Love is an emotion that can leave you joyful, confounded, exhilarated, giddy, befuddled, and all too often, speechless. Yes, if you’ve ever been in love, you know how hard it can be to capture your feelings in words. Mere mortals don’t have the insight or mastery of the English language to talk about love in a way that does it justice.
Of all the writers who have weighed in on the subject of love – and that’s pretty much all of them – William Shakespeare did it best. Sure, he wrote the most famous love story of all, but his brilliant musings on love go way beyond “Romeo and Juliet.”
As a sampling, here are some of our favorite William Shakespeare love quotes for Valentine’s Day, weddings, or any other time romance is on your mind.
Note: These Shakespearean love quotes are in shortened form. If you’re looking for more context or a longer quote (for a wedding reading, for example), you can find Shakespeare’s complete works here.
“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”
“No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage.”
“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”
“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”
“Love is blind and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit.”
“Cupid is a knavish lad, thus to make poor females mad.”
“The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.”
“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”
“Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs.”
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
“If music be the food of love, play on.”
“But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain,
But, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.”
“This bud of love by summer’s ripening breath may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.”
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
“For where thou art, there is the world itself, and where thou art not, desolation.”
“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.”
“And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.”
“Is it possible that love should of a sudden take such a hold?”
“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.”
“For to be wise and love exceeds man’s might; that dwells with gods above.”
If you liked these love quotes from the plays of Shakespeare, you might also want to check out these sweet love messages.
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