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Shakespeare Quotes on Friendship

Shakespeare's advice on friendship

Shakespeare often portrays the complicated nature of friendship in his works; friends can be the source of joy and profound unity, but also of sorrow and suffering. Below is listed some of the advice Shakespeare gives on the subject in his plays and poems.

Top Shakespeare Quotes on Friendship

But where there is true friendship, there needs none

— Timon of Athens, Act 1 Scene 2, LINE 17; TIMON

The band that seems to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of their amity

— Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2 Scene 6, LINES 117-19; ENOBARBUS TO MENAS
A drawing of a procession, a lady at the front holding a tambourine at head-height is followed by a Centaur with a lyre. Beside him on his far side is a figure with bare back waving something in the air, and they are followed by a figure lounging in a wheeled chair, flourishing a glass and attended by two naked young boys, one of whom carries a bowl.
Illustration of merrymaking in Antony and Cleopatra

That which I would discover / The law of friendship bids me to conceal

— Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 3 Scene 1, LINES 4-5; PROTEUS TO THE DUKE OF MILAN

Friendship is constant in all other things / Save in the office and affairs of love

— Much Ado About Nothing, Act 2 Scene 1, LINES 166-67; CLAUDIO
Three men, two young, one older, are looking at something below a hedge.
Much Ado About Nothing, Davies, 2002

Thy friendship makes us fresh


Keep thy friend / Under thy own life’s key.

— All's Well That Ends Well, Act 1 Scene 1, LINES 65-66; COUNTESS OF ROSSILLION TO BERTRAM
Two seated ladies confront each other across a small tea-table with a single tea or coffee pot and a single cup on a tray.
All's Well That Ends Well, RSC, 1982

I count myself in nothing else so happy / As in a soul remembering my good friends

— Richard II, Act 2 Scene 3, LINES 46-47; BOLINGBROKE TO PERCY

Most friendship is feigning, most loving is folly

— As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7, LINE 186; AMIENS
Six armed men stand in a close semi-circle, their right-hands joined in the centre. The bearded man at the end on the right wears a surcoat with the French arms; the man third from the left has a crown over his helmet.
Henry V, RSC, 1984

There is flattery in friendship

— Henry V, Act 3 Scene 7, LINES 111-12; CONSTABLE TO ORLEANS

To me, fair friend, you never can be old

— Sonnet 104, Line 1

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