Read Shakespeare’s Top 50 Quotes on Life
We’d like to share our favourite Shakespeare quotes about life with you. Among Shakespeare’s hundreds of characters there are numerous observations about life. The 50 life quotes by Shakespeare are taken from the plays and sonnets. So, without further ado, here are the all time quotes on life from Shakespeare:
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow,
A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more:
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
To be, or not to be,—that is the question.
This day I breathed first: time is come round,
And where I did begin there shall I end;
My life is run his compass.
When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
I bear a charmed life.
It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin’s fee.
O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
Henry IV Part 1
Thy life’s a miracle.
That but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’ld jump the life to come.
The sands are number’d that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Henry VI Part III
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had liv’d a blessed time; for, from this instant,
There’s nothing serious in mortality:
All is but toys; renown, and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,
To mend, or be rid on’t.
Her father lov’d me; oft invited me;
Still question’d me the story of my life,
From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass’d.
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe.
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.
As You Like It
Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep.
Measure for Measure
Life is a shuttle.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
And a man’s life’s no more than to say ‘One’
Let life be short: else shame will be too long.
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.
As You Like it
A man can die but once.
Henry IV, Part 2
We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
The Merchant of Venice
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Macbeth
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
As You Like It
The time of life is short; to spend that shortness basely were too long.
Henry IV Part 1
Lay aside life-harming heaviness, And entertain a cheerful disposition.
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
The object of art is to give life a shape.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
So wise so young, they say, never do live long.
It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.
By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice, yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control.
There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.
You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will
more willingly part withal: except my life, except
my life, except my life.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one:
Take honour from me, and my life is done
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Henry IV Part II
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.
As You Like It
Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were filled with your most high deserts?
Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die
I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
Than both your poets can in praise devise.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.
Life no longer than thy love will stay,
For it depends upon that love of thine.
What do you think of the above Shakespeare quotes on life? Let us know – tell us your favorites in the comments section below. If you’re interested in more Shakespeare quotes check out some other relevant articles such as Shakespeare quotes, Shakespeare soliloquys and Shakespeare monologues