10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (2023)

William Shakespeare's impact on English literature and language has been undisputable. And since the advent of cinema, Shakespeare's presence can be felt in several popular films with characters either directly quoting his plays or reinterpreting his famous lines.

RELATED:10 Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations

Ranging from popular works like Hamletand Romeo & Juliet to historical plays such as Julius Caesar and Richard III, the quotes from these classics would excite both film buffs and aficionados of the Bard of Avon's bibliography.



Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban / Macbeth

"Double, Double, Toil And Trouble..."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (1)

The thirdmovie of the Harry Potter franchise sneaks in a subtle reference to Macbeth in the form of a song that is a word-to-word version of a portion of the Three Witches' ill-fated prophecy.

Lines like "Double, double, toil and trouble, something wicked this way comes" can be applied to the film as it foreshadows the dark secrets that lay ahead with Voldemort's arrival in the next film. As for the original spell, the Shakesperean lines again predict the dark reign of Macbeth and his eventual downfall.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights - Richard III

"A Horse, A Horse! My Kingdom For A Horse!"

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (2)
(Video) Incredibly Accurate Shakespeare Quotes | Quotes, aphorisms, wise thoughts.

Mel Brooks' satirical retelling of Robin Hood's folklore is filled with references to classical literature, particularly that of Shakespeare. For instance, when people throw ears at Robin Hood, he reiterates Julius Caesar's line, "Lend me your ear".

RELATED:10 Ways Robin Hood: Men In Tights Still Holds Up Today

A more dramatic moment occurs when the vigilante swims to England all the way from Jerusalem. Without offering any context, he exclaims "My kingdom for a horse!" The randomness makes the scene funny but avid readers of the Bard would know that this dialogue is actually taken from Act 5, Scene 4 of Richard III. In the play, the titular protagonist desperately searches for his horse on a battlefield when he loses the creature.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon - Romeo & Juliet

"These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends..."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (3)

Like many other romantic films, TheTwilight Saga: New Moon also uses quotes from Romeo & Juliet to depict the tumultuous romance shared between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In fact, the film opens with this monologue from the classic tragedy.

In the original source, FriarLawrence says these lines to Romeo warning him of the dangers of loving a girl from a rival family. Romeo, however, believes that he would still get joy even if he could meet Juliet for just one moment. In Twilight's case, the rival families can be replaced by vampires and humans and the unconventional romance that blooms between a couple like Edward and Bella.

Last Action Hero - Hamlet

"To Be Or Not To Be."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (4)
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In Last Action Hero, Arnold Schwarzenneger plays a Hollywood star in films that parody the action genre as a whole. In a daydream sequence, his character Jack Slater even acts in a violent and satirical version of Hamlet.

Naturally, the hero goes on to utter Hamlet's classic line "To be or not to be." He then holds a skull just like how Hamlet is depicted with Yorick's skull. Slater then even smokes a cigar and repeats "not to be". Apart from being one of Schwarzenneger's best one-liners, it definitely adds an unexpected badass action hero touch to the Prince of Denmark.

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory - Romeo & Juliet

"Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (5)

Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka quotes Shakespeare on many occasions all through the film. Some of the songs also make similar allusions. So, it is not surprising to find him even bidding adieu like Shakespeare.

When Mike Teavee is reduced to the height of three inches, his mother faints at the spot. Wonka orders his Oompa Loompas to take the woman away as he gleefully remarks, "Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow." This alludes to a line that Juliet says to Romeo, "Good night, good night, parting is such sweet sorrow."

Beauty And The Beast - Macbeth

"Screw Your Courage In The Sticking Place!"

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (6)

Gaston is the brawny Disney villain in Beauty and the Beast but even he seems to cultivate a taste in Shakespeare. Gathering the townsfolk to fight the Beast, Gaston urges them to "screw their courage in the sticking place."

