertain glory of an April day,
    Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
    And by and by a cloud takes all away!

    • Act I, scene 3, line 84.
  • Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
    Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow,
    As seek to quench the fire of love with words. quotesbook.com

    • Act II, scene 7, line 18.
  • I do not seek to quench your love’s hot fire,
    But qualify the fire’s extreme rage,
    Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

    • Act II, scene 7, line 21.
  • Except I be by Sylvia in the night,
    There is no music in the nightingale.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 178.
  • They do not love that do not show their love.
    • Act i, Sc. 2. Attributed to John Heywood, Proverbs, Part II, Chapter IX, in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922).

Venus and Adonis

  • Love keeps his revels where there are but twain.
    • Line 123.
  • What ’tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
    • Line 202.
  • Love comforteth like sunshine after rain
    • Line 799.
  • Love’s gentle spring doth always fresh remain
    • Line 781.

Others

William Shakespeare quotes about love

  • There’s beggary in the love that can be reckoned.
    • Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, scene 1, line 15.
  • I know not why
    I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
    Love’s reason’s without reason.

    • Cymbeline (1611), Act IV, scene 2, line 20.
  • I can express no kinder sign of love, than this kind kiss.
    • Henry VI, Part I, Act I, scene 1.
  • Love for thy love, and hand for hand I give.
    • Henry VI, Part I, Act III, scene 1.
  • For where thou art, there is the world itself, and where thou art not, desolation
    • Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene 2.
  • Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee.
    • Henry VIII (c. 1613), Act III, scene 2, line 444.
  • Not that I lov’d Caesar less, but that I lov’d Rome more.
    • Julius Caesar, Act III, scene ii, line 22.
  • Though last, not least in love!
    • Julius Caesar, Act III, scene 1, line 189.
  • Upon thy cheek I lay this zealous kiss,
    As seal to the indenture of my love

    • King John (1598), Act ii, scene. 1.
  • Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
    That we our largest bounty may extend
    Where nature doth with merit challenge.

    • King Lear (1608), Act I, scene 1, line 52.
  • Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
    Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.

    • Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, scene 2, line 217.
  • There is no creature loves me,
    And if I die, no soul shall pity me.

    • Richard III (c. 1591), Act V, scene 3, line 200.
  • Love that well which thou must leave ere long.
    • Sonnet LXXIII.
  • Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken.

    • Sonnet CXVI

William Shakespeare quotes about life

William Shakespeare quotes about life

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, produced a vast number of quotes on the subject of life.
  • What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither;
    • Hamlet (1599-1602), Act II, Scene 2,
  • web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
    • All’s Well That Ends Well, Act IV, scene 3, line 80.
  • O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
    • Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, scene 2, line 32.
  • And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

    • As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act II, scene 1, line 15.
  • And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe.
    And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
    And thereby hangs a tale.

    • As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act II, scene 7, line 25. Last phrase in The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, scene 1; Othello, Act III, scene 1. The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I, scene 4. As You Like It, Act II, scene 7. Rabelais, Book V, Chapter IV.
  • Why, what should be the fear?
    I do not set my life at a pin’s fee.

    • Hamlet (1600–01), Act I, scene 4, line 66.
  • To be, or not to be,—that is the question:—
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?—To die, to sleep,—
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to,—’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;—
    To sleep, perchance to dream:—ay, there’s the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there’s the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
    The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,—
    The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
    No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know naught of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
    And enterprises of great pith and moment,
    With this regard, their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.

    • Hamlet (1600–01), Act III, scene 1.
  • And a man’s life’s no more than to say “One.”
    • Hamlet (1600–01), Act V, scene 2, line 74.
  • O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
    To spend that shortness basely were too long,
    If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
    Still ending at the arrival of an hour.

    • Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act V, scene 2, line 82.
  • Let life be short: else shame will be too long.
    • Henry V, Act IV, scene 5, line 23.
  • The sands are number’d that make up my life;
    Here must I stay, and here my life must end.

    • Henry VI, Part III (c. 1591), Act I, scene 4, line 25.
  • So farewell to the little good you bear me.
    Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
    This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
    The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,
    And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
    And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
    His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
    And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur’d,
    Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
    This many summers in a sea of glory,
    But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
    At length broke under me, and now has left me,
    Weary and old with service, to the mercy
    Of a rude stream that must for ever hide me.
    Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!
    I feel my heart new open’d. O, how wretched
    Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favours!
    There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
    That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
    More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
    And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
    Never to hope again.

