William Shakespeare Quotes on Death

William Shakespeare Quote#1 on Death

Don’t strew me with roses after I’m dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!

Thomas F. Healey

William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers and playwrights in English literature. He is considered as the ‘father of English literature’ because of his immense contribution to the language of English. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. Shakespeare, as an eminent playwright, contributed plays of various categories like tragedy, comedy and history. Death is one of the themes in most of his plays. Most of his death quotes emanate from his tragedy plays.

William Shakespeare Quotes on Death

His quotes about death are endless; however, a few may be listed below:

William Shakespeare Quotes on Death from Romeo and Juliet, 1597

Death lies on her, like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.

Act IV, scene 5, line 28.

How oft, when men are at the point of death,
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning before death.

Act V, scene 3, line 88.

Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death.

Act V, scene 3, line 112.

William Shakespeare Death Quotes from Hamlet

They are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

Act II, Sc. II

This fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest.

Death of Ophelia
Death of Ophelia

Act V, Sc. II

William Shakespeare Quotes on Death from Julius Caesar, 1599

When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Act II, scene 2, line 30.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Act II, scene 2, line 33.

That we shall die we know; ’tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

Act III, scene 1, line 99.

He that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.

Act III, scene 1, line 101.

We must die, Messala:
With meditating that she must die once,
I have the patience to endure it now.

Act IV, scene 3, line 190.

William Shakespeare Quotes on Death from The Merchant of Venice

I am a tainted wether of the flock,

Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground.

William Shakespeare Quotes on Death from Twelfth Night

The youth that you see here
I snatch’d one half out of the jaws of death.

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath:
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
Oh, prepare it!
My part of death no one so true
Did share it.

William Shakespeare quote on death from Macbeth

Act 5, scene 5, line 16.

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

that struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

and then is heard no more; it is a tale

told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

signifying nothing.

Macbeth murders Duncun

William Shakespeare quote on death from King John

Act 4, scene 2, line 84

We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand.

William Shakespeare quote on death from Richard III

Act 3, scene 2, line 64

‘Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,

When men are unprepared and look not for it.

William Shakespeare quote on death from Measure for Measure

Act 3, scene 1, line 27

If I must die,

I will encounter darkness as a bride,

and hug it in mine arms.


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