Top 10 Love Quotes from Shakespeare

Shakespeare's First Folio Edition To Be Sold
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As this list of top 10 Shakespearean love quotes suggests, William Shakespeare remains the world’s most romantic dramatist and poet. He is responsible for "Romeo and Juliet" and "Sonnet 18," the greatest love story and poem ever written. Here are the top Shakespeare love quotes, from his plays and his memorable sonnet:

Helena, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 

Act 1, Scene 1: Helena ponders how Demetrius, instead of falling for her, is becoming enamored of Hermia:

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

Romeo, "Romeo and Juliet"

Act 1, Scene 4: Romeo tells his friend Mercutio that he is sinking "under love's heavy burden" with Juliet:

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

The Duke, "Twelfth Night"

Act 1, Scene 1: The Duke addresses the court in his palace, comparing love to a beautiful tune being played by the court musicians:

If music be the food of love, play on.

Sonnet 18

This is the opening couplet of Bard's famous poem in which he compares his lover to a beautiful spring day—and finds her superior:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Olivia, "Twelfth Night" 

Act 3, Scene 1: Olivia, a countess, is talking to Viola, who has disguised herself as a man and inadvertently attracted Olivia's love:

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

Ferdinand, "The Tempest"

Act 3, Scene 1: Ferdinand, whose party has crashed on an enchanted island, is speaking with Miranda, who was marooned on the island 12 years before, as they fall in love amid magical trickery:

Hear my soul speak:
The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service; there resides,
to make me slave to it.

Beatrice, "Much Ado About Nothing" 

Act 4, Scene 1: Beatrice addresses Benedick as they banter while friends conspire to make them fall in love—and succeed:

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

Portia, ​"The Merchant of Venice" 

Act 3, Scene 2: This is Portia's convoluted way of saying "I'm all yours!" to Bassanio, one of her suitors:

One half of me is yours, the other half yours—
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours!

Romeo, "Romeo and Juliet"

Act 1, Scene 1: Romeo tells his cousin Benvolio about his love for an unnamed woman (Juliet) and how she has so far resisted his advances:

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs.

Phebe, "As You Like It" 

Act 3, Scene 5: Phebe tries to tell Silvius that she doesn't love him, having instead fallen for Rosalind, who is disguised as a man named Ganymede. (Phebe is quoting from a poem by Christopher Marlowe; Shakespeare borrowed the line from Marlowe's "Hero and Leander."):

Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?
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Jamieson, Lee. "Top 10 Love Quotes from Shakespeare." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Jamieson, Lee. (2023, April 5). Top 10 Love Quotes from Shakespeare. Retrieved from Jamieson, Lee. "Top 10 Love Quotes from Shakespeare." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).