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Everyday Shakespeare - Shakespeare Quotes

Updated on November 6, 2011

some of the most popular Shakespeare quotes

Are you a Shakespeare fan who enjoys Shakespeare quotes? I am. I taught the Bard for years as a part of British Literature. If you haven’t read a lot of Shakespeare, you might not be familiar with many of the famous quotations from his plays, although several of them have become part of everyday language. For example, “All the glitters is not gold.” I’m sure you’ve heard that many times, but did you know it came from The Merchant of Venice? We’ve taken some of Shakespeare’s quotes and tweaked them a little. For example, our modern saying, “The world’s my oyster,” is based on a line from The Merry Wives of Windsor: “Why then the world’s mine oyster.”

Following are some of Shakespeare’s most popular and often used quotes. Heck, you’re probably quoting Shakespeare all the time without even knowing it! See how many of these Shakespeare quotes you recognize:

“To be, or not to be: That is the question.” Hamlet

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Romeo and Juliet

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Hamlet

“Out, damn’d spot!” Macbeth

“All that glitters is not gold.” The Merchant of Venice

“O, woe is me…” Hamlet

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” King Richard III

“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him…” Hamlet

“Off with his head!” King Richard III

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Hamlet

“Why then the world’s mine oyster…” The Merry Wives of Windsor

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Midsummer Night’s Dream

“All the world’s a stage…” As You Like It

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Hamlet

“What’s in a name?” Romeo and Juliet

“…such stuff as dreams are made on.” The Tempest

“The game’s up.” Cymbeline

“Et tu, Brute?” Julius Caesar

“A plague o’ both your houses!” Romeo and Juliet

“Get thee to a nunn’ry…” Hamlet

“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” King Richard III

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!” Macbeth

“I am constant as the northern star…” Julius Caesar

“It is the green-ey’d monster…” Othello

“…the most unkindest cut of all.” Julius Caesar

“I will wear my heart upon my sleeve…” Othello

“…it was Greek to me.” Julius Caesar

“I have not slept one wink.” Cymbeline

“What’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.” Measure for Measure

“…to thine own self be true.” Hamlet

“We have seen better days.” Timon of Athens

“For ever and a day.” As You Like It

“…love is blind…” Merchant of Venice

“My salad days…” Antony and Cleopatra

“…give the devil his due.” King Henry IV, Part I

“The better part of valour is discretion.” King Henry IV, Part I

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” King Henry IV, Part II

“..eaten me out of house and home.” King Henry IV, Part II

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” King Henry VI, Part II

“…let slip the dogs of war.” Julius Caesar

“What’s done is done.” Macbeth

“Out of the jaws of death.” Taming of the Shrew


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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I'm glad, Chris!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I love this hub, Habee !!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Marie!

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      One of my favourite Shakespeare's was the Merchant of Venice which I studied for 'A' level....I think "the pound of flesh" was taken from that but I'm not sure.

      congrats for interesting hub, Habee.

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image

      ThoughtfulSpot 8 years ago from PA

      Great hub! I'm looking forward to reading more. I started out my professional life acting, by way of falling in love with literature. Although I shifted into theatrical design, I took a number of dramatic lit classes, and considered getting my master's in that area. (someday, maybe...) I loved seeing the compilation of all these "everday" quotes. Thanks! For one of the most read playwrites of all time... I'm certain old Will is severely under-read!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Wow, you really listed a lot of famous lines here. I think I read that Shakespeare invented something like 1200 words. Amazing man.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      You're right, PD. I haven't seen that version of Othello. I'll check it out. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      ThePeeDeeWildcat 8 years ago from Just Across The State Line

      Habee:---Is it any wonder that British actors are so superior to American actors these days? For centuries now, they have been trained so thoroughly on the Shakespearean stage! Bob Hoskins portrayal of Iago in OTHELLO comes to mind. In case you've never seen it, find a DVD or whatever. You'll love it!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I read your hub about the Globe. I'd love to go! Thanks for reading.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Hello, habee, thanks you for your enjoyable hub. If you go to Statford-on-Avon I can promise that you will have an experience of a lifetime. I went to see play in the Globe Theatre in London, which was reconstructed on original drawing. I was an experience I will never forget. You get the feeling you are back in his time, such is the atmosphere

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Nemi. I hope to get to Stratford one day!

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 8 years ago

      Great hub. Reading anything about Shakespeare always reminds me of his home town, Stratford-upon-Avon where he is, understandably, still a big tourist draw card.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Carol. Funny! Good to see you.

      Hammer, love the "band of hubbers," but some aren't so merry - spent much time on the religion forums?? Thanks for reading.

      Howdy, Tammy! Always good to see you!

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Great Hub Habee, I really enjoyed that.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Great Hub Habee, For she who sheds their ink with me today shall be my hubber, We few we happy few we band of hubbers! LOL

    • Carol the Writer profile image

      Carolyn Blacknall 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great reading those Shakespeare quotes, habee! As Professor Harold Hill said, 'What did Shakespeare say? "Cowards die a thousand deaths, the brave man... only 500?"' - Carol

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, MOW. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 8 years ago from uk

      I've done my Masters in English Literature, so u can imagine how much I enjoyed this (I read the 'creative strategies' too). I'm sure a lot of people will be shocked to know that they quote Shakespeare in their everyday lives, without even knowing about it! well done!


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