The phrase originated from Macbeth as Lady Macbeth urges her husband to gather all his courage for the misdeeds ahead. The "screw" in this case most probably alludes to the screw of a crossbow that tightens the string. The weapon is ready to fire once the screw is turned to its fullest extent ("in the sticking place").

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Aladdin - Julius Caesar

"Et Tu Brute."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (7)

Apart from Lion King's allusions to Hamlet, several other 90s Disney animated films reference the Bard through minor scenes like Aladdin's Julius Caesar moment.


When the film's titular protagonist encounters Genie for the first time and decides his wishes, Genie takes out a book of spells. As he says, "et tu Brute" ("you too, Brutus),a hand pops out of nowhere and stabs him. The famous line refers to the final words of Caesar as he is stabbed to death by his former ally Brutus and several other defectors. Adding to the Roman theme of the play, Genie evensportsa toga while saying the quote.

The Big Lebowski - Hamlet

"Good Night, Sweet Prince."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (8)

Donny is a foolish character in The Big Lebowski and is often subjected to his friend Walter's angry outbursts. However, when he finally dies, even Walter's soft side comes out. It makes for a wholesome moment as he scatters his friend's ashes.

Walter saying "Good night, sweet prince" seems to be very relevant in the end as these are the same words that were uttered by Horatio as his companion Hamlet lay dying in his arms.

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Birdman - Macbeth

"Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (9)

As Birdman deals with an actor making atheatre comeback, Shakespeare's influence is bound to seep into the screenplay. When protagonist Riggan hopelessly walks on a street at night, a jobless actor screams one of Macbeth's most famous soliloquies (popularly known as "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow".

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Even though the monologue is being delivered by a random character, the quote is relatable to Riggan's case to an extent. In the Bard's work, these lines are writtento show Malcolm and Macduff's siege of Macbeth's castle. Even though Macbeth is confident of his victory, the audience can predict the impending doom by this point. Similarly, in Birdman, Riggan confidently starts off his comeback journey only to test his limits later.

King Kong Vs. Godzilla - Hamlet

"There Are More Things In Heaven And Earth..."

10 Famous Movie Quotes That Are Actually Shakespeare (10)

The first-ever collaboration between the monsters Godzilla and King Kong was a Japanese film. With an English dub that is equally iconic, the film opens with a narrator reading out the line, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

This is a direct quote from Hamlet as the prince talks to his best friend Horatio right after seeing the "Ghost" of his father. While Horatio dismisses the spirit as superstition, Hamlet tries to convince him that there are things thatexist beyond the real world. In King Kong Vs. Godzilla, the quote is used to denote the larger-than-life creatures that the film features.

NEXT:10 Shakespeare Screen Adaptations You Probably Haven't Watched (But Definitely Should)


What movies have Shakespeare quotes? ›

Famous Shakespeare Quotes Caught On Film
  • The Godfather, modelled after King Lear.
  • West Side Story, modelled after Romeo and Juliet.
  • Forbidden Planet, modelled after The Tempest.
  • The Lion King, modelled after Hamlet.
Oct 30, 2011

What is Shakespeare's most famous line ever? ›

"To be, or not to be: that is the question." Perhaps the most famous of Shakespearean lines, the anguished Hamlet ponders the purpose of life and suicide in this profound soliloquy.

What are 5 famous quotes from Shakespeare? ›

  • “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” ...
  • “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” ...
  • “A horse! a horse! ...
  • “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” ...
  • “The course of true love never did run smooth.” ...
  • “If music be the food of love, play on.” ...
  • “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”
Jan 31, 2023

What Disney movies are allusions to Shakespeare? ›

The Lion King is the most well known Disney reference to Shakespeare, because the entire story is loosely based on Hamlet. Claudius (Scar) kills his brother, the King (Mufasa). Hamlet (Simba) is visited by the ghost of his father (Mufasa) and is lead astray by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Timon and Pumba).

