William Shakespeare is undoubtedly the most quoted author in the English language. Often people don’t even realize they’re quoting the bard because so many of his original expressions have become part of everyday English. But in many cases, the words of the great poet and playwright are still quoted knowingly, and the following are some of the top reasons why.
To Talk About Love
Whether penning a love letter or composing a wedding speech, writers often incorporate poetic phrases to increase the quality and impact of their own words. Perhaps the most famous wedding quote comes from Sonnet 116, which expresses the notion that true love never changes, even when “it alteration finds.” Sonnet 118 is another great source of love quotes; in fact, the writer’s comparison of his beloved to a summer’s day may be the most famous profession of undying love ever written. Romeo’s proclamations of love to Juliet have also been repeated in love letters for many generations, ever since the play was first performed.
To Motivate Others
Giving a graduation speech is an occasion when the speaker is expected to motivate others to advance in life and fulfill their dreams. Adding a quote from a great author can add a little authority to the speaker’s words. Since success often requires courage, motivational speakers often quote the line from Julius Caesar which says that a coward dies many times, but “the valiant never taste of death but once.”
To Insult Someone
People don’t just quote famous poets to speak of love. The great writers of the past also left behind some brilliant insults. Some of the best Shakespearean insults cast aspersions on the victim’s intelligence, appearance, character, and of course, parentage. When a modern epithet just isn’t enough, try calling an enemy “an abortive, rooting hog” or tell him he is as “loathsome as a toad.” These pithy quotes are fun to say and very satisfying.
Anyone who spends time reading through the works of the great playwright or simply browsing through collections of quotes can find words to express almost any feeling or fit any occasion. Many people even find that reading great quotes inspires them to come up with their own creative phrasings.