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30 Eternally Inspiring Lines From William Shakespeare Everyone Should Read

by Staff Writers | The Web Writer Spotlight: Nov 16, 2015

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No other author is quite as famous as William Shakespeare—and for good reasons too. Believed to have been born April 23, 1564, even though no birth record exists, Shakespeare was a prolific, witty English poet and play writer—to many, the world's greatest playwright ever.

A true romantic, Shakespeare loved the theater and was a great student of the human condition. He is credited with penning some of the greatest literary works in the history of mankind that defy time and transcend generations, including famous plays such as, Romeo and JulietAntony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Othello, as well as some 154 sonnets.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Shakespeare wrote nearly one-tenth of the most quoted lines in the English language. His quotations such as "To be, or not to be" and "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" form some of literature's most celebrated lines. Many of Shakespeare’s quotes are so often quoted that they’ve morphed into everyday speech.

Here are among his most famous lines—Shakespearian quotes that are so rich and potent everyone ought to read them twice. Enjoy, and do share the quotes with others so that they too can benefit.

 

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

 

2. “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.”

 

3. “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

 

4. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

 

5. “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

 

6. “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

 

7. “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win by fearing to attempt.”

 

8. “Strong reasons make strong actions.”

 

9. “The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”

 

10. “Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

 

11. "Brevity is the soul of wit."

 

12. “Nothing ventured, nothing gain.”

 

13. “How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”

 

14. “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

 

15. “The object of art is to give life a shape.”

 

16. "What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

 

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

 

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

 

19. “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

 

20. "Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.”

 

21. "And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.”

 

22. "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee the more I have, for both are infinite.”

 

23. “Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better.”

 

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

 

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

 

26. “Listen to many; speak to a few.”

 

27. “Live, love, and let be”

 

28. “What’s done can’t be undone.”

 

29. “All's well that ends well.”

 

30. “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

Image Credit: Leemage/Getty Images

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