    • Henry VIII (c. 1613), act III, scene ii, lines 350–72. Cardinal Wolsey is speaking about his friendship with Henry VIII.
  • I cannot tell what you and other men
    Think of this life; but, for my single self,
    I had as lief not be as live to be
    In awe of such a thing as I myself.

    • Julius Cæsar, Act I, scene 2, line 93.
  • This day I breathed first: time is come round,
    And where I did begin there shall I end;
    My life is run his compass.

    • Julius Cæsar, Act V, scene 3, line 23.
  • Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
    Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

    • King John (1598), Act III, scene 4, line 108.
  • Thy life’s a miracle.
    • King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 6, line 55.
  • When we are born, we cry, that we are come
    To this great stage of fools.

    • King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 6, line 186.
  • Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
    Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
    Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
    But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
    Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

    • Julius Cæsar, Act I, scene 3, line 93.
  • That but this blow
    Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
    But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
    We’ld jump the life to come.

    • Macbeth, Act I, scene 7, line 4.
  • Had I but died an hour before this chance,
    I had liv’d a blessed time; for, from this instant,
    There’s nothing serious in mortality:
    All is but toys; renown, and grace is dead;
    The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
    Is left this vault to brag of.

    • Macbeth, Act II, scene 3, line 96.
  • So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune,
    That I would set my life on any chance,
    To mend, or be rid on’t.

    • Macbeth, Act III, scene I, line 113.
  • 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.

    • Macbeth (c. 1605), Act V, Scene 5, line 23.
  • I bear a charmed life.
    • Macbeth, Act V, scene 8, line 12.
  • Reason thus with life:
    If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
    That none but fools would keep.

    • Measure for Measure, Act III, scene 1, line 6.
  • Life is a shuttle.
    • Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597), Act V, scene 1, line 20.
  • Her father lov’d me; oft invited me;
    Still question’d me the story of my life,
    From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
    That I have pass’d.

    • Othello (c. 1603), Act I, scene 3, line 128.
  • It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.
    • Othello (c. 1603), Act I, scene 3, line 309.

Sonnets

  • Who will believe my verse in time to come,
    If it were filled with your most high deserts?
    Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
    Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.

    • 18.
  • Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
    And every fair from fair sometime declines,
    By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
    But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
    Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    • 18.
  • O! if, I say, you look upon this verse,
    When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
    Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
    But let your love even with my life decay;
    Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
    And mock you with me after I am gone.

    • 71.
  • The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
    My spirit is thine, the better part of me:
    So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
    The prey of worms, my body being dead;
    The coward conquest of a wretch’s knife,
    Too base of thee to be remembered.
    The worth of that is that which it contains,
    And that is this, and this with thee remains.

    • 74.
  • Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
    Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
    The earth can yield me but a common grave,
    When you entombed in men’s eyes shall lie.
    Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
    Which eyes not yet created shall o’er-read;
    And tongues to be your being shall rehearse,
    When all the breathers of this world are dead;
    You still shall live, such virtue hath my pen,
    Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

    • 81.
  • This silence for my sin you did impute,
    Which shall be most my glory being dumb;
    For I impair not beauty being mute,
    When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
    There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
    Than both your poets can in praise devise.

    • 83.
  • But do thy worst to steal thyself away,
    For term of life thou art assured mine;
    And life no longer than thy love will stay,
    For it depends upon that love of thine.

    Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
    When in the least of them my life hath end.
    I see a better state to me belongs
    Than that which on thy humour doth depend:
    Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
    Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie.

    • 92.
  • Rise, resty Muse, my love’s sweet face survey,
    If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
    If any, be a satire to decay,
    And make Time’s spoils despised every where.
    Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
    So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.

    • 100.
  • O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
    The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
    That did not better for my life provide
    Than public means which public manners breeds.

    • 111.
  • “I hate” she altered with an end,
    That followed it as gentle day,
    Doth follow night, who like a fiend
    From heaven to hell is flown away.
    “I hate”, from hate away she threw,
    And saved my life, saying “not you”.

    • 145.

William Shakespeare quotes about death

William Shakespeare quotes about death

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, and in his sonnets, produced a vast number of quotes on the subject of death.

Hamlet

  • Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
    Passing through nature to eternity.

    • Act I, scene 2, line 72.
  • He was an man, take him for all in all.
    I shall not look upon his like again.

    • Act I, scene 2, line 186.
  • I do not to set my life at a pin’s fee;
    And, for my soul, what can it do to that,
    Being a thing immortal as itself?

    • Act I, scene 4, line 67.
  • Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
    Unhousel’d, disappointed, unanel’d;
    No reckoning made, but sent to my account
    With all my imperfections on my head.

