William Shakespeare quotes about love

William Shakespeare, in his many plays, produced a vast number of quotes on the subject of love.


  • Love all, trust a few,
    Do wrong to none
    • Act I, scene 1.
  • But love that comes too late,
    Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
    To the great sender turns a sour offence.
    • Act V, scene 3, line 5.

As You Like It (c. 1599-1600)

  • If thou remember'st not the slightest folly
    That ever love did make thee run into,
    Thou hast not lov'd.
    • Act II, scene 4, line 34.
  • We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
    • Act II, scene 4, lines 53-56.
  • It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the propositions of a lover.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 245.
  • But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
    Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 418.
  • O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the bay of Portugal.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 208.
  • No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason.
    • Act V, scene 2, line 36.
  • Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.
    It is to be all made of sighs and tears;—
    It is to be all made of faith and service;—
    It is to be all made of fantasy.
    • Act V, scene 2, line 89.

Hamlet (1600-02)

  • This is the very ecstasy of love
    Whose violent property foredoes itself,
    And leads the will to desperate undertakings.
    • Act II, scene 1, line 102.
  • Doubt thou the stars are fire. Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar. But never doubt I love.
    • Act II, Scene 2, line 115.
  • He is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 188.
  • Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
    When little fears grow great, great love grows there.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 181.
  • Forty thousand brothers
    Could not, with all their quantity of love,
    Make up my sum.
    • Act V, scene 1, line 292.
  • Love, whose month is ever May,
    Spied a blossom passing fair,
    Playing in the wanton air:
    Through the velvet leaves the wind,
    All unseen can passage find;
    That the lover, sick to death,
    Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
    • Act IV, scene 3. Song.
  • By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 10.
  • You would for paradise break faith and troth,
    And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 143.
  • A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
    A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 334.
  • Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
    For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
    Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 339.
  • And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
    Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
    • Act IV, scene 3, line 344.
  • But love is good, and lovers cannot view themselves unto thee.
    The pretty follies that themselves commit.
    • Act II, scene 6, line 36.
  • Yet I have not seen
    So likely an ambassador of love;
    A day in April never came so sweet,
    To show how costly summer was at hand,
    As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.
    • Act II, scene 9, line 91.
  • And swearing till my very roof was dry
    With oaths of love.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 206.
  • Good night, sweet friend: thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end
    • Act ii, Scene 3.
  • Ay me! for aught that I ever could read,
    Could ever hear by tale or history,
    The course of true love never did run smooth.
    • Act I, scene 1, lines 132-34.
  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
    And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 234.
  • Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
    In least speak most, to my capacity.
    • Act V, scene 1, line 104.
  • When you depart from me sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
    • Act I, Scene 1.
  • Speak low, if you speak love.
    • Act II, scene 1, line 102.
  • Friendship is constant in all other things
    Save in the office and affairs of love:
    Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues;
    Let every eye negotiate for itself
    And trust no agent.
    • Act II, scene 1, line 182.
  • Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
    • Act III, scene 1, line 106.

Othello (c. 1603)

