Revisiting Shakespeare: Badass Quotes To Learn From The Beloved Bard

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William Shakespeare, one of England’s most celebrated playwrights, poets, and dramatists, our best-selling author of all time, may have been around over 400 years ago, but continues to charm, amaze and educate us with his impressive canon of works. Many of us would have studied some of his plays at school, and some of us (lucky ones!) at University, and many of us may have had the chance to see adaptations and performances of his work in film, tv or on stages across the country. Yet... we don’t know about you... but when we’re trying to concentrate on the words, which, let’s face it, can often get a little complicated, it’s easy to miss some of the amazingly profound and clever things he says! That’s why we’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite quotations from our beloved badass bard… you never know when they may come in handy... at a dinner party, a quiz, or for a bit of day-to-day motivation!


Take action! No one else can take charge of the direction your life is going, so if you want something... make it happen! If you want something enough, desire it and believe in it, be brave and bold enough to pursue it. Don't let doubts stop you and make sure you think of number one. Keep going and you will reap the rewards.

Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.
— Cressida, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 1
Nothing will come of nothing.
— King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1
Action is eloquence.
— Volumnia, Coriolanus, Act 3, Scene 2
Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour As thou are in desire?
— Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7
Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
— Cassius, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.
— Dauphin, Henry V, Act 2, Scene 3
This above all: to thine ownself be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
— Polonius in Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
— Ophelia, Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5
Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.
— Lucio, Measure for Measure, Act 1, Scene 4

Remember, life is short! Don't sweat the small stuff. Even if your day is not quite going to plan, you can always make it out the other side and turn things around. Keep going, change things up if you need, and ultimately don't let things boil up and get on top of you.

Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
— Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 3
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, Act 2, Scene 7
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, Act 5, Scene 5

Love... Ah glorious love. It's complicated and it's unpredictable, But love shouldn't have any limits, and it definitely shouldn't have any barriers.

The course of true love never did run smooth.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1
What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.
— Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2

A bit of modesty, wisdom, and a cheeky bit of coyness can go a long way! Don't let negatives get you down and if someone tries to take something away from you - be it your pride or your plans - a smile will win you more battles than a frown.  

Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest, Lend less than thou owest, Ride more than thou goest, Learn more than thou trowest, Set less than thou throwest.
— The Fool, King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4
The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.
— Duke of Venice, Othello, Act 1, Scene 3

It can be easy to make quick judgments about people and their problems. But often there may be more than meets the eye. Issues may take time to be resolved, but rest assured the truth will always out. You have to be prepared for the good and the bad. It's a balance of the two that gives life it's richness and depth.  

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
— Cordelia, King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1
Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.
— Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, Scene 2
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
— First Lord, All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 4, Scene 3

Never underestimate a woman...!

From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world.
— Berowne, Love's Labor's Lost, Act 4, Scene 3
If I be waspish, best beware of my sting.
— Katherine, The Taming of The Shrew, Act 2, Scene 1

Words by Lottie Franklin


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