    • Act I, scene 5, line 76.
  • To die:—to sleep:
    No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 60.
  • For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 66.
  • Who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
    No traveller returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?

    • Act III, scene 1, line 76. (“These fardels” in folio).
  • We should profane the service of the dead,
    To sing a requiem and such rest to her
    As to peace-parted souls.

    • Act V, scene 1, line 259.
  • O proud death,
    What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
    That thou so many princes at a shot
    So bloodily hast, struck?

    • Act V, scene 2, line 375.

Julius Cæsar

  • When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
    The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 30.
  • Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.
    Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
    It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
    Seeing that death, a necessary end,
    Will come when it will come.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 33.
  • That we shall die we know; ’tis but the time
    And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 99.
  • He that cuts off twenty years of life
    Cuts off so many years of fearing death.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 101.
  • We must die, Messala:
    With meditating that she must die once,
    I have the patience to endure it now.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 190.

Measure for Measure

  • Be absolute for death; either death or life
    Shall thereby be the sweeter.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 4.
  • What’s yet in this,
    That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
    Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
    That makes these odds all even.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 38.
  • Dar’st thou die?
    The sense of death is most in apprehension;
    And the poor beetle that we tread upon,
    In corporal sufferance feels a pang as great
    As when a giant dies.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 77.
  • If I must die
    I will encounter darkness as a bride,
    And hug it in mine arms.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 83.
  • Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
    To lie in cold obstruction and to rot.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 118.
  • To be imprison’d in the viewless winds,
    And blown with restless violence roundabout
    The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
    Of those, that lawless and incertain thought
    Imagine howling; ’tis too horrible!

    • Act III, scene 1, line 124.
  • The weariest and most loathed worldly life
    That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
    Can lay on nature, is a paradise
    To what we fear of death.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 129.

Richard II

  • Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay;
    The worst is death, and death will have his day.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 102.
  • Let’s choose executors and talk of wills:
    And yet not so, for what can we bequeath,
    Save our desposed bodies to the ground?

    • Act III, scene 2, line 148.
  • Nothing can we call our own but death
    And that small model of the barren earth
    Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 152.
  • Within the hollow crown
    That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
    Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
    Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp.

    • Act III, scene 2, line 161.
  • And there at Venice gave
    His body to that pleasant country’s earth,
    And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
    Under whose colours he had fought so long.

    • Act IV, scene 1, line 97.
  • Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
    That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire,
    That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
    Hath with thy king’s blood stain’d the king’s own land.
    Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
    Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.

    • Act V, scene 5, line 107.

Romeo and Juliet

  • Death lies on her, like an untimely frost
    Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.

    • Act IV, scene 5, line 28.
  • How oft, when men are at the point of death,
    Have they been merry! which their keepers call
    A lightning before death.

    • Act V, scene 3, line 88.
  • Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,
    Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty;
    Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet
    Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy cheeks,
    And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.

    • Act V, scene 3, line 92.
  • Eyes, look your last!
    Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you
    The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
    A dateless bargain to engrossing death.

    • Act V, scene 3, line 112.

Others

  • Golden lads and girls all must,
    As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

    • Cymbeline (1611), Act IV, scene 2. Song, line 262.
  • Come, let us take a muster speedily:
    Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.

    • Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act IV, scene 1, line 133.
  • And we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
    The better cherish’d, still the nearer death.

    • Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act V, scene 2, line 14.
  • A man can die but once; we owe God a death.
    • Henry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act III, scene 2, line 250.
  • What, is the old king dead?
    As nail in door.

    • Henry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act V, scene 3, line 126.
  • A’ made a finer end and went away an it had been any christom child; a’ parted even just between twelve and one, e’en at the turning o’ th’ tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon his fingers’ ends, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a’ babbled of green fields. “How now, Sir John?” quoth I: “what, man! be o’ good cheer.” So a’ cried out—”God, God, God!” three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a’ should not think of God; I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet.
    • Henry V, Act II, scene 3, line 12.
  • Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
    Where death’s approach is seen so terrible!

    • Henry VI, Part II (c. 1590-91), Act III, scene 3, line 5.
  • He dies, and makes no sign.
    • Henry VI, Part II (c. 1590-91), Act III, scene 3, line 28.
  • My sick heart shows
    That I must yield my body to the earth,
    And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
    Thus yields the cedar to the axe’s edge,
    Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle;
    Under whose shade the ramping lion slept:
    Whose top-branch overpeer’d Jove’s spreading tree,
    And kept low shrubs from winter’s powerful wind.

    • Henry VI, Part III (c. 1591), Act V, scene 2, line 8.
  • Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
    And, live we how we can, yet die we must.

