Quotes from Shakespeare plays are among the most famous in all literature. Here, I pick the single-most famous quote from each play by genre: Tragedy, Comedy, History. In this article we deal with Shakespeare’s tragedies.
And if you don’t agree that I’ve selected the most famous quotes from Shakespeare plays, then please feel free to share your own favourite quotes on our Readers Respond: Quotes by Shakespeare page.
So, with no further ado, here follows the list!
The Tragedies - Quotes from Shakespeare Plays
- Romeo and Juliet:
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
(Spoken by Romeo in Act 2 Scene 2)
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
(Spoken by Hamlet in Act 3 Scene 1)
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
(Spoken by Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 1)
- Julius Caesar:
Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free?
(Spoken by Brutus in Act 2 Scene 1)
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
(Spoken by Iago in Act 3 Scene 3)
- King Lear:
Nothing will come of nothing.
(Spoken by King Lear in Act 1 Scene 1)
- Antony and Cleopatra:
Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man; the nobleness of life
Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do't.
(Spoken by Antony in Act 1 Scene 1)
- Titus Andronicus:
She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive.
(Spoken by Demetrius in Act 2 Scene 1)
Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace.
(Spoken by Coriolanus in Act 5 Scene 3)
- Timon of Athens:
True is it that we have seen better days,
And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church,
And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engend'red;
And therefore sit you down in gentleness,
And take upon command what help we have
That to your wanting may be minst'red.
(Spoken by Duke Senior in Act 2 Scene 7)