Shakespeare’s Language of Love

14 Romantic Quotes from Shakespeare

Every year on February 14, love is in the air. It’s a time for romance, flowers, and pretty, witty words from William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s romantic quotes from Romeo and Juliet, the most timeless, famous and beloved of all love stories

1. “I do love nothing in the world so well as you—is not that strange?”

(Romeo and Juliet – Act 4, Scene 1)

2. “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”

(Romeo and Juliet – Act 2, Scene 2)

3. “Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs;
Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in a lover’s eyes;
Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.”

(Romeo and Juliet – Act 1, Scene 1)

4. “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 — Act 2, Scene 2)

5. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

(Romeo and Juliet — Act 1, Scene 5)

Have you seen any of the film versions? Check out Twentieth Century Fox’s 1996 movie, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star crossed lovers. Watch the trailer for Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare opens with a metaphor about food and love in Twelfth Night

6. “If music be the food of love, play on”

(Twelfth Night – Act 1, Scene 1)

Here, Shakespeare uses a metaphor to suggest that music might cure the character’s obsession with love. I wonder how that worked out for him…? 😉

Shakespeare’s romantic quotes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1, Scene 1)

8. “The course of true love never did run smooth”

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1,  Scene 1)

9. “Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.
So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!”

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Scene 4, Act 1)

A romantic quote from Shakespeare’s  King Lear

10. “I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty”

(King Lear – Act 1, Scene 1)

More romantic quotes from Shakespeare’s  The Tempest

11. “Hear my soul speak: / The very instant that I saw you, did / My heart fly to your service”

(The Tempest – Act 3, Scene 1)

The Language of Love in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

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

(Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV, Scene 1)

13. “I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes—” 

(Much Ado About Nothing, Act V, Scene 2)

Shakespeare’s romantic Sonnet 18

14. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

(Sonnet 18, Lines 1–2)

And a bonus from The Bard! More of Shakespeare’s romantic quotes with the complete Sonnet 116. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

I chose to place this sonnet at the end of the post, as it speaks of a more mature love which remains strong and true despite storms (tempests) and time (the sickle reference). And though it opens with a reference to “marriage,” the word in line one is used to mean the uniting of two, true minds rather than a legally sanctioned partnership.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.”

(Sonnet 116)

Brenda de Jong-Pauley, February, 2022 ?

PS. Would you like more Shakespeare? Yes? Read our popular post, “Shakespeare: Ten Favorite Quotes and a Beautiful Apology.”

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