An In-Depth Look Into 11 Iconic Quotes from William Shakespeare
As one of the most iconic playwrights in history, William Shakespeare wrote some of the most iconic quotes—even four centuries later, his words still capture the hearts of people all around the world. To celebrate four centuries of William Shakespeare’s amazing work, we’ve taken a deep dive into 11 of his most iconic quotes.
“To Be or Not to Be”
This quote, taken from Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, encapsulates the struggle between life and death. Through the character of Hamlet, Shakespeare comically explored the reason why humans worry so much while examining our natural instinct to survive.
“Love All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to None.”
This inspiring quote appears in All’s Well That Ends Well. While addressed towards Helena during the play, this piece of advice is still applicable in our day-and-age, acting as a reminder to treat people with kindness and never do to others what we would not want done to ourselves.
“Our Remedies oft in Ourselves Do Lie”
Just as the title of the play implies, this phrase is taken from the All’s Well That Ends Well. Through the speech of Helena, Shakespeare’s desire to remind us of the great potential within ourselves is potent and inspiring.
“What’s in a Name?”
This quote is taken from one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, Romeo & Juliet. While the phrase famously begins “What’s in a name?”, the full sentence actually reads “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare beautifully establishes the power and name behind love.
“All The World’s a Stage”
This quote, which captures the idea that life is fleeting, appears alongside a monologue inAs You Like It. Throughout the speech, it’s clear that Shakespeare is asking his readers to view the world around them and revel in the beauty of life.
“Cowards Die Many Times Before Their Deaths”
This quote appears in Julius Caesar. Throughout the play, it’s clear that Shakespeare wanted to encapsulate the idea that true courage isn’t the act of facing death but rather the risking of death.
“Good Night, Good Night! Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow”
This quote appears in Romeo & Juliet, when Romeo is parting from Juliet for the final time. The quote speaks for itself, as it dives into the tragedy inherent in all kinds of love.
“This above All: To Thine Own Self Be True”
This quote appears in the playHamlet and points to the idea that inner-truth is more important than outside appearances. Despite the hundreds of years since his work first appeared on stage, Shakespeare’s wisdom holds up to this day.
“The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth”
This quote is spoken by Lysander near the end of Midsummer Night’s Dream, serving as a wise reminder of the difficulties inherent in love. Shakespeare’s words remind us that despite the beauty of love, hard times and hardship are sometimes the cost of a relationship.
“Striving To Better, oft We Mar What’s Well”
This quote appears in King Lear. Through these words, it’s clear that Shakespeare is suggesting that sometimes, it’s best to accept things for what they are, rather than risk ruination in an attempt to make them better.
“Words, Words, Words”
At the end of Hamlet, Hamlet famously utters the phrase “Words, words, words” before he exits. This phrase serves as a reminder that words have a profound power, capable of moving us and inspiring us to stick with our dreams.
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‘Words, Words, Words’: 11 Great Quotes From William Shakespeare
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