Top 15 Shakespeare Quotes on Goodreads

Posted by Hayley on April 22, 2016

How do we love Shakespeare? Let us count the ways. For #ShakespeareWeek, we celebrated the Bard's plays, his impact on generations of storytellers, and the writers who helped shape his work. As our week of merrymaking comes to a close, we take a look at the most beloved Shakespeare quotes here on Goodreads.


1. "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." -As You Like It

2. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." All's Well That Ends Well

3. "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." -A Midsummer Night's Dream

4. "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." -Twelfth Night

5. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." -Julius Caesar


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6. "Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love."-Hamlet

7. "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." -Hamlet

8. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -Hamlet

9. "If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die." -Twelfth Night

10. "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." -The Tempest

11. "When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun." -Romeo and Juliet

12. "We know what we are, but not what we may be." -Hamlet

13. "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." -As You Like It

14. "You speak an infinite deal of nothing." -The Merchant of Venice

15. "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



What's your favorite Shakespeare quote? Tell us in the comments!
(Top image credit: David Tennant in the PBS's Hamlet)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 111 (111 new)


message 1: by Iris (last edited Apr 22, 2016 10:19AM) (new)

Iris "O fortune, fortune all men call thee fickle. If thou art fickle what does thou with him that is renown for faith? Be fickle, fortune, for I hope thou wilt not keep him long, but send him back."
--Romeo and Juliet.

"Oh that I were a man for his sake! Or that I had a friend who would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into curtsies, valor into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving."
--Much Ado About Nothing

Those are my two personal favorites. Also 3 and 6.


message 2: by Kristijan (new)

Kristijan “My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white.” - Macbeth


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Franco "Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."

Merry Wives of Windsor

(For those who like punctuality.) ;o)


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Fleet “I can see he's not in your good books,' said the messenger.
'No, and if he were I would burn my library.” - Much Ado About Nothing


message 5: by Allison (new)

Allison Ruvidich "The quality of mercy is not strained / It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven." - Merchant of Venice. And soooo many others.


message 6: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Look like th' innocent flower,
But be the serpent under ’t.
Macbeth 1.5.3

We are all frail.
Measure for Measure 2.4

Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Romeo and Julie 1.1.9


just a few if my many favourite quotes. ..


message 7: by Nicole (last edited Apr 22, 2016 10:50AM) (new)

Nicole "Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation." - Merchant of Venice


message 8: by Jaime (last edited Apr 22, 2016 11:09AM) (new)

Jaime Leigh "Though she be little, she be fierce"-A Mid Summer Night's Dream
"A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"-Henry V (Prologue)
"What a wretched and peevish fellow is this king of
England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so
far out of his knowledge!"- Henry V (Orleans)


message 9: by Amber (last edited Apr 23, 2016 08:20AM) (new)

Amber Martingale "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. -As You Like It" reminds me of what Obi-Wan said in A New Hope: "Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?"

Jamie: Jim Butcher used that with regard to Sgt, Murphy in a Dresden Files novel: "Though she be little, she be fierce"-A Mid Summer Night's Dream


message 10: by Joseph (new)

Joseph McGarry To be, or not to be. That is the question. -- Hamlet


message 11: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
When the hurly burly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.
That will be ere the set of sun.

Macbeth. Act One. Scene One. Speech of the three witches.

Macbeth was my first introduction to the plays of William Shakespeare. As a schoolboy, I had to study the play for an English examination. I remember I got good marks for an essay I wrote on Banquo. I was moved by the speech of the three witches. I liked its sound and rhythm. Though they spoke of one battle, there was something timeless behind what they said, as if they spoke of Earth as a battlefield.

To be or not to be, that is the question.
Hamlet.
When you get to the root of things, that is the question. A quote that deserves its fame.

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Song of Ariel from The Tempest.
I like those whimsical lines because they speak of summer in England to me. It is clear now that the plays of William Shakespeare will never have an equal and will never be surpassed.


message 12: by Iris (new)

Iris A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse! - Richard the Third


message 13: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda I can never finish counting the ways I love Shakespeare. <3


message 14: by Nastya (new)

Nastya Mezina “Life ... is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth


Haelgeweer_veertjie Die Ystervark! I'll seem the fool I'm not. - Antony and Cleopatra


message 16: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda Make me a willow cabin at your gate
And call upon my soul within the house.
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night.
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out “Olivia!”


message 17: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda "Methought she purged the air of pestilence."


message 18: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda DON PEDRO
I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.

