De Britse schrijver Somerset Maugham liet een van zijn personages over Shakespeare zeggen: “Oh, him. He did say a lot, didn't he?” Maugham doelde op de eindeloze bron van waarheden over leven, liefde en dood. In alledaagse conversatie of in toespraken kunnen citaten van Shakespeare goed van pas komen. Een selectie van 'the most famous Shakespeare quotations', samengesteld door Kester Freriks.

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, V, 5

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like the thorn.

Romeo and Juliet, I, 4

Frailt, thy name is woman!

Hamlet, I, 2

I can express no kinder sign of love Than this kiss.

Henry VI, I,1

To be or not to be, that 's the question.

Hamlet, 3,1

We are such stuff As dreams are made on: and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest, IV, 1

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet, I, 5

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Hamlet, I, 4

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Richard III, V,4

Though this be madness,/ yet there is method in 't.

Hamlet, II,2

If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it.

Twelfth Night, I,1

It is the stars, The stars above us govern our condition.

King Lear, IV,3

Get thee a husband, and use him as he uses thee.

All's Well That Ends Well I,1

I thank God I am not a woman,/ to be touched with so many giddy offences.

As You Like It, III,2

She's beautiful and therefore to be woo'd She is a woman, therefore to be won.

Henry VI, V,3

Drunk many times a day,/ if not many days entirely drunk.

Measure for Measure, IV,2

It is a wise father that knows his own child.

The Merchant of Venice, II,2

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

King Henry IV, III,1

Ay, every inch a king!

King Lear, IV,6

As dead as a door-nail.

King Henry IV, IV,10

When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Macbeth, I,1

    • Kester Freriks