Shakespeare's plays have contributed some of the most famous quotes from all of literature, and none are more memorable than those from his tragedies, probably the best place to find quotes on tragedy. There is debate over which of his plays are tragedies-"Troilus and Cressida" sometimes is included, for example-but here is the best-remembered tragic quote from each of the bard's plays usually placed in the tragedy category:
Quotes From Shakespeare's Tragedies
- Romeo and Juliet
No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o' both your houses!
(Mercutio, Act 3, Scene 1)
To be, or not to be-that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
(Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1)
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee!
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
(Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1)
- Julius Caesar
Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free?
(Brutus, Act 2, Scene 1)
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
(Iago, Act 3, Scene 3)
- King Lear
Nothing will come of nothing.
(King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1)
- Antony and Cleopatra
Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do't.
(Antony, Act 1, Scene 1)
- Titus Andronicus
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
(Aaron, Act 2, Scene 3)
Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace.
(Coriolanus, Act 5, Scene 3)
- Timon of Athens
'Here lies a wretched corpse, of wretched soul bereft;
Seek not my name. A plague consume you wicked caitiffs left!
Here lie I, Timon, who alive all living men did hate.
Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass, and stay not here thy gait.'
(Alcibiades, Act 5, Scene 4)