Best Shakespeare Quotes | Must-Read Shakespeare Quotations

Best Shakespeare Quotes

Written by on | Quotes Shakespeare

All of the following quotes are from Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets and poems. Some wise, some comical; they are all marked with genius. Many of Shakespeare’s quotes have remained with us today and are now commonly used sayings. Though Shakespeare is known throughout the world, people often underestimate just how much of an impact this great writer had on life today. Some quotes listed here have not only threaded their way into modern vernacular, his plays and other writings have influenced writers, philosophers and leaders for centuries.

His works can comfort us in heartbreak and loss, or accompany us with joy and splendour through the highest moments in life. We see many of the quotes listed here at weddings and celebrations, and even 400 odd years later he manages to capture so precisely what it is to be human.

This list of best Shakespeare quotes tries to give you a taste of the Bard’s wonderful way with words. For more information on Shakespeare click here. Feel free to let us know your favourite quotes. We have separated this page into sections to help you find Shakespeare quotes relevant to you. I hope you enjoy this page, but remember there is no replacement for reading his works. And I encourage all of you to tuck into a Shakespeare play, even if it seems intimidating at first, the more you read, the more you’ll understand…

Famous Shakespeare Quotes


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

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Twelfth Night

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Twelfth Night

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

Julius Caesar

What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.

Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)


To be, or not to be, that is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings or arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea or troubles and by opposing end them.

Hamlet (Act 3 Scene 1)

As You Like It Shakespeare Quote

Shakespeare Quotes on Wisdom/Life

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Julius Caesar

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

All’s Well That Ends Well

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

As You Like It

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.


Nothing will come of nothing


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

Ophelia, Hamlet

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest

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


Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

Escalus, Measure for Measure


Hamlet Shakespeare Quote


Shakespeare Quotes on Love

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

Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

If music be the food of love, play on

Orsino (Twelfth Night)

The course of true love never did run smooth.


I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty

King Lear 

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

Twelfth Night 

Witty Shakespeare Quotes

You speak an infinite deal of nothing.

The Merchant of Venice

Though she be but little, she is fierce!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

How now, my sweet creature of bombast!
How long is’t ago, Jack, since thou sawest thine own knee?

Henry  IV (Part I)

Brevity is the soul of wit.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“The wheel is come full circle: I am here.”

Edmund, King Lear

Amazing Shakespeare Quotes

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

Escalus, Measure for Measure


Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Twelfth Night

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.


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

King John

They do not love that do not show their love.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Why, then the world ‘s mine oyster.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

Romeo and Juliet

And pity, like a naked newborn babe
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.


Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.

Measure for Measure

My tongue will tell the anger of my heart

The Taming of the Shrew

This above all: to thine own self be true,
and it must follow, as the night the day,
thou canst not then be false to any man.

Polonius, Hamlet

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so


Better a witty fool than a foolish wit

Twelfth Night

If I prove honey-mouth’d, let my tongue blister

The Winter’s Tale

…upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, till famine cling thee.


The course of love never did run smooth

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Conscience does makes cowards of us all


Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.

King Lear

The world’s mine oyster

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”

Twelfth Night

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.

Julius Caesar

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StageMilk Team

is made up of professional actors, acting coaches and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Emma, Jake, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

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