Unknown and mysterious, death is a very powerful thing for all of us…and something this page tries to tap into with a range of Shakespeare quotes about death. Although no-one knows what happens after death, billions have their own ideas about it, which differ from culture to culture and person to person. Because of the power of the word writers and poets tend to make the most of it to arouse emotions in the imagination of the reader. And Shakespeare was no exception, using  the word ‘death’ a great deal throughout his works – sometimes simply referring to death, often using death as a simile, and sometime personifying death (death seen as a tyrant, a lover, an executioner etc.). Below are a range of Shakespeare death quotes, categorized into a selection of types of quotes about death:

Shakespeare death quotes where he refers to death as something that simply happens to us:

1. ‘This thought is as a death’ Sonnet 64

2. ‘For now they kill me with a living death’ King Richard III

3. ‘Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death’ Romeo & Juliet

4. ‘Death-counterfeiting sleep’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream

5. ‘The gloomy shade of death’ King Henry VI, Part I

6. ‘What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!’ King Richard III

7. ‘O wretched state! o bosom black as death!’ Hamlet

8. ‘On pain of death, no person be so bold’ King Richard II

9. ‘Tired with all these, for restful death I cry’ Sonnet 66

10. ‘Cowards die many times before their deaths’ Julius Caesar

11. ‘What is thy sentence then but speechless death’ King Richard II

12. ‘Look upon thy death’ Romeo & Juliet

13. ‘To rush into the secret house of death’ Antony & Cleopatra

14. ‘The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes’ Julius Caesar

15. ‘Why, thou owest god a death’ King Henry IV, Part I

16. ‘The valiant never taste of death but once’ Julius Caesar 17. ‘Speak me fair in death’ Merchant of Venice

18. ‘Let me be boiled to death with melancholy’ Twelfth Night

19. ‘Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death’ King Richard III

20. ‘Whose heart the accustom’d sight of death makes hard’ As You Like It

21. ‘Muddy death’ Hamlet

22. ‘Thou ominous and fearful owl of death’ King Henry VI, Part I

23. ‘Ay, but to die, and go we know not where’ Measure for Measure

 

Shakespeare using death as a metaphor, or part of a metaphor:

24. ‘For in that sleep of death what dreams may come’ Hamlet

25. ‘This thought is as a death’ Sonnet 64 26. ‘For now they kill me with a living death’ King Richard III

27. ‘Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death’ Romeo & Juliet

28. ‘Death-counterfeiting sleep’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream

29. ‘The gloomy shade of death’ King Henry VI, Part I

30. ‘What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!’ King Richard III

31. ‘O wretched state! o bosom black as death!’ Hamlet

32. ‘On pain of death, no person be so bold’ King Richard II

 

Shakespeare death quotes where Shakespeare personifies death:

33. ‘When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover’ Sonnet 5

34. ‘O Death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!’ King John

35. ‘Though Death be poor, it ends a mortal woe’ King Richard II 36. ‘So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men’ Sonnet 146 37. ‘Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath’ Romeo & Juliet

38. ‘Death lies on her like an untimely frost’ Romeo & Juliet

39. ‘Death is my son-in-law, death is my heir’ Romeo & Juliet

40. Crack’d in pieces by malignant Death’ King Richard III

41. ‘Death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!’ Romeo & Juliet

42. ‘Where hateful Death put on his ugliest mask’ King Henry IV, Part II

43. ‘When Death doth close his tender dying eyes’ King Henry VI, Part I

44. ‘Till our King Henry had shook hands with Death’ King Henry VI, Part III

45. ‘Then have we a prescription to die when Death is our physician’ Othello

46. ‘The worst is Death, and death will have his day’ King Richard II

47. ‘The sudden hand of Death close up mine eye!’ Love’s Labour’s Lost

48. ‘Unsubstantial Death is amorous’ Romeo & Juliet

49. ‘Death rock me asleep’ King Henry IV, Part II

50. ‘Then love-devouring Death do what he dare’ Romeo & Juliet

 

That’s it folk! What’s your favorite Shakespeare quote about death, and why? Share in the comments section below.

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