Today is April 23, 2016, AKA 400 years since William Shakespeare died. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a big deal. So far I have only read two plays by Shakespeare (Macbeth and Hamlet) and I love his writing. Many people my age dislike having to read his work in literature classes and discussing what their underlying meanings are. However, I fell in love with Shakespeare’s writing when reading Hamlet in my British Literature class last year. Maybe it was my teacher’s enthusiasm when it came to reading Hamlet, or maybe it was watching Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 film, but I couldn’t get enough.
So, knowing it has been 400 years since Shakespeare passed away feels like a big deal to me. Therefore I decided I’d share some of my favorite quotes from him and his plays, so you can understand why I love his writing, specifically Hamlet.
“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” -Hamlet
I love this because it explains in very simple words how issues become what they are. No one is born with prejudice against others, but thinking makes them become an issue (if that makes sense).
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” -Hamlet
WOW can we talk about how beautifully romantic this is?! Hamlet+Ophelia ❤
“Conscience does make cowards of us all” -Hamlet
Okay this one is depressing to think about but sadly it can be true.
“To be or not to be…” -Hamlet
This soliloquy is so long but it’s so great. So instead of writing it all out, I thought I’d include Kenneth Branagh’s version of it:
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” -Polonius, Hamlet
This is one of those quotes that you find everywhere, yet not many know it’s from Shakespeare. Even though Polonius is not a very likable character, this quote is fantastic.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” -Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
This one speaks for itself.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?…”-Sonnet 18
This sonnet is just so beautiful. ❤
“We know what we are, but not what we may be.” -Ophelia, Hamlet
Ophelia’s quote here is pretty deep. As someone who is currently lost as to where my future will lead me, this quote resonates with me. We can never really know where our future will take us, and who we will become, no matter how much we try to control it.
Whether you’re a Shakespeare nerd like me, or dislike reading his writing, I’m sure at least one of the above quotes speaks to you.
In honor of this big day, I want to share with you a picture of a Lego graphic novel of Hamlet, which I found at Barnes and Noble.
Peace, Love, Shakespeare.