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The 100 Most Beloved William Shakespeare Quotes

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

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was a well known English Poet and Play Writer, and actor. widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” (or simply “the Bard”).

In honor of the Bard’s 456st birthday. We compiled the 100 most beloved quotes from his extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. Read through these Shakespeare quotes and find ones that speak loudly to your heart and soul. Let the wisdom of Shakespeare influence your day.

Top 100 Famous Shakespeare Quotes

1

“Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.” – William Shakespeare

2

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” – Twelfth Night Act 2, Scene 5, William Shakespeare

3

“Get thee to a nunnery.” – Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

4

“The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.” – Touchstone in As You Like It, William Shakespeare

5

“Now is the winter of our discontent” – Richard III Act 1, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

6

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” – The Tempest Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

7

“I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.” – Boy in Henry V, William Shakespeare

8

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

9

“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” – Dauphin in Henry V, William Shakespeare

10

“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” – William Shakespeare

11

“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 Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

12

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” – Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

13

“…be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” – William Shakespeare

14

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” – Polonius in Hamlet, William Shakespeare

15

“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 Act 1, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

16

“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.” – William Shakespeare

17

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” – Escalus in Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare

18

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare

19

“What’s done can’t be undone.” – William Shakespeare

20

“Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined. Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind.” – William Shakespeare

21

“Off with his head!” – Richard III Act 3, Scene 4, William Shakespeare

22

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.” – Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

23

“Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?” – Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

24

“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” – William Shakespeare

25

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

26

“I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.” – The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

27

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5, William Shakespeare

28

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare

29

“Women may fall when there’s no strength in men.” – William Shakespeare

30

“To be, or not to be: that is the question” – Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

31

“The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.” – Claudio in Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare

32

“If music be the food of love play on.” – Twelfth Night Act 1, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

33

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – Hamlet Act 4, Scene 5, William Shakespeare

34

“The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interrèd with their bones.” – Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

35

“The wheel is come full circle: I am here.” – Edmund in King Lear, William Shakespeare

36

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare

37

“Nothing will come of nothing.” – King Lear Act 1, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

38

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – A Midsummer Night”s Dream Act 1, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

39

“Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” – William Shakespeare

40

“All that glisters is not gold.” – The Merchant of Venice Act 2, Scene 7, William Shakespeare

41

“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

42

“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.Life is as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.” – William Shakespeare

43

“Frailty, thy name is woman.” – Hamlet Act 1, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

44

“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

45

“Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” – Macbeth in Macbeth, William Shakespeare

46

“Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better.” – William Shakespeare

47

“This is very midsummer madness.” – Twelfth Night Act 3, Scene 4, William Shakespeare

48

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare

49

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!” – William Shakespeare

50

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

51

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

52

“Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” – William Shakespeare

53

“Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.” – Cordelia in King Lear, William Shakespeare

54

“The better part of valor is discretion” – Henry IV, Part 1 Act 5, Scene 4, William Shakespeare

55

“A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!” – Richard III Act 5, Scene 4, William Shakespeare

56

“Beware the Ides of March.” – Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

57

“Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?” – Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

58

“They have been at a great feast of languages, and stol’n the scraps.” – Moth in Love’s Labor’s Lost, William Shakespeare

59

“We have seen better days.” – Timon of Athens Act 4, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

60

“An overflow of good converts to bad.” – William Shakespeare

61

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – The Tempest Act 4, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

62

“Who could refrain that had a heart to love and in that heart courage to make love known.” – William Shakespeare

63

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” – A Midsummer Night”s Dream Act 1, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

64

“But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.” – Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

65

“I am a man more sinned against than sinning.” – King Lear Act 3, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

66

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” – William Shakespeare

67

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare

68

“The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.” – Duke of Venice in Othello, William Shakespeare

69

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

70

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” – Henry IV, Part 2 Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

71

“What”s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.” – Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

72

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle… This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” – Richard II Act 2, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

73

“As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.” – William Shakespeare

74

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” – Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

75

“Action is eloquence.” – Volumnia in Coriolanus, William Shakespeare

76

“By all the vows that ever men have broke, in number more than ever women spoke” – William Shakespeare

77

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

78

“I am one who loved not wisely but too well.” – Othello Act 5, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

79

“Cry “havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war” – Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

80

“Listen to many, speak to a few.” – William Shakespeare

81

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” – Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

82

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” – William Shakespeare

83

“A man can die but once.” – Henry IV, Part 2 Act 3, Part 2, William Shakespeare

84

“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 Act 5, Scene 5, William Shakespeare

85

“I burn, I pine, I perish.” – Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare

86

“How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.” – William Shakespeare

87

“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 Act 2, Scene 7, William Shakespeare

88

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” – William Shakespeare

89

“The golden age is before us, not behind us.” – William Shakespeare

90

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare

91

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.” – William Shakespeare

92

“How sharper than a serpent”s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” – King Lear Act 1, Scene 4, William Shakespeare

93

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” – Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3, William Shakespeare

94

“I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?” – Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare

95

“They do not love that do not show their love.” – William Shakespeare

96

“Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.” – William Shakespeare

97

“What light through yonder window breaks.” – Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

98

“A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.” – William Shakespeare

99

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” – William Shakespeare

100

“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” – Much Ado about Nothing Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare

101

“Shall I compare thee to a summer”s day?” – Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

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