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Timeless quotes by William Shakespeare in honour of the greatest English writer's 453th Birthday

Tarun Mittal
23rd Apr 2017
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William Shakespeare is arguably the most celebrated writer in the English language to have ever lived. The 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and two long narrative poems written by him have maintained their literary and cultural significance through four centuries. His plays have been translated into every extant language on the planet and have influenced, and continue to influence, countless stage plays, movies, songs, and poems. As a playwright and actor, Shakespeare gained prominence for his masterful ability to portray the diverse range of human emotions in his plays, which included histories, comedies, tragedies, and tragi-comedies. His creativity was boundless; Shakespeare has been credited with inventing a plethora of words and phrases which are now commonplace in the English lexicon.

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Born on April 23, 1564 (the veracity of which has never been confirmed) in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Shakespeare cemented his place in world history by authoring timeless classics like Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet to name a few. Today, in honour of the Bard of Avon's 453rd birthday, here's a collection of some of the timeless gems his works have given the world:

  1. “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” ― As You Like It
  2. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ― Twelfth Night
  3. “Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.” – King Henry VI
  4. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ― Hamlet
  5. “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – The Tempest
  6. “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” – Measure for Measure
  7. “We know what we are now, but not what we may become.” – Hamlet
  8. “My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.” — The Taming of the Shrew
  9. “To be, or not to be: that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
  10. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
  11. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
  12. And by opposing end them?” – Hamlet
  13. “These violent delights have violent endsAnd in their triumph die, like fire and powder
  14. Which, as they kiss, consume” – Romeo and Juliet
  15. “This above all: to thine ownself be true.And it must follow, as the night the day,
  16. Thou canst not then be false to any man.” – Hamlet
  17. “Men at some time are masters of their fates:The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
  18. But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar
  19. Action is eloquence.” — Coriolanus
  20. “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – A Midsummer Night's Dream
  21. “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” – Henry V
  22. “Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” – Macbeth
  23. “The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.” – Measure for Measure
  24. “Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.” – King Lear
  25. “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” – Hamlet
  26. “If music be the food of love, play on.” – Twelfth Night
  27. “All that glitters is not gold;Often have you heard that told:
  28. Many a man his life hath sold
  29. But my outside to behold:
  30. Gilded tombs do worms enfold.” — The Merchant of Venice
  31. “The course of true love never did run smooth.” – A Midsummer Night's Dream
  32. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Hamlet
  33. “Conscience doth make cowards of us all.” – Hamlet
  34. “In time we hate that which we often fear.” – Antony and Cleopatra
  35. “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” – As You Like It
  36. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – The Tempest
  37. “What's past is prologue.” – The Tempest
  38. “When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!” – Hamlet
  39. “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” – King Lear
  40. “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” – Julius Caesar
  41. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – All's Well That Ends Well
  42. “Life ... is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Macbeth
  43. “So wise so young, they say, do never live long.” – Richard III
  44. “Be great in act, as you have been in thought.” – King John
  45. “Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.” – Twelfth Night
  46. “Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.” – Romeo and Juliet
  47. “Men in rage strike those that wish them best.” – Othello
  48. “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” – Richard II
  49. “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” – Hamlet
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