Top 50 Famous Love Quotes by Shakespeare (Explained)

Shakespeare Love Quotes

Shakespeare’s romantic quotes contain some of the most beautiful phrases that people can use when they are in love. They express an individual’s deep feeling for another person and are often used as postcards, text messages or on social media to show affection and appreciation. The following is a list of Shakespearean famous quotes about romance:

1. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Romeo and Juliet. The meaning of this quote is the value of things and people is not given by their appearance of name. 

2. “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.” – Romeo and Juliet. This is a part of the balcony scene in which Romeo tells Juliet that their love is so great that they could share everything together if only they were allowed to live happily ever after. He says that there is nothing else on earth that compares to their love.

3. “Speak low if you speak love.” – Much Ado About Nothing. In this line, Shakespeare tells his audience that speaking loudly while talking about your feelings makes others think less of you. 

4. “I would not wish any companion in the world but you.” The Tempest. Here, Miranda confesses her love to Ferdinand and she uses these lines to say that he is the best thing that could ever happen to her. She also wants him to know that she loves him more than anything else in the whole wide world.

5. “The course of true love never did run smooth.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Here, the author explains that true love cannot always go smoothly. Sometimes things get complicated and sometimes our hearts break into pieces. But through everything, true love prevails.

6. “If music be the food of love, play on.” – Twelfth Night. Here, Orsino, Duke of Illyria is asking for music to help him overcome his love for Countess Olivia, who is in morning and will not be his. With the help of music, he finally gets over his obsession and realizes that he should focus on himself instead of being obsessed with someone else.

7. “There’s beggary in love that can be reckoned.” – Antony & Cleopatra. This quote shows the complexity of love. Love aspects are so intricate and difficult to understand that it is impossible for one to fully understand it.

8 . “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.” – Twelfth Night. This quote states that it is better to receive love without asking instead of receiving it after begging for it. 

9. “She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is woman, and therefore to be won.” – Henry IV. This quote comes from a part where Suffolk has the young Margaret as a prisoner. She is asking what the price of her freedom is and Suffolk is contemplating wooing her for himself, but cannot because he is married. As such, he plans to woo her for the king Henry. Margaret declares she will submit if her father, the King of Naples and King Henry IV can reach an agreement.

10. “The stroke of death is as a lovers pinch, Which hurts and is desired” – Antony and Cleopatra. Here, death is presented like a marriage that unites two lovers forever.

11. “Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service.” – The Tempest. Here, the author talks about love at first sight. He describes how when people fall in love they feel their hearts beat faster and their bodies become weak. They want nothing other than each other.

12. “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This means that it doesn’t matter what a person looks like, you love them for who they are and what makes them tick.

13. “Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” – As You Like It.The quote argues that love is not real if it is not love at first sight. If we do not see something right away then there must have been some sort of attraction before this moment.

14. Cupid is a knavish lad, thus to make females mad” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These words are a reference to Cupid, the Roman god of love, lust and his actions cause people to fall madly in love. 

15. “Come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy, That one short minute gives me in her sight” – Romeo and Juliet. This quote is an excerpt from Romeo and Friar Lawrence who helps the couple get married. 

16. “I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine” – As You Like It. Here the speaker, Rosalind, dressed a man, urges Phebe not to fall in love with here as she is not a real man, the same as the wows someone makes when he is drunk.

17. ‘Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love’ – Anotony & Cleopatra. When Antony affirms that Cleopatra is a cunning woman, Enobarbus replies with the above quote in which he supports the queen of Egypt’s pure and honest intentions.  

 18. “Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs.” – Romeo and Juliet. In this scene, love is described as a marriage between bliss and pain. The smoke that is the lover’s drugs is often created by sighs of pain when one loves and is not loved in return.

 19. “The sight of lovers feedeth those in love” – As You Like It. This line comes from Rosalind addressing Celie who says that seeing others in love feeds our own desires.

 20. “I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty”- King Lear. These words of Goneril are self explanatory. Goneril tells her father King Lear how much she loves him. The second daughter Regan also declares her love for the king while the youngest one, Cordelia, recognizing the fact her sisters lied, chose to say nothing. In fact, Cordelia was the one who loved King Lear the most. The morale of this quote is that most often, actions speak lauder than words. 

21. “Love hath made thee a tame snake” – As You Like It. Explanation: love has the power to make everybody better and can even tame the wildest beasts.

22. “What is light, if Sylvia be not seen? What is joy if Sylvia be not by?” – The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Here, Valentine, madly in love with Sylvia, confesses his love to Proteus. Light and joy have no meaning for Valentine without the love of his life, Sylvia.

23. “In thy youth wast as true a lover, As ever sighed upon a midnight pillow.” – As You Like It. Explanation: This dialog between Sylvius and Corin takes place in Act II Scene 4 of the play As You Like It. 

24. “Love is blind, and lovers cannot see, The pretty follies that themselves commit” – The Merchant of Venice. Often, in antiquity Cupid, the god of love was portrayed as blind or wearing a blindfold. As such, lovers often act as if they were affected by Cupid’s arrows, causing them to behave irrationally. Here Jessica (Jewish), disguised as a boy to elope with Lorenzo (a Christian) describes that situation which would make even Cupid blush.

 25. “His unkindness may defeat my life, But never taint my love” – Othello.  Here, Desdemona addresses Iago and Emilia and confesses that despite the fact Othello accused her of infidelity, she will love him forever. 

