William Shakespeare is often recognized as one of the most prominent figures in English Literature. His works are extremely popular throughout the world, and are consistently studied within various cultures and languages. Although Shakespeare’s work seems to be quite mentally stimulating to those who chose to delve into the pits of his intricately constructed narratives, it is also noted that within his works are lessons in which some may find equally as satisfying as his emotionally appealing works of art. Here are ten life changing quotes by William Shakespeare.
10. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
(Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 2,)
This quote rationalizes the concept of value, basically insinuating that there is no certain way for one to determine if something is either good or bad. In most cases we are mentally confined to our own assumptions and label a situation based upon its outermost appearance, without the analysis of where the situation may potentially lead. To elaborate, quite often we so easily label certain situations negatively, without taking a look at how the situation may actually serve to benefit us. This is the difference between positivity and negativity, as well as optimism and pessimism.
9. “Be great in act, as you have been in thought.”
(King John: Act V, Scene 1)
In many instances, we develop these extraordinary ideas without our minds, only to have them evaporate when we fail to take the initiative to put them into action. Whether it is due to doubt or fear, we fail to comply with our own standards. Within this quote, Shakespeare has basically brought to attention the concept of taking chances as it relates to success. No one will be aware of how great of a writer you are if you never share your stories, or how inventive you are if you never create models and showcase them. Had Shakespeare not formulated his ideas in the form of well-written plays, we would never have gotten the chance to witness such a classically established craft.
8. “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. ”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5, Page 4)
This quote revolves around the basic concept of untrustworthy individuals, or those with ill intentions in regards to the success of others. At some point within our lives, we may encounter individuals who lead us to believe that they have our best interests at heart, only to learn that they harbor negative intentions and only wish to see us fail. One of the most effective lessons ever to be taught falls along the lines of “Everyone who smiles in your face, is not your friend.” This quote alone could not be more accurate. Furthermore, these ill intentions most likely stem from the trait of “Envy”. Those who constantly wish for your demise may secretly wish possess your skills or your talents, or perhaps are rather insecure about their own. Whatever the case, it is always beneficial to take notice of the actions of the people who surround you. No matter what you have or what skills you possess, there is always someone who would give everything to wish it all away.
7. “Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”
(Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 3)
A primary trait that is generally required to be successful in life is “Patience”. In many situations we fail to think before we act or before we speak. This will only serve to hurt us in the future. There’s a saying that goes “Slow and steady wins the race”, and another that states “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. These two quotes highlight the concept of patience and wisdom. In some situations it is more beneficial to stop and plan or map out your actions or intentions before jumping into a situation.Take the time to notice things as you go about your journey, stop and smell the roses. If not, there is a chance that you could miss something vitally important to moving forward.
6. “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 1, Scene 1, Page 9)
The concept of true love has been debated quite a lot throughout history. To those who believe in fairy tales and love at first sight this quote serves a fairly significant purpose. As of today, it is believed that love is based upon physical appearance, which is why so many people strive to look their best when attracting potential partners. However, is physical appearance really enough to fall in love with someone? What if the world was blind and love could only be determined with the actual analysis of a person’s personality, goals, aspirations, and how happy they make their partner? Shakespeare believed that true love looked past the cover of the book, and is based upon the story printed within the pages.
5. “To thine own self be true.”
(Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3)
Throughout our journey of life, we tend to stumble upon situations where our intentions differ from those in which we keep company. Within these situations we are typically expected to choose between doing whatever it is others are doing or sticking to our instincts and following our own paths. The most important thing to remember when going throughout life, is to do whatever you think would be best for you. Quite often, we become submerged in this illusion of perfection. Henceforth, we attempt to mold ourselves to conform to these standards only to realize that it is not where our heart lies.
4. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
(All’s Well That Ends Well, Act I, Scene 1)
This quote outlines a few important key points to living a happy and prosperous lifestyle. By “loving all” you wholeheartedly accept everyone, no matter what differences you may share. The spreading of love helps maintain humanity through random acts of kindness, and an overall understanding and acceptance of others views. Sharing positivity, creates a sense of balance and peace within a world of chaos and negativity. When “trusting a few”, you are protecting yourself from those who may intend to do harm while never losing your heart to the curse of revenge. “Do wrong to none” brings to attention the importance of good-will and is generally dependant upon a moral and ethical responsibility. These components, all serve well in the development of character and your general response to negativity.
3. “A fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
(As You Like It, Act 5 scene 1)
There will never be a point in time where everyone knows everything. There is forever knowledge to be obtained and ideas to be discovered. Quite often we will engage in debates with those who believe they have obtained all of the knowledge there is in the world. Be that as it may, they may refuse to listen or take advice from anyone else who may have something valuable for their collection of knowledge. By doing this, they cease to learn because they cease to admit that there are some things in which they do not know. Henceforth, the wise man understands that there is infinite knowledge and strives to obtain it by acknowledging what others have to share, and venturing out to discover the unknown, thus gaining new knowledge everyday.
2. “The course of true love never did run smooth”.
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene I)
With this quote Shakespeare in emphasizing the concept of fairy tales not being as easily created as often believed. True love may exist, however, it is not as simple as two people living happily ever after. Happily ever after usually comes with some struggles that involve adjustment, compromise, understanding, determination and persistence to overcome. There will sometimes be conflict caused by confusion or misunderstanding. However, if the love is true, it will find a way to overcome these obstacles with the effort of both parties within the relationship.
1. “We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
(Hamlet: Act 4, Scene 5)
This particular statement rationalizes the idea that we can never be certain of what our future may hold. Often times, we tend to live in the moment, not certain of what tomorrow may bring. We act upon what we see and hear within the moment we are in, not based upon the outcome of the action tomorrow. There are ways in which we may create assumptions or take educated guesses at how our futures may pan out. However, we can never be completely positive due to the fact that things are sure to change as we go along. On a more inspirational note, this statement brings to attention the benefits of not knowing what our future holds. Be that as it may, we are able to mold our lives into what we wish for them to be. If we had been given a book that contained our entire life journey and where it lead, we would not be given the chance to discover, learn and change for the better.
Composed By; J.M. Chamblee