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.

King John

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.

Julius Caesar

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.

Macbeth

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 web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

All’s Well That Ends Well

O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Antony and Cleopatra

To be, or not to be,—that is the question.

Hamlet

This day I breathed first: time is come round,
And where I did begin there shall I end;
My life is run his compass.

Julius Caesar

When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.

King Lear

I bear a charmed life.

Macbeth

It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

Othello

Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin’s fee.

Hamlet

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.

King Lear

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.

Macbeth

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.

Julius Caesar

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.

Macbeth

So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,
To mend, or be rid on’t.

Macbeth

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.

Othello

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’

Hamlet

Let life be short: else shame will be too long.

Henry V

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.

The Tempest

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.

Twelfth Night

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.

Richard II

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

Julius Caesar

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.

Richard III

It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

Othello

By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.

Cymbeline

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.

King Lear

There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.

King John

You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will
more willingly part withal: except my life, except
my life, except my life.

Hamlet

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one:
Take honour from me, and my life is done

Richard II

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.

Julius Caesar

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 18

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.

Sonnet 17

Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die

Sonnet 81

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.

Sonnet 83

Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.

Sonnet 100

Life no longer than thy love will stay,
For it depends upon that love of thine.

Sonnet 92

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

Test your Shakespeare quote knowledge with our Shakespeare quote quiz – simply match the 10 Shakespeare quotes to the correct play!


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