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Proud Shakespeare Quotes

Shakespeare quotes about gender and sexuality, and positive affirmations for LGBTQ+ communities

Shakespeare's works are as relevant to 21st century audiences as they were to 16th century ones because he knew the true meaning and complexities of life. These well-known quotes reflect the ethos of our Proud Shakespeare initiative which focuses on reinterpreting our collections and services as we support, celebrate and reflect on the continued impact of LGBTQ+ communities, including our audiences, staff and volunteers.

This above all - to thine own self be true

— Hamlet Act 1 Scene 3

We are such stuff as dreams are made on

— The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1 is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

— A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 5 Scene 1

But come what may, I do adore thee so that danger shall seem sport, and I will go

— Twelfth Night, Act 2 Scene 1

Were kisses all the joys in bed, One woman would another wed.

— Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music

And for a woman wert thou first created, Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.

— Sonnet 20

...we know what we are, but know not what we may be.

— Hamlet, Act 4 Scene 5

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

— Measure for Measure, Act 1 Scene 4

What’s past is prologue.

— The Tempest, Act 2 Scene 1

Let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me

— Much ado about Nothing, Act 1 Scene 3

I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.

— Much ado about Nothing, Act 1 Scene 1
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