Best Lines From Each Shakespeare Play, By Popular Vote

Goodreads is not only an amazing social media site to track reading progress and share book recommendations with friends, it is also a great source for literature quotes.

Users are able to upload quotes and vote for what quotes are the best.

Here are the top lines from each Shakespeare play that have been rated as the best by Goodreads users.

[Gathered by Regina Kenney]


Antony and Cleopatra

“The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack: the round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets,
And citizens to their dens.”
1,096 Votes



“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.”
392 Votes


Troilus and Cressida

“For to be wise and love exceeds man’s might.”
27 Votes



“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”
7,739 Votes



“More of your conversation would infect my brain.”
51 Votes


Richard III

“Dispute not with her: she is lunatic.”
1,534 Votes


King Lear

“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.”
360 Votes


Merry Wives of Windsor

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
167 Votes


Love’s Labour’s Lost

“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.”
70 Votes 


Much Ado about Nothing

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,-
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.”
1,426 Votes


All’s Well That Ends Well

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
31,389 Votes


Twelfth Night

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
14,240 Votes


Romeo and Juliet

“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.”
2,647 Votes


Henry IV, Part II

“Presume not that I am the thing I was.”
915 Votes


Measure for Measure

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
1,347 Votes



“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”
78 Votes


Taming of the Shrew

“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.”
3,071 Votes


Henry VI, Part III

“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”
1,101 Votes


Two Gentlemen of Verona  

“They do not love that do not show their love.”
985 Votes


Henry VI, Part II

“Presume not that I am the thing I was.”
915 Votes


Julius Caesar

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
7,890 Votes


Henry IV, Part I

“[Thou] mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms!”
195 Votes


As You Like It

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
39,086 votes


Timon of Athens

“Like madness is the glory of this life.”
191 Votes


Henry V

“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
303 Votes


Winter’s Tale

“Exit, pursued by a bear.”
253 Votes


Henry VIII

“Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.”
185 Votes


Henry VI, Part I

“No, no, I am but shadow of myself:
You are deceived, my substance is not here;”
151 Votes



“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”
2,696 Votes



“For death remembered should be like a mirror,
Who tells us life’s but breath, to trust it error.”
13 Votes


Merchant of Venice  

“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”
3,459 Votes



“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
5,449 Votes


Comedy of Errors

“A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with light weight of pain,
As much or more we should ourselves complain.”
67 Votes


Titus Andronicus

“Demetrius: Villain, what hast thou done?
Aaron: That which thou canst not undo.
Chiron: Thou hast undone our mother.
Aaron: Villain, I have done thy mother.”

82 Votes   


Richard II

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
191 Votes


King John

“Be great in act, as you have been in thought.”
338 Votes


Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
21,302 Votes



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