What are the most badass Shakespeare lines? ›

“Action is eloquence.” “Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour As thou are in desire?” “Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”

What is one famous quote Shakespeare is? ›

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

What are the 10 most famous quotes? ›

10 most famous quotes of all time
  • "I have a dream." ...
  • "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - ...
  • "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - ...
  • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." -
May 20, 2022

What are 5 famous quotes? ›

Famous quotes in English
That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.Neil ArmstrongEnglish
The love of money is the root of all evil.the BibleGreek
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.Franklin D. RooseveltEnglish
The truth will set you free.the BibleGreek
54 more rows

What is Shakespeare's favorite quote? ›

1. "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

What is a famous Shakespeare quote about life? ›

"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." This Shakespeare quote summarises how individuals go about their daily lives, interacting with one another.

What is a famous line from Romeo and Juliet? ›

These violent delights have violent ends. A plague o' both your houses! Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill. O deadly sin!

What are some short inspiring Shakespeare quotes? ›

  • “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – ...
  • “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” – ...
  • “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – ...
  • “Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.” – ...
  • “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” –
Apr 22, 2021

What 7 movies are disguised Shakespeare adaptations? ›

7 Shakespeare-Inspired Films
  • Forbidden Planet (1956) – The Tempest. ...
  • West Side Story (1961) – Romeo and Juliet. ...
  • Ran (1985) – King Lear. ...
  • The Lion King (1994) – Hamlet. ...
  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) – The Taming of the Shrew. ...
  • Get Over It (2001) – A Midsummer's Night Dream. ...
  • She's the Man (2006) – The Twelfth Night.
Aug 14, 2016

What Disney movie is Shakespeare? ›

Shakespeare's works have been adapted several times by Disney: Hamlet was adapted by Disney in The Lion King, whilst Romeo and Juliet has been adapted as The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and Gnomeo & Juliet.

What movie is based off of Shakespeare? ›

1 The Lion King (1994) - Hamlet

One of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, The Lion King is loosely based on Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, mostly due to the fact that both stories focus on a fatherless prince.

What is the curse quote Shakespeare? ›

Ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

What words did Shakespeare invent that we still use today? ›

15 Words Invented by Shakespeare
  • Bandit.
  • Critic.
  • Dauntless.
  • Dwindle.
  • Elbow (as a verb)
  • Green-Eyed (to describe jealousy)
  • Lackluster.
  • Lonely.
May 7, 2019

What is the most violent Shakespeare? ›

Titus Andronicus is William Shakespeare's bloodiest play; the body count reaches fourteen. Rounding out the top-three deadliest plays are Richard III (eleven) and King Lear (ten).

What sayings did Shakespeare invent? ›

7 Words and Phrases Invented by Shakespeare
  • "Uncomfortable" Shakespeare was very fond of creating new words by attaching prefixes or suffixes to existing phrases. ...
  • "Fashionable" ...
  • "All that glitters is not gold" ...
  • "Manager" ...
  • "Jealousy is the green-eyed monster" ...
  • "Cold-blooded" ...
  • "Hoist with his own petard" ...
  • 70 Years of Nutcracker.

What is the most famous quote from Macbeth? ›

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.

What is the most famous line from Julius Caesar? ›

The valiant never taste of death but once.

What is the most iconic line in movie history? ›

A jury consisting of 1,500 film artists, critics, and historians selected "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", spoken by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the 1939 American Civil War epic Gone with the Wind, as the most memorable American movie quotation of all time.

What is the most famous quote from a movie? ›

According to the American Film Institute, the most famous line in a movie is “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn”. This is spoken by actor Clark Gable who plays the role of Rhett Butler in the 1939 American Civil War epic, "Gone with the Wind".

What is Walt Disney's famous quote? ›

"If you can dream it, you can do it." Walt Disney, the namesake of Walt Disney World and creator of Mickey Mouse, was always sharing motivation and inspiration through his words.