    • Henry VI, Part III (c. 1591), Act V, scene 2, line 27.
  • He gave his honours to the world again,
    His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.

    • Henry VIII (c. 1613), Act IV, scene 2, line 29.
  • Death, death; oh, amiable, lovely death!
    Come, grin on me, and I will think thou smilest.

    • King John (1598), Act III, scene 4, line 34.
  • We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand.
    • King John (1598), Act IV, scene 2, line 82.
  • Have I not hideous death within my view,
    Retaining but a quantity of life
    Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
    Resolveth from its figure ‘gainst the fire?

    • King John (1598), Act V, scene 4, line 22.
  • O, our lives’ sweetness!
    That we the pain of death would hourly die
    Rather than die at once!

    • King Lear (1608), Act V, scene 3, line 184.
  • Nothing in his life
    Became him like the leaving it.

    • Macbeth, Act I, scene 4, line 7.
  • After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well;
    Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
    Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
    Can touch him further.

    • Macbeth, Act III, scene 2, line 23.
  • I am a tainted wether of the flock,
    Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit
    Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me.

    • The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, scene 1, line 114.
  • Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt,
    And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.

    • Othello (c. 1603), Act V, scene 2, line 267.
  • Who pass’d, methought, the melancholy flood
    With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
    Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.

    • Richard III (c. 1591), Act I, scene 4, line 45.
  • ‘Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
    When men are unprepared and look not for it.

    • Richard III (c. 1591), Act III, scene 2, line 64.
  • The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.
    • The Tempest, Act I, scene 1, line 70.
  • He that dies pays all debts.
    • The Tempest, Act III, scene 2, line 140.
  • Come away, come away, death,
    And in sad cypress let me be laid;
    Fly away, fly away, breath:
    I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
    My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
    Oh, prepare it!
    My part of death no one so true
    Did share it.

    • Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act II, scene 4, line 52.
  • The youth that you see here
    I snatch’d one half out of the jaws of death.

    • Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act III, scene 4, line 394. Ex faucibus fati creptam videtis, as said by Cicero.
  • For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
    And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.

    • Venus and Adonis, line 1,019.
  • In me thou see’st the twilight of such day,
    As after sunset fadeth in the west;
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
    Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
    This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

    • Sonnet 73

William Shakespeare quotes about acting

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, produced a large number of quotes on the subject of acting.

William Shakespeare quotes about acting

  • If it be true that good wine needs no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no epilogue.
    • As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Epilogue, line 3.
  • Like a dull actor now,
    I have forgot my part, and I am out,
    Even to a full disgrace.

    • Coriolanus (c. 1607-08), Act V, scene 3, line 40.
  • 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.

    • Macbeth (c. 1605), Act V, Scene 5, line 23.
  • As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
    After a well-grac’d actor leaves the stage,
    Are idly bent on him that enters next,
    Thinking his prattle to be tedious.

    • Richard II, Act V, scene 2, line 23.
  • I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
    Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
    Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
    Intending deep suspicion.

    • Richard III (c. 1591), Act III, scene 5, line 5.
  • A beggarly account of empty boxes.
    • Romeo and Juliet, Act V, scene 1, line 45.
  • And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
    Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
    To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
    ‘Twixt his stretch’d footing and the scaffoldage.

    • Troilus and Cressida (c. 1602), Act I, scene 3, line 153.

Hamlet

  • Good, my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 545.
  • Is it not monstrous that this player here,
    But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
    Could force his soul so to his own conceit
    That from her working all his visage wann’d.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 577.
  • What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
    That he should weep for her? What would he do.
    Had he the motive and the cue for passion
    That I have? He would drown the stage with tears.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 585.
  • I have heard
    That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
    Have, by the very cunning of the scene,
    Been struck so to the soul that presently
    They have proclaim’d their malefactions;
    For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak.
    With most miraculous organ.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 617.
  • The play’s the thing
    Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 633.
  • Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 1.
  • Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 19.
  • O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of nature’s journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 32.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • Come, sit down, every mother’s son, and rehearse your parts.
    • Act III, scene 1, line 74.
  • Is there no play,
    To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?

    • Act V, scene 1, line 36.
  • A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
    Which is as brief as I have known a play;
    But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
    Which makes it tedious.

    • Act V, scene 1, line 61.

William Shakespeare quotes about war

William Shakespeare quotes about war

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, produced a vast number of quotes on the subject of war.

Henry IV, Part I

  • It was great pity, so it was,
    That villanous saltpetre should be digg’d
    Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
    Which many a good tall fellow had destroy’d
    So cowardly; and but for these vile guns
    He would himself have been a soldier.

