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William Shakespeare Quotes

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616, wrote approximately 37 plays and 154 sonnets. In addition to forever changing theatre and literature, Shakespeare’s works have inspired more movies than any other writer dead or alive (the Internet Movie Database lists 788 movies or TV productions based on his work).

Shakespeare penned some of the richest, most complex, and most popular characters in history. His plots held substantial depth, drama, and myriad dynamic qualities. While his plays were often written with specific directions and specific constraints based upon his theatre’s needs and his audience at the time, they still contained timeless elements and universal motifs.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from his works:

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 

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.

The lady protests too much, methinks.

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

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.

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.

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

Listen to many, speak to a few.

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

The course of true love never did run smooth.

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

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

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

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

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.

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

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

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

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.

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

In time we hate that which we often fear.

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

I say there is no darkness but ignorance.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.

Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.

When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.

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

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Mind your speech a little lest you should mar your fortunes.

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