UPDATED September, 2010 – My new book, Hear My Soul Speak : Wedding Quotations from Shakespeare, is available now!
While working on my wedding book I’ve compiled and organized something like 150 “love quotes” by Shakespeare. This was harder than it might seem, especially if you google the appropriate terms and discover dozens upon dozens of quote databases dedicated to the subject. The problem is that most of them simply search the works for words like “love” and then say “Aha, a love quote!”
That’s not really good enough, is it? I don’t expect that people searching for love quotes want to see something like “The course of true love never did run smooth.” True, it’s a love quote. By Shakespeare. But it’s not exactly romantic.
To balance out this trend I’d like to anchor some “love quotes” here, compiled by we fans of the bard who’ll pick only the best of the best. Quality, people. Not quantity.
Personally I like those quotes that are in a form where someone could say it to someone else. The romantic stuff. Like these:
“I will swear I love thee infinitely.” – Henry IV Part 1
“I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes.” – Much Ado About Nothing
“I would not wish any companion in the world but you.” – The Tempest
“Sweet, above thought I love thee.” – Troilus and Cressida
“I do love nothing in the world so well as you.” – Much Ado About Nothing
(Long time fans will know that I had that first one engraved on an infinity bracelet for my wife). I particularly like that Tempest one because the word love is nowhere to be found. So simple text searching won’t do it, you actually have to pay attention to what’s being said.
On the topic of love in general, there’s a couple I like just as well:
“If music be the food of love, play on.” – Twelfth Night
“Love is a spirit all compact of fire.” – Venus and Adonis
Anybody else got some favorites?