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Royal Shakespeare Company, 2007

Shakespeare Quotes on Anger

Shakespeare's understanding and expression of anger

Anger is a common character trait in Shakespeare's works; from distressed damsels to mad kings, many deal with overpowering rage. See how Shakespeare understood and expressed anger through the quotes below.

Top Shakespeare Quotes on Anger

This tiger-footed rage

— Coriolanus, Act 3 Scene 1, line 311; Menenius to Brutus

Come not between the dragon and his wrath!

— King Lear, Act 1 Scene 1, line 123; King Lear to the Earl of Kent
On the left is an end of a hovel; a hunched "poor Tom", scantily clad, leads Lear (a red gown blowing open over a white smock), the fool (in yellow, facing Lear but looking over his shoulder at Tom) and (behind them) the head and shoulders of Kent.
Sketch of King Lear, J. M. Wright

I understand a fury in your words / But not the words.

— Othello, Act 4 Scene 2, lines 32-33; Desdemona to Othello

Anger is like / A full hot horse, who being allowed his way, / Self-mettle tires him

— Henry VIII, Act 1 Scene 1, lines 134-36; Duke of Norfolk to Duke of Birmingham
On the right, Queen Katherine, wearing black and an elaborate headdress looks disparagingly at Henry on her right. He, wearing many jewels, leans away from her; he looks stern, but a little troubled.
Henry VIII, RSC, 1996

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot / That it do singe yourself

— Henry VIII, Act 1 Scene 1, lines 140-41; Duke of Norfolk to Duke of Buckingham

Who is man that is not angry?

— Timon of Athens, Act 3 Scene 5, line 59; Alcibiades to two senators
A pencil sketch, Timon sits with his head in his hands and his elbows resting on his knees, in front of a lightly-sketched cave. He wears a cloak, but his legs are bare, and the left side of his head is bald.
Timon of Athens Before His Cave, Richard Cosway, 1805

Let grief / Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it

— Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 3, lines 228-29; Malcolm to Macduff

O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! / Then with a passion would I shake the world

— King John, Act 3 Scene 4, lines 39-40; Constance to King Philip
King John Slouches in  a chair, his left elbow resting on the arm, his chin in  his left hand. His face has an expression combining anger and worry.
Herbert Beerbohm Tree as King John, 1899

Come not within the measure of my wrath

— Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 5 Scene 4, line 125; Valentine to Thurio

There is no following her in this fierce vein

— A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3 Scene 2, line 82; Demetrius, of Hermia

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