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Shakespeare Quotes on Marriage

Shakespeare's advice on marriage, both sensible and comical

Shakespeare treats the subject of marriage with both a playful sarcasm and a voice of warning. His comedies are rife with characters chasing each other in attempts to marry, whereas his tragedies portray several doomed marriages.

Top Shakespeare Quotes on Marriage

Hanging and wiving goes by destiny

— The Merchant of Venice, Act 2 Scene 9, line 84; Nerissa to Portia

Thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife!

— Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5 Scene 4, line 121; Benedick to Leonato
Beatrice cropped
Much Ado About Nothing, RSC, 1976

For what is wedlock forced but a hell, / An age of discord and continual strife? / Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss, / And is a pattern of celestial peace

— 1 Henry VI, Act 5 Scene 5, lines 62-65, Suffolk to other lords

Who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure

— Taming of the Shrew, Act 3 Scene 2, line 11, Katherina to Baptista, of Petruchio
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Taming of the Shrew, RSC, 1962

Marriage is a matter of more worth / Than to be dealt in by attorneyship

— 1 Henry VI, Act 5 Scene 5, lines 55-56, Suffolk to other lords

The instances that second marriage move / Are base respects of thrift, but none of love

— Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2, lines 192-93, FIrst Player (as King) to Second Player (as Queen)
hamlet cropped

Time goes on crutches till love hath all his rites

— Much Ado About Nothing, Act 2 Scene 1, Lines 336-37; Claudio to Don Pedro

Get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee

— All's Well That Ends Well, Act 1 Scene 1, Lines 214-15; Parolles to Helena
All's Well Dench Cropped
All's Well That Ends Well, RSC, 2003

If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage

— All's Well That Ends Well, Act 1 Scene 3, lines 50-51; Clown to Countess of Rossillion

Fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings, the husband's the bigger

— Twelfth Night, Act 3 Scene 1, lines 34-36; Feste to Viola

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