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Quoting The Infamous Shakespeare

Jan 23, 2008
It can be a daunting task to have to prepare a speech. However, there are various things which can make the task a lot easier, such as adding famous quotations at appropriate moments in the speech.

Familiar and frequently quoted passages from Shakespeare often enliven a speech. As an additional aid to the memory the speaker's name has been attached to each quotation. Choose an apt quotation here and there, and your speech will come alive.


Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition; By that sin fell the angels; how can man then, The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't?
Henry VIII, 3:2. (Cardinal Wolsey).

But man, proud man! Drest in a little brief authority, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, As make the angels weep.
Measure for Measure 2:2. (Isabella).


Conscience does make cowards of us all.
Hamlet 3:1. {Hamlet).

How is't with me when every noise appals me?
Macbeth 2:2. {Macbeth.)

Methought I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep! - the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast."
Macbeth 2:2. {Macbeth').

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
// Henry VI. 3:2. {King Henry).


The quality of mercy is not strain'd; It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven, Upon the place beneath; it is twice bless'd: It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes; 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.
Merchant of Venice 4:1. (Portia).


He that dies, pays all debts. Tempest 3:2. (Stephana).

Death, death, O amiable, lovely death!
King John 3:4. (.Constance).

Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither
Ripeness is all.
King Lear 5:2 {Edgar).

The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Tempest 4:1. (Prospero).

If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.
Hamlet 5:2. {Hamlet).


O God! forgive my sins, and pardon Thee !
Ill Henry VI. 5:6. {King Henry VI).

More needs she the divine than the physician,
God, God; forgive us all!
Macbeth 5:1. {Doctor).


A friend should bear his friend's infirmities.
Julius Caesar 4:3 {Cassius).

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, And could of men distinguish, her election Hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing; A man that fortune's buffets and rewards Has ta'en with equal thanks.

Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.
Hamlet 3:2. {Hamlet).


Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend.
King Lear 1:4. (Lear).

Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms.
Julius Casar 3:2. (Antony).

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child.
King Lear 1:4. (Lear).

O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfullness!
II Henry VI. 1:1. {King Henry VI).

Add some of the above well-known quotations to your speech and you will surely have a winner.
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