    • Act I, scene 3, line 59.
  • We must have bloody noses and crack’d crowns,
    And pass them current too. God’s me, my horse!

    • Act II, scene 3, line 96.
  • The fire-eyed maid of smoky war
    All hot and bleeding will we offer them.

    • Act IV, scene 1, line 114.
  • Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder; they’ll fill a pit as well as better.
    • Act IV, scene 2, line 71.
  • The arms are fair,
    When the intent of bearing them is just.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 88.

Henry IV, Part II

  • Our battle is more full of names than yours,
    Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
    Our armour all as strong, our cause the best;
    Then reason will our hearts should be as good.

    • Act IV, scene 1, line 154.
  • That I may truly say with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, I came, I saw, and overcame.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 45.
  • O war! thou son of hell,
    Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
    Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part
    Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly.
    He that is truly dedicate to war
    Hath no self-love, nor he that loves himself,
    Hath not essentially but by circumstance
    The name of valour.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 33.

Henry V

  • Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.

    • Act III, scene 1, line 1.
  • From camp to camp through the foul womb of night
    The hum of either army stilly sounds.

    • Act IV. Chorus, line 4.
  • The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
    With busy hammers closing rivets up,
    Give dreadful note of preparation.

    • Act IV. Chorus, line 12. “With clink of hammers closing rivets up.” Colley Cibber’s altered version of Richard III, Act V, scene 3.
  • There are few die well that die in a battle.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 148.
  • He which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 35.

Henry VI, Part III

  • It is war’s prize to take all vantage.
    • Act I, scene 4. Same in Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein’s Tod, Act I, scene 4.
  • Sound trumpets! let our bloody colours wave!
    And either victory, or else a grave.

    • Act II, scene 2, line 173.
  • They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 114.

King John

  • The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
    And ready mounted are they to spit forth
    Their iron indignation ‘gainst your walls.

    • Act II, scene 1, line 210.
  • Now for the bare-pick’d bone of majesty
    Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest
    And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace.

    • Act IV, scene 3, line 148.
  • Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
    And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
    And now ’tis far too huge to be blown out
    With that same weak wind which enkindled it.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 83.
  • I drew this gallant head of war,
    And cull’d these fiery spirits from the world,
    To outlook conquest and to win renown
    Even in the jaws of danger and of death.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 113.

Macbeth

  • When the hurly-burly’s done,
    When the battle’s lost and won.

    • Act I, scene 1, line 3.
  • Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
    • Act V, scene 5, line 1.
  • Blow, wind! come, wrack!
    At least we’ll die with harness on our back.

    • Act V, scene 5, line 51.
  • Lay on, Macduff,
    And damn’d be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

    • Act V, scene 8, line 33.

Richard II

  • The bay-trees in our country all are wither’d
    And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
    The pale-fac’d moon looks bloody on the earth
    And lean-look’d prophets whisper fearful change;
    Rich men look sad and ruffians dance and leap,
    The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
    The other to enjoy by rage and war.

    • Act II, scene 4, line 8.
  • Let’s march without the noise of threat’ning drum.
    • Act III, scene 3, line 51.
  • He is come to open
    The purple testament of bleeding war.

    • Act III, scene 3, line 93.

Richard III

  • Grim-visag’d war hath smoothed his wrinkled front.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 9.
  • Thus far into the bowels of the land
    Have we march’d without impediment.

    • Act V, scene 2, line 3.
  • Conscience avaunt, Richard’s himself again:
    Hark! the shrill trumpet sounds, to horse, away,
    My soul’s in arms, and eager for the fray.

    • Act V, scene 3. Altered by Colley Cibber.
  • Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
    That they may crush down with heavy fall
    The usurping helmets of our adversaries.

    • Act V, scene 3, line 110.
  • Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yeomen!
    Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
    Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
    Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!

    • Act V, scene 3, line 338.

Others

  • And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
    Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
    Be strew’d before your feet!

    • Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, scene 3, line 99.
  • All was lost,
    But that the heavens fought.

    • Cymbeline (1611), Act V, scene 3, line 3.
  • Give me the cups;
    And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
    The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
    The cannons to heavens, the heavens to earth.

    • Hamlet, Act V, scene 2, line 285.
  • Cæsar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
    With Até by his side come hot from hell,
    Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
    Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of war.

    • Julius Cæsar, Act III, scene 1, line 270.
  • Follow thy drum;
    With man’s blood paint the ground, gules, gules;
    Religious canons, civil laws are cruel;
    Then what should war be?

    • Timon of Athens (date uncertain, published 1623), Act IV, scene 3, line 58.

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