10 Shakespeare Quotes on Tragedy

Quotes from the Tragedies

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

  1. 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)
  2. Hamlet
    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)
  3. Macbeth
    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)
  4. Julius Caesar
    O conspiracy,
    Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
    When evils are most free?
    (Brutus, Act 2, Scene 1)
  5. Othello
    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)
  6. King Lear
    Nothing will come of nothing.
    (King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1)
  7. 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)
  8. Titus Andronicus
    Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
    Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
    (Aaron, Act 2, Scene 3)
  9. Coriolanus
    Like a dull actor now,
    I have forgot my part, and I am out,
    Even to a full disgrace.
    (Coriolanus, Act 5, Scene 3)
  10. 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)
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Jamieson, Lee. "10 Shakespeare Quotes on Tragedy." ThoughtCo, Jan. 26, 2021, thoughtco.com/shakespeare-quotes-on-tragedy-2985292. Jamieson, Lee. (2021, January 26). 10 Shakespeare Quotes on Tragedy. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/shakespeare-quotes-on-tragedy-2985292 Jamieson, Lee. "10 Shakespeare Quotes on Tragedy." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/shakespeare-quotes-on-tragedy-2985292 (accessed June 1, 2023).