  • Upon this hint I spake;
    She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd,
    And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
    This only is the witchcraft I have us'd:
    Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
    • Act I, scene 3, line 166.
  • Perdition catch my soul,
    But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
    Chaos is come again.
    • Act III, scene 3, line 89.
  • What! keep a week away? seven days and nights?
    Eight score eight hours? and lovers' absent hours,
    More tedious than the dial eight score times?
    O, weary reckoning!
    • Act III, scene 4, line 173.
  • If heaven would make me such another world
    Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
    I'ld not have sold her for it.
    • Act V, scene 2, line 144.
  • Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate
    Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
    Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,
    Perplexed in the extreme: of one, whose hand
    Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away,
    Richer than all his tribe: of one, whose subdued eyes,
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their medicinal gum.
    • Act V, scene 2, line 383. ("Base Indian" is "base Judean" in first folio).
  • From love's weak childish bow she lives unharmed.
    • Act I, scene 1 ("uncharmed" instead of "unharmed" in Folio and early editions).
  • Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
    Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in a lover's eyes;
    Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
    What is it else? a madness most discreet,
    A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 184.
  • Steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks.
    • Act I, scene 5. Chorus at end. (Not in Folio).
  • Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
    Cry but—"Ay me!" pronounce but "love" and "dove."
    • Act II, scene 1, line 9.
  • See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!
    • Act II, scene 2, line 23.
  • O, Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou, Romeo?
    • Act II, scene 2, line 33.
  • For stony limits cannot hold love out,
    And what love can do that dares love attempt.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 67.
  • At lovers' perjuries,
    They say, Jove laughs.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 92.
  • My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
    My love as deep; the more I give to thee
    The more I have, for both are infinite.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 133.
  • Love goes toward love, as school-boys from their books,
    But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 156.
  • It is my soul that calls upon my name;
    How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,
    Like soft music to attending ears.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 165.
  • 'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
    And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
    Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
    Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
    And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
    So loving-jealous of his liberty.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 177.
  • Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
    • Act II, scene 2, line 184.
  • Love's heralds should be thoughts,
    Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
    Driving back shadows over louring hills;
    Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love,
    And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
    • Act II, scene 5, line 4.
  • Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
    Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
    • Act II, scene 6, line 14.
  • Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
    Take him, and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine,
    And all the world will be in love with night,
    And pay no worship to the garish sun.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 21.
  • They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able, and yet reserve an ability that they never perform.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 91.
  • For to be wise, and love
    Exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above.
    • Act III, scene 2, line 163.
  • The noblest hateful love that e'er I heard of.
    • Act IV, scene 1, line 33.

Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02)

  • If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    • Act I, scene I, line 1.
  • O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
    That notwithstanding thy capacity
    Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
    Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
    But falls into abatement and low price,
    Even in a minute!
    • Act I, scene 1, line 9.
  • Journeys end in lovers meeting,
    Every wise man's son doth know.
    • Act II, scene 3, lines 44-45.
  • Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
    Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.
    • Act II, scene 4, line 37.
  • She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek; she pin'd in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    She sat like patience on a monument,
    Smiling at grief.
    • Act II, scene 4, line 114.
  • Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better.
    • Act III, scene I, line 167.
  • For he was more than over shoes in love.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 23.
  • Love is your master, for he masters you;
    And he that is so yoked by a fool,
    Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 39.
  • And writers say, as the most forward bud
    Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
    Even so by love the young and tender wit
    Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the bud,
    Losing his verdure even in the prime.
    • Act I, scene 1, line 45.
  • How wayward is this foolish love,
    That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse
    And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod.
    • Act I, scene 2, line 57.
  • O, how this spring of love resembleth
    Th' uncertain glory of an April day,
    Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
    And by and by a cloud takes all away!
    • Act I, scene 3, line 84.
  • Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
    Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow,
    As seek to quench the fire of love with words. quotesbook.com
    • Act II, scene 7, line 18.
  • I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
    But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
    Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
    • Act II, scene 7, line 21.
  • Except I be by Sylvia in the night,
    There is no music in the nightingale.
    • Act III, scene 1, line 178.
  • They do not love that do not show their love.
    • Act i, Sc. 2. Attributed to John Heywood, Proverbs, Part II, Chapter IX, in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922).
  • Love keeps his revels where there are but twain.
    • Line 123.
  • What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
    • Line 202.
  • Love comforteth like sunshine after rain
    • Line 799.
  • Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain
    • Line 781.


  • There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.
  • I know not why
    I love this youth; and I have heard you say,
    Love's reason's without reason.
  • I can express no kinder sign of love, than this kind kiss.
  • Love for thy love, and hand for hand I give.
  • For where thou art, there is the world itself, and where thou art not, desolation
  • Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee.
  • Not that I lov'd Caesar less, but that I lov'd Rome more.
  • Though last, not least in love!
  • Upon thy cheek I lay this zealous kiss,
    As seal to the indenture of my love
  • Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
    That we our largest bounty may extend
    Where nature doth with merit challenge.
  • Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
    Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
    • Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, scene 2, line 217.
  • There is no creature loves me,
    And if I die, no soul shall pity me.
It is an ever-fixèd mark
that looks on tempests and is never shaken
  • Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    admit impediments. Love is not love
    which alters when it alteration finds,
    or bends with the remover to remove;
    O no! It is an ever-fixèd mark
    that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    it is the star to every wand'ring bark
    whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love's not Time's fool. Though rosy lips and cheeks
    within his bending sickle's compass come
    love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me prov'd,
    I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

See also