26. “Lovers can do their amorous rites by their own beauties” – Romeo and Juliet. In this scene, Juliet talks about her (making) love with Romeo in the dark and their beauty transforms the night into day. 

27. “She loved me for the dangers I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them” – Othello. In this speech, Othello explains why Desdemona loved him. It was his courage and other physical abilities that drew her towards him. The quality that Desdemona most admires in Othello is his bravery; his war stories about his dangerous exploits in the service of his country. It seems she wishes he could magically make himself even more courageous so she could be with him. This romantic notion of being with a brave man is a weak foundation for a lasting romantic relationship. If Desdemona could find a man who was mentally or morally brave, then that would be a great foundation for a loving, successful relationship, but in this case, she has chosen a man who is physically brave, and therefore, they will have a short-lived romance.

28. “Men’s vows are women’s traitors” – Cymbeline. When Imogen talks about her husband, she notes that men make a lot of promises, but they don’t necessarily intend to keep them. She says that when it comes time to fulfill those promises, many men turn out to be liars.

29. “Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love” – Hamlet. In this instance, Hamlet uses strong language to impress Ophelia. The words are extremely vivid and powerful. While, according to Hamlet, some natural laws can be doubted, his love for her is unwavering and cannot be doubted.

30. Oh, how this spring of love resembleth, The uncertain glory of an April day, Which now shows all beauty of the Sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away” – The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This speech is given by Proteus upon his departure from Verona to Milan. Addressing Valentine, Proteus expresses his love for Julia and his sadness that she cannot join him in Milan.

31. “I humbly do beseech of your pardon, For too much loving you” – Othello In this scene, the cunning Iago expresses his “love” for Othello, while plotting against him.

32. “Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” – As You Like It. In this dialog between Rosalinda and Orlando, she affirms that men are more likely to die of natural causes than of a broken heart. That fact is not surprising in an era dominated by wars and plagues. However, what is interesting here is that Rosalind does not believe that death is caused by love. Rather, she believes that people die because of external circumstances such as disease or famine.

33. This bud of love by summer’s ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet” – Romeo and Juliet. Explanation: Juliet uses this metaphor to describe her relationship with Romeo. Like the striking of a match, it will be perfectly timed to light a fire that will burn forever. That is the nature of true love. It is not a temporary thing that fades with time or the passage of events. It endures. It continues to burn brightly even after its initial glow has faded.

34. “You cannot call it love, for at your age the heyday in the blood is tame” – Hamlet. Hamlet is talking about Gertrude who married Claudius right after her husnand’s death not for love but for other reasons.

35. “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me” – Much Ado About Nothing. Here Beatrice is saying that she would prefer hearing her dogs barking over Benedick swearing that he loves her.

36. “Thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.” Sonnet 29. Explanation: This is a great poem about the joys and power of love, and how it can elevate a person from a state of depression to one of happiness and a valued existence. Towards the end he says that even though he would not want to exchange places with a king, because his life is so full and complete with love and joy, he has no desire to ever be without it again.

37. “Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none.” – All’s Well that Ends Well. This is a priceless tip from Countess of Roussillon where she tells her son Bertram that if he wants to get on well with everyone else, he should try being kinder towards others while being alert.

38. “I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say, ‘I love you.’” – Henry V. Explanation: King Henry talks about how directness works best in relationships. 

39. “I do love you more than words can wield the matter.” – King Lear. Goneril, King Lear’s daughter declares her love for the king. However, the use of “you” instead of “thou” is meant to signal her malicious intents.

40. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Sonnet 18. A summer day is an occasion to celebrate life, a carefree moment of our lives. For many people summer is the best season, the season that symbolizes fertility, happiness and freedom. By comparing a loved one to a summer day, the beloved comes to be identified with the above mentioned qualities.

41. ‘I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip’

– Othello. This quote talks about dedication, perseverance and the power of love that conquers all vicissitudes.

 42. “I kiss thee with a most constant heart.” – Henry IV. Explanation: These timeless words are a testament to the durability of true love. A lover is always looking for the soul mate’s lips and touch for life is not the same without one’s better half. 

43. “You have witchcraft in your lips.” – Henry V. King Henry describes Kate’s lips and states they are sweeter than the tongues of the French Council, known for their flattery. 

44. “She will die if you love her not, And she will die ere she might make her love known” – Much Ado About Nothing. Hero, the beautiful daughter of a noble from Messina, believes that Beatrice (Hero’s cousin) will die if Claudio doesn’t love her. 

 45. “A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage, to make’s love known.” – Macbeth. The quote talks about the state of being in love, when the person who loves wants to let the whole world know her feelings.

46. “Lovers ever run before the clock.” – The Merchant of Venice. When people are in love, time flies next to the person in love and drags its feet when you are away from your loved one. 

47. “Love hath made thee a tame snake.” – As You Like It. Explanation: Love has amazing powers and can transform the toughest individuals into most sensitive persons. 

48.“I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty.” – King Lear. Explanation: words cannot express how much I love you. I love you more than eyesight, more than freedom and more than my own life. 

49. “I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.” – Much Ado About Nothing. 

 Beatrice and Benedick are in love and here, Beatrice confesses that she loves him with all her heart.

50. “Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof” – Romeo and Juliet. While talking with Romeo, Benvolio states that love is a character that despite its gentle nature is often a ruthless dictator.


In this article we discussed some of the most famous Shakespeare’s quotes on love. We hope these quotations help you understand what it means to fall in love. If there were any other quotes which you think should be included, then please contact us.