Famous Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare Quotes About Love and Life

As the most quoted English writer Shakespeare has more than his share of famous quotes.  Some Shakespare famous quotes are known for their beauty, some for their everyday truths and some for their wisdom. We often talk about Shakespeare’s quotes as things the wise Bard is saying to us but, we should remember that some of his wisest words are spoken by his biggest fools. For example, both ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be,’ and ‘to thine own self be true’ are from the foolish, garrulous and quite disreputable Polonius in Hamlet.

Whilst it’s hard to definitively say which are Shakespeare’s more famous quotes, we’ve examined polls published around the world and combined these with feedback from our millions of users and our own take on Shakespeare’s words, and can now offer what we belive to be the 50 most famous Shakespeare quotes. So, without further ado, here are Shakespeare’s most famous 50 quotes in no particular order:


To be, or not to be, that is the question.

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

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

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

My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.

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

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.

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

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

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

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

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

No legacy is so rich as honesty.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

The course of true love never did run smooth.

There is no darkness but ignorance.

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

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

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

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

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

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

They do not love that do not show their love.

An overflow of good converts to bad.

Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore, so do our minutes, hasten to their end.

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.

Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.

We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.

To do a great right do a little wrong.

Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.

What is past is prologue.

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.

Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.

Men’s vows are women’s traitors!

Love is too young to know what conscience is.

Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.

Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch, which hurts and is desired.

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

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.

In a false quarrel there is no true valor.

When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.

Farewell, fair cruelty.

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.

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

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

My pride fell with my fortunes.