11 Quotes Commonly Misattributed To Shakespeare

1. “When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”

 

Where it's actually from: An 1893 Italian opera, Falstaff, with a libretto by Arrigo Boito. The opera itself is based on The Merry Wives Of Windsor, written by the Bard himself, but the line is not found in the play itself, only in the opera.

Where it’s actually from: An 1893 Italian opera, Falstaff, with a libretto by Arrigo Boito. The opera itself is based on The Merry Wives Of Windsor, written by the Bard himself, but the line is not