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Explore the profound wisdom of Shakespeare through his quotes! Shakespeare, widely acknowledged as the supreme wordsmith in the English language and a profoundly influential figure in global literature, has left an enduring impact. His plays and poems, translated into over 100 languages and performed worldwide, showcase his mastery of language. However, what truly makes Shakespeare timeless and universal is his deep understanding of human nature, emotions, and relationships. Delve into Shakespeare’s quotes and let his insights change your life!

In this article, we will explore five Shakespeare quotes that will change your life. These quotes are not only beautiful and memorable but also full of wisdom, inspiration, and challenge. They can help you overcome fear, doubt, and adversity, as well as embrace your true self, your potential, and your purpose. Whether you are a fan of Shakespeare or not, you will surely find something valuable and relevant in these quotes.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the five Shakespeare quotes that will change your life.

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Quote 1: Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

This quote comes from one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, Twelfth Night. It is spoken by Malvolio, a pompous steward tricked into believing that his mistress, Olivia, is in love with him. He reads a forged letter that tells him to act boldly and confidently to win her heart. The letter ends with these words.

The meaning of this quote can be understood in multiple ways, as it leaves room for diverse perspectives and interpretations. On the one hand, it can be seen as a motivational message encouraging us to pursue our dreams and ambitions without fear or hesitation. It suggests that greatness is not a fixed or predetermined quality but something anyone can attain through hard work, perseverance, or luck. It also implies that greatness is relative and subjective, depending on how we define and measure it.

On the other hand, this quote can also be seen as a cautionary tale that warns us about the dangers of pride, vanity, and delusion. It serves as a reminder that greatness brings fame and fortune and envy and downfall. Additionally, it highlights greatness as a burden that can overwhelm and necessitate difficult choices. Moreover, it prompts introspection about our motives and intentions in pursuing greatness.

So, how can this quote change your life? Well, it depends on how you apply it to your situation. You can utilize it for inspiration or a reality check, to boost self-esteem or embrace humility, and to pursue or reassess goals. The important thing is to be honest with yourself and to balance your aspirations with your actions.

Quote 2: We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

This quote comes from another one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Hamlet Malvolio, a pompous steward, speaks these words, deceived into believing that his mistress, Olivia, loves him. Following her father’s tragic demise by Hamlet’s hand in a fit of madness, she expresses profound grief, distress, confusion, and uncertainty regarding her identity and future.

This quote reflects a common human experience that we all face at some point. We often feel like we know ourselves well enough based on our past experiences, our personality traits, our values, and our beliefs. But we also realize that we are constantly changing and evolving as we encounter new situations, new people, new challenges, and new opportunities. We may discover new aspects of ourselves that we never knew existed or contradict our previous self-image. We may also lose some parts of ourselves that we once cherished or relied on.

This quote can change your life by helping you embrace change and growth as inevitable and positive aspects of life. By fostering open-mindedness, curiosity, and adaptability, it encourages personal growth. It promotes embracing the dynamic nature of oneself and appreciating the intricate diversity of human nature, rejecting rigid labels.

Quote 3: Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

This quote comes from one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, Measure for Measure. Lucio, a friend of Claudio, speaks these words as Claudio faces a death sentence for impregnating his fiancée before marriage. Lucio tries to persuade Isabella, Claudio’s sister who is about to become a nun, to plead for her brother’s life to the Duke, who is disguised as a friar. He says these words to encourage her to overcome her doubts and fears and act.

This quote captures a universal truth that we all experience in our lives. Doubts plague us regarding ourselves, our abilities, decisions, goals, and outcomes. Fears of failure, rejection, criticism, and disappointment arise. Hesitation, procrastination, and surrendering dreams follow. Regrettably, missed opportunities, experiences, and rewards haunt us due to not trying.

This quote can change your life by helping you overcome self-doubt and fear and motivating you to take action and seize opportunities. It helps you realize that doubt is natural, not weakness, in the face of uncertainty and risk. It aids in understanding fear as a challenge, not a barrier, conquerable with courage and confidence. Moreover, it reminds us that results require action and that failure is a path to learning and improvement.