What is Mark Twain most famous quote? ›

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

What are some famous last lines Shakespeare? ›

From the obvious—“O, I am slain” (Polonius, Hamlet)—to the sentimental—“Thus with a kiss I die” (Romeo, Romeo and Juliet)—to the vengeful—“I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you” (Malvolio, Twelfth Night)—Shakespeare gave every character on his stage a send-off to be remembered.

What a hero Shakespeare quotes? ›

William Shakespeare Quotes About Heroes
  • “O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been.” -William Shakespeare.
  • “Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh, that is to say over fear: fear of poverty, of suffering, of calumny, of illness, of loneliness and of death.

How did Shakespeare say goodbye? ›

Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow. My necessaries are embark'd: farewell. Adieu! I have too grieved a heart to take a tedious leave.

What is Shakespeare most famous quotes about love? ›

“Love is a Devil”
  • “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken and so die.” ...
  • “Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs; Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in a lover's eyes; ...
  • “If thou rememb'rest not the slightest folly. That ever love did make thee run into,
Feb 2, 2021

What is an example of a Shakespeare quote? ›

1) "So shaken as we are, so wan with care," Henry announces to his court (1.1. 1). 2) Henry appears infirm from the very beginning of the play: "So shaken as we are, so wan with care" (1.1. 1).

What are 3 direct quotes from Romeo? ›

  • O me, what fray was here? ...
  • I fear too early, for my mind misgives; ...
  • O she doth teach the torches to burn bright. ...
  • But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ...
  • With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls, ...
  • O sweet Juliet. ...
  • Let's talk; it is not day. ...
  • I defy you, stars!

What did Romeo say before he died? ›

He attempts to defy that fate by killing himself and spending eternity with Juliet: “Well, Juliet,” he says, “I will lie with thee tonight” (5.1. 34). Tragically, it is Romeo's very decision to avoid his destiny that actually brings fate about.

What did Romeo say before she died? ›

Romeo speaks to Juliet of his intention to spend eternity with her, describing himself as shaking “the yoke of inauspicious stars / From this world-wearied flesh” (5.3. 111–112). He kisses Juliet, drinks the poison, kisses Juliet again, and dies. Just then, Friar Lawrence enters the churchyard.

What 90s movie is based off of Shakespeare? ›

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

What 80s movie is based on Shakespeare? ›

Macbeth 1982, 72 min.

What 90s movie is based on Shakespeare? ›

The Top 20 Based-on-Shakespeare Movies of the 1990s
  • 10 Things I Hate About You 1999, 97 min. ...
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 1990, 117 min. ...
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet 1996, 120 min. ...
  • Hamlet 1996, 242 min. ...
  • Much Ado About Nothing 1993, 111 min. ...
  • Richard III 1995, 104 min. ...
  • Titus 1999, 162 min.

What is the most quoted line from Hamlet? ›

'To be, or not to be: that is the question'.

Arguably the most famous quotation in the whole of Hamlet, this line begins one of Hamlet's darkest and most philosophical soliloquies.

What movies are based off Macbeth? ›

7 Best 'Macbeth' Adaptations, Ranked
  • Macbeth (1971) Image Via Columbia Pictures. ...
  • Maqbool (2003) Image Via Kaleidoscope Entertainment. ...
  • Macbeth (2015) Image Via StudioCanal. ...
  • Macbeth (1948) Image Via Republic Pictures. ...
  • Macbeth (2010) Image Via PBS. ...
  • Scotland, PA (2001) Image Via Lot 47 Films. ...
  • Throne of Blood (1957)
Jun 9, 2022

How many movies are inspired by Shakespeare? ›

The Guinness Book of Records lists 410 feature-length film and TV versions of William Shakespeare's plays, making Shakespeare the most filmed author ever in any language.

