Nearly every political biography I read, somewhere or somehow, one of Shakespeare’s lines, themes, or plots are intertwined. Shakespeare and his plays are like a massive mountain range and each peak is one the 38 plays he wrote.
In my adult life (post-formal education), I’ve read and studied two of them: Hamlet and A Comedy of Errors. Reading Shakespeare today, as a professional, is way more interesting and meaningful than during school. Also, having the Shakespeare Tavern right down the street makes it convenient to experience the play as it should be: live.
The following list of quotes are pulled from reading those two plays as well as The Home Book of Shakespeare Quotations which I picked up during Covid. I started keeping another page on this site which has many more quotes with attribution.
There are few written works, the Bible being the most prominent, we have today where we can learn and study how the minds before us interacted and interpreted such text. Lincoln here for example. Two of the 38 peaks have been scaled and I plan to keep summiting when schedule permits.
Below are some of my favorite, short and sweet quotes collected so far.
“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.”
“Not being the worst stands in some rank and praise.”
“Tis in my memory lock’d
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.”
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”
“Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breath.”
“So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”
“Lord, we know not what we are, but know not
What we may be.”
“One woe doth tread upon another’s heel,
So fast they follow”
“Come what come may
Time and hour runs through the roughest day”
“Only I have left to say
More is thy due than more than all can pay.”
“Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing”
“The end crowns all,
And that old common arbitrator,
Time will one day end it.”
“There’s place and means for every man alive.”
“Keep your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.”
“Harp not on that string.”
“Come not between the dragon and his wrath.”
“Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.”
“Truth has a quiet breast.”
“And do as adversaries do in law,
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.”
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”