Quote 4: This above all: to thine own self be true.

This quote comes from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet. It is spoken by Polonius, the father of Ophelia and Laertes, who is a loyal counselor to the King. During his farewell speech to his departing son Laertes, he imparts advice on worldly conduct, concluding with these words: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

This quote is one of the most popular and quoted lines from Shakespeare. This statement is frequently regarded as a potent affirmation of individualism, authenticity, and integrity. It signifies the importance of aligning our actions with our conscience, values, and passions instead of succumbing to external influences. It implies maintaining honesty and authenticity with ourselves and others, rejecting deceit and pretense. Furthermore, it underscores the significance of treating ourselves and others with respect avoiding compromise and betrayal.

This quote can change your life by helping you live authentically and ethically in a complex and chaotic world. Embracing it unlocks discovering your authentic self, purpose, and untapped potential. It empowers the fearless expression of your unique voice, talents, and gifts. Moreover, it nurtures the cultivation of trust, credibility, and respect for yourself and others, free from manipulation or deception.

Quote 5: The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.

This quote comes from one of Shakespeare’s most tragic plays, Othello. It is spoken by the Duke of Venice, the city’s ruler, where the play occurs. He says these words to Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, who accuses Othello of stealing his daughter by using witchcraft. The Duke tries to calm him down by telling him that he should smile rather than grieve over his loss. He says these words: “The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”

This quote conveys a profound message about how to cope with adversity, loss, or injustice in life. It suggests not allowing negative emotions to consume or define us in difficult times. It advises against surrendering power or happiness to those who hurt or harm us. Furthermore, it recommends not letting circumstances dictate our attitude or behavior.

This quote can change your life by helping you smile in adversity and show resilience, strength, and optimism. By embracing it, you realize you possess the power of choice in responding to any situation or individual. Moreover, you develop an understanding that within you resides something invaluable and irreplaceable, impervious to the reach of others. Additionally, it fosters an appreciation for the transformative potency of positivity and gratitude, enabling you to surmount obstacles and accomplish your goals.


We have explored five Shakespeare quotes that will change your life. These quotes are not only beautiful and memorable but also full of wisdom, inspiration, and challenge. They can help you overcome fear, doubt, and adversity; embrace your true self, potential, and purpose; smile in adversity and show resilience, strength, and optimism.

Shakespeare’s words have stood the test of time because they speak to the core of human experience and emotion. They resonate with us because they reflect our hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, dreams, and realities. They inspire us because they challenge us to think deeper, feel deeper, and act deeper.

So, next time you need some guidance or motivation in your life, why not turn to Shakespeare? His words may hold surprises for you.


Who was William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare, a versatile artist from England, thrived as a poet, playwright, and actor from 1564 to 1616. He is universally acclaimed as the supreme wordsmith in English literature and a highly influential figure in the global literary landscape.

What are some of his most famous works?

His quotes are still popular and influential because they capture universal truths and timeless wisdom about human nature, emotions, and relationships. They also express complex and nuanced ideas in simple and elegant language that appeals to the ear and the mind. They also reflect the diversity and richness of human experience and emotion that can resonate with anyone from any culture or background.

How can I apply his quotes to my own life?

His quotes can be applied to your life as sources of inspiration, motivation, or challenge. They serve as tools for reflection, analysis, or debate. Additionally, they act as prompts for creativity, expression, or learning. Moreover, they remind you of your values, goals, or purpose.

Where can I find more quotes by Shakespeare?

You can find more quotes by Shakespeare on various websites, books, apps, or podcasts that collect, categorize, or comment on his quotes. Some examples are:
– Parade
– Shakespeare Quotes
A-Z Quotes
Shakespeare App
Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast

How can I learn more about Shakespeare’s life and times?

You can learn more about Shakespeare’s life and times by reading biographies, histories, or documentaries that explore his personal and professional background, his social and cultural context, his influences and inspirations, his achievements and challenges, and his legacy and impact. Some examples are:
– Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
– Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
– The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro 
Shakespeare Uncovered (TV Series)

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