William Shakespeare: The Bard’s most powerful words of wisdom

Jess Denham in The Independent:

William-shakespeareThe Bard ran the gamut of human experience in his comedies, tragedies and sonnets, musing on life’s joys and sorrows and masterfully crafting words into timeless morsels of wisdom. From laying bare the futility of our existence in Macbeth (“a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”) and preaching the importance of integrity in Hamlet (“this above all; to thine own self be true”) to warning of speaking without thought in King Lear (“mind your speech a little lest you should mar your fortunes”) and urging us to take control of our dreams in Julius Caesar (“it is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”, Shakespeare’s grasp on the English language is arguably still peerless. Romantics and realists alike turn to his words on love for guidance through a realm of that baffles us all; parents drawn upon his cautions when bringing up their children; those in need of a moral compass find one in the pages of his plays; and “neither a borrower nor a lender be” remains the best excuse when your friend requests a bailout.

In need of some words to live by? Here are just a handful of Shakespeare’s most sagacious snippets:

On love

“Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.”

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

“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.”

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

“They do not love that do not show their love.”

“Love is merely madness.”

On friendship

“Friendship makes us fresh”

“Keep thy friend under thy own life’s key.”

“Friendship is constant in all things, save in the office and affairs of love.”

More here.