William Shakespeare Quotes

THE 10 BEST William Shakespeare Quotes

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William Shakespeare quotes are considered among the most well-known lines in history because they contain wisdom and advice that relate to the most important matters of life. Given that Shakespeare was one of the greatest poets and playwrights of all time, his work has continuously been re-introduced and re-interpreted over the past hundreds of years. Here are ten classic William Shakespeare quotes and what they might actually mean.

William Shakespeare, most possibly the greatest poet, dramatist, and writer of all time in literary history, is a national hero in England. Referred as “The Bard of Avon,” he created works that have captured the hearts and minds of generations for more than four hundred years. This assortment of profound William Shakespeare quotes will show you his depth of understanding of human beings.

Shakespeare not only works as a writer and actor but also, less famously, as a businessman. In 1599, together with his partners and colleagues, he built a large theater, called The Globe and made various investments. With the time and money he earned from his business ventures, William Shakespeare was free to work on his plays and poems without interruptions. Even though Shakespeare’s great writings are famous all over the world, his personal life is covered in mystery.

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Best William Shakespeare Quotes
William Shakespeare Quotes

William Shakespeare Quotes

Here are some of the best William Shakespeare quotes on love, happiness and feminism.

1. “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind”

This means that it shouldn’t matter what a person looks like, you love them for their personality and what’s inside. The quote is said in jealousy, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Helena because Demetrius thinks that Hermia is more beautiful than Helena and has been swayed by her beauty. Helena thinks that Demetrius should love her for who she is and keep his promises to her rather than love Hermia for her beauty.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is saying you shouldn’t fall in love with someone’s beauty, but rather their personality, mind, heart, and soul.

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

This quote appears in Act II, Scene 5, of Twelfth Night. It is part of a letter that was written by Maria to Malvolio. It’s read out loud by Malvolio to the joy of the other servants. It is meant to make readers and audience members laugh and take the same pleasure in the well-devised prank. 

Shakespeare used this quote as a joke that Malvolio’s fellow servants played on him. It appears in a letter that encourages him to better himself and continue to act in ways that annoy his mistress, Olivia.

3. “To be, or not to be, that is the question.”

Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

Coming from the storyline of Hamlet, ‘to be or not to be’ is typically interpreted as ‘to live or to die’.

4. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

Don’t rely on fate to lead you through life. Believe in yourselves and work towards building the life you want to live.

5. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

It’s important to keep your heart open and to love, while trusting only those who have pure intentions. But even to those we don’t trust, we must treat them with respect.

6. “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

A person might be complacent with their lot in life, but the future brings growth and change to those who aspire to be more.

7. “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”

This quote is by Macbeth to himself (the classic Shakespeare soliloquy) he is asking the stars to hide their light so that no one will be able to see the dark desires he has inside him. To put it in context, Malcolm is now the prince of Cumberland and Macbeth must decide whether to step over him to become king or just give up.

8. “Be great in act, as you have been in thought.”

Instead of talking about dreams and aspirations, put these thoughts into action.

9. “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene I

Just like food fuels the body, music can feed the burgeoning love in a person’s heart.

10. “I am not bound to please thee with my answers.”

Don’t tell someone what they want to hear in hopes it pleases them — instead, tell them the truth.

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