Shakespeare Gives Great Advice

Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Magneto from X-Men and a zillion characters from Shakespeare’s plays – that has been the remarkable range of Sir Ian McKellen. To celebrate his 80th birthday he’s been touring the UK with his one man show ‘Ian McKellen On Stage’. I recently got to see him and I must say he was amazing. But it reminded me how good Shakespeare is – and McKellen lives and breathes his works. Here’s a selection of the more practical quotes from Shakespeare’s plays:

Life comes and goes

‘All the world‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

Be wary of greatness

 ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.’

‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.’

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”

 ‘This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

Family and love

 ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!’

‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’

‘They do not love that do not show their love.’

Life tips

‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.’

‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be.’

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”

‘Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest, Lend less than thou owest.’

‘All that glisters is not gold.’

‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’

‘The better part of valor is discretion’

If you want to know which plays these are from – drop me a note.



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2 thoughts on “Shakespeare Gives Great Advice”

  1. I just played his analysis of the ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ soliloquy from Macbeth to my Y11s. It was from 1979 and his analysis of the passage is just fantastic.

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