BENEDICK
With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord,
not with love: prove that ever I lose more blood
with love than I will get again with drinking, pick
out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen and hang me
up at the door of a brothel-house for the sign of
blind Cupid. ....... and let me be vilely painted,
and in such great letters as they write 'Here is
good horse to hire,' let them signify under my sign
'Here you may see Benedick the married man.'


message 19: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." All's Well That Ends Well


message 20: by Betsy (new)

Betsy "This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,. . .
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this Earth, this realm, this England."
-RICHARD II-


message 21: by DrTMadhusudan (new)

DrTMadhusudan There is a history in all men's lives,
The which observed a man may prophesy wit a near aim
The main chance of things
Which in their weak beginnings lie intreasured.Henry IV

His life was gentle and the elements so mixed
In him that Nature may stand and say
This was a man.Julius Caesar


message 22: by Haley (new)

Haley S My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

Romeo and Juliet


message 23: by Patricia (last edited Apr 22, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Patricia "Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space -- were it not that I have bad dreams." Hamlet.


message 24: by Helen (new)

Helen "The course of true love never did run smooth." A Midsummer Night's Dream
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet


message 25: by Nanna (new)

Nanna "Oh, I am slain"-Polonius in Hamlet


message 26: by Michele (new)

Michele To sleep, perchance to dream-
ay, there's the rub." Hamlet


message 27: by Devyani (new)

Devyani Sethi She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
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, lines 17-28)


message 28: by Megi (new)

Megi Migenas King: "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go." (Hamlet)


message 29: by S. (new)

S. Wilson Edgar: “Men must endure
their going hence, even as their coming hither.
Ripeness is all.”

― King Lear

Heart of Marble


message 30: by Newly (new)

Newly Wardell Come boy, with me. My thoughts are ripe in mischief.

12th Night

So subtle.


message 31: by Joseph (last edited Apr 22, 2016 03:44PM) (new)

Joseph Lord, what fools these mortals be! from A Midsummer Night's Dream.


message 32: by Raven (new)

Raven “Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought”
― William Shakespeare, Othello


message 33: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Olson King: Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

Hamlet


message 34: by Akanksha (new)

Akanksha Verma " False face must hide what the false heart doth know. " - Macbeth ( Act 1 , scene 7 )


message 35: by Anna (new)

Anna we're advertising the signet versions, aren't we xD


message 36: by Marie Anne T. (new)

Marie Anne T. " Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day." - Macbeth


message 37: by Bonita (last edited Apr 23, 2016 02:44AM) (new)

Bonita "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" because it's true, only a fool would believe that they know everything, and a wise person would know that there are many more things to learn in life.


message 38: by Jovana (new)

Jovana More of your conversation would infect my brain. - Coriolanus, Act II, Scene 1

Richard of Gloucester:
Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,
Let hell make crook’d my mind to answer it.
I have no brother; I am like no brother.
And this word ‘love’, which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another
And not in me: I am myself alone. - Henry VI, part 3, Act V, scene 7

Macbeth
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green, one red. - Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2


message 39: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Wow!!! These are all great quotes!! :)


message 40: by Val (new)

Val Hadfield Betsy wrote: ""This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of..."


I have been reading through these quotes; all great but this it the one I was looking for. These words were the ones that made me love Shakespeare many years ago, and still bring joy when ever I read or hear them.


message 41: by Goshgirl (new)

Goshgirl "I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking." - Othello
;) :D


message 42: by Umar (new)

Umar Hanazuwa #4 & 15


message 43: by Angel (new)

Angel Parrish "O beware, my lord of jealousy; It is the greener'd monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on" --Iago to Othello

"Always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits." As You Like It

"Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is." Troilus & Cressida

"An honest tale speeds best being plainly told." King Richard III

"And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven" King Henry VI, part 2

"A good leg will fall; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curl'd pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or rather the sun and not the moon; for it shines brings and never changes, but keeps his course truly." King Henry V

"Rumor is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures" King Henry IV, part 2


message 44: by Himanshu (new)

Himanshu Bhatnagar "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." - Marcus Junius Brutus, Julius Caesar (Act IV, Scene 3)


message 45: by Louise (new)

Louise Jans Stars hide your fires, let nog light see my dark and deep desires.
__Macbeth


message 46: by Himanshu (new)

Himanshu Bhatnagar "We quarrel in print, by the book; as you have books for good manners: I will name you the degrees. The first, the retort courteous; the second, the quip modest; the third, the reply churlish; the fourth, the reproof valiant; the fifth, the countercheck quarrelsome; the sixth, the lie with circumstance; the seventh, the lie direct." - Touchstone, As You Like It (Act V, Scene 4)


message 47: by Jennice (new)

Jennice Nearly all quotes are adorable but i somehow managed to make a list of tme most favourate of mine :
1. "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." -As You Like It

2. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." All's Well That Ends Well

3. "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." -A Midsummer Night's Dream

4. "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." -Twelfth Night

5. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." -Julius Caesar

8. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -Hamlet

10. "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." -The Tempest

14. "You speak an infinite deal of nothing." -The Merchant of Venice


message 48: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda "Serve God, love me, and mend." -- BENEDICK to BEATRICE


message 49: by Sophie (new)

Sophie "One may smile and smile and be a villain" - Hamlet

"To die to sleep to sleep perchance to dream, ay there's the rub for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil" - Hamlet

"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go" - Hamlet

obviously I really like Hamlet


message 50: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda “I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes—and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.” -- BENEDICK to BEATRICE


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