A selection of our favourite Shakespeare quotes, passages and sonnets, perfect for wedding readings.
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.
(Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 1)
I’ll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love,
And there I’ll rest as, after much turmoil
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
(The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 2 Scene 7)
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.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye:
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx, as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair.
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
(Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 4 Scene 3)
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1 Scene 1)
Thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst; and thou shalt wear me, if thou wear me, better and better. And therefore tell me, most fair Katherine, will you have me?
(Henry V, Act 5 Scene 2)
We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
(As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 4)
Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.
(Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2)
Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall: here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
Is to do thus, when such a mutual pair
And such a twain can do’t, in which I bind,
On pain of punishment, the world to weet
We stand up peerless.
(Antony and Cleopatra, Act 1 Scene 1)
I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you:
Nor can imagination form a shape
Besides yourself to like of.
(The Tempest, Act 3 Scene 1)
Miranda: Do you love me?
Ferdinand: O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true: if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me to mischief: I,
Beyond all limit of what else i' th' world,
Do love, prize, honour you.
Miranda: I am your wife, if you will marry me:
If not, I’ll die your maid: To be your fellow
You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant
Whether you will or no.
Ferdinand: My mistress, dearest,
And I thus humble ever.
Miranda: My husband, then?
Ferdinand: Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage e'er of freedom. Here’s my hand.
(The Tempest, Act 3 Scene 1)
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such as she:
And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fullness of perfection lies in him.
(King John, Act 2 Scene 1)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. 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,
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.