What modern movies are inspired by Shakespeare? ›

10 Best Movies You Didn't Realize Are Based on Shakespeare Plays
  • 10 'Men of Respect' (1990) ...
  • 9 'Get Over It' (2001) ...
  • 8 'Deliver Us from Eva' (2003) ...
  • 7 'O' (2001) ...
  • 6 'She's the Man' (2006) ...
  • 5 'Just One of the Guys' (1985) ...
  • 4 'Warm Bodies' (2013) ...
  • 3 '10 Things I Hate About You' (1999)
Apr 15, 2023

What Shakespeare is clueless based on? ›

Shakespeare dominates this subgenre, but it's hardly limited to his work. (It couldn't be; 37 plays are hardly enough to satisfy an industry of studio executives rushing to get in on a trend.) Clueless (1995) is a play on Emma (1815).

What movie is based off of Hamlet? ›

The Banquet is a Chinese film that loosely adapts Hamlet into a historical setting that's also slightly fantastical.

What films did Shakespeare inspire? ›

13 Shakespeare-inspired movies to stream in honor of his birthday, from 'Macbeth' to '10 Things I Hate About You'
  • '10 Things I Hate About You' (1999) ...
  • 'The King' (2019) ...
  • 'Lady Macbeth' (2017) ...
  • 'The Lion King' (1994) ...
  • 'Macbeth' (2015) ...
  • 'The Merchant of Venice' (2004) ...
  • 'Motocrossed' (2001) ...
  • 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1993)
Apr 23, 2020

How many movies did Shakespeare inspire? ›

What counts as an adaptation? Wikipedia currently lists 410 Shakespeare adaptations, crediting the fact the Guinness Book of World Records, whereas IMDb lists 1,095 projects which credit William Shakespeare in some way.

How many movies are based on Shakespeare? ›

The Guinness Book of Records lists 410 feature-length film and TV versions of William Shakespeare's plays, making Shakespeare the most filmed author ever in any language.

What Shakespeare play is Avatar based on? ›

As You Like It is a perfect example of a Shakespearean comedy. Avatar is a perfect example of an alien film and a box office hit.

Is Breaking Bad based on Shakespeare? ›

Breaking Bad became one of the best TV shows ever by borrowing a trick from Shakespeare. The show balanced improvisation and careful planning thanks to its overarching structure.

Is Clueless based on Shakespeare? ›

It is loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma, with a modern-day setting of Beverly Hills. The plot centers on a beautiful, popular, and rich high school student who befriends a new student and decides to give her a makeover while playing a matchmaker for her teachers and examining her own existence.

Who is the modern day Shakespeare? ›

An obvious choice would be Akala, who refers to himself as 'the black Shakespeare'. Akala is a powerful figure in the 21st Century with important political and moral messages, which he presents on television and in talks to various audiences whilst his initial fame grew from his time as a rapper.

What modern movie is based on Macbeth? ›

The Tragedy of Macbeth is a 2021 American historical thriller film written, directed and produced by Joel Coen, based on the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare. It is the first film directed by one of the Coen brothers without the other's involvement.

Is The Lion King based on Shakespeare? ›

Nor is The Lion King the only Disney film inspired by Shakespeare. Henry IV's central tension of a young man who shirks his responsibilities with his fat lazy friend is also clearly the model for the characters of Mowgli and Baloo in The Jungle Book.

What movies are inspired by Taming of the Shrew? ›

These film adaptations include The Taming of the Shrew (1929), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Kiss Me Kate (1953), 10 Things I hate About You (1999), and Deliver Us From Eva (2003). Each of these Taming of the Shrew adaptations puts its own spin on Shakespeare's original play.

What modern movie is similar to Hamlet? ›

The Banquet is a Chinese film that loosely adapts Hamlet into a historical setting that's also slightly fantastical.

Which Disney film is inspired by Shakespeare's play Hamlet? ›

Movie #2: Disney's famous movie “The Lion King” was based on Shakespeare's “Hamlet.

What Disney movie is like Macbeth? ›

Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as Scar in Disney's The Lion King remake was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Macbeth.


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