If it wasn’t for Shakespeare…great quotes


From Disney to Star Trek, Shakespeare is quoted second only to the Bible. And even some who think they are quoting the Bible are actually quoting Shakespeare.

In Star Trek, the Undiscovered Country (the title is a quote) we hear 15 quotes. Disney has at least one quote or reference in almost every movie. Did you know The Sound of Music quotes Shakespeare? In the song, Something Good we find the famous line “Nothing comes from nothing”. This is taken right from from King Lear.

A Winter's Tale
A Winter’s Tale

Musicians, advertisers and authors make good use of Shakespeare’s words. Yet often these great lines go unnoticed, as most people don’t know what they are hearing is really Shakespeare. So, as we continue our Shakespeare birthday countdown, I give you:

If it wasn’t for Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have these famous quotes.


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

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.

To thine own self be true.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.

Listen to many, speak to a few.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Romeo & Juliet

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.

Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”

Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.


A Midsummer’s Night Dream

The course of true love never did run smooth.


 As You Like it

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

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.


Twelfth Night

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

If music be the food of love, play on.

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
Merchant of Venice

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?

It is a wise father that knows his own child.

All that glitters is not gold.

Julius Caesar

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.

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

Et tu Brute?
The Merry Wives of Windsor

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

Henry VI

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.

Henry V

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.


False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

Out damned spot. Out, I say!

What’s done cannot be undone.
Remember, the next time you are watching a movie or reading a book and think, “Hey that sounds like Shakespeare”, it probably is.

Reposted as part of our Get Ready for Shakespeare Week

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

2 thoughts on “If it wasn’t for Shakespeare…great quotes”

  1. Thanks Martin. To be fair, Shakespeare may have taken some liberties with Socrates and Plato. We do know he re-wrote older plays, so who is to say he didn’t steal others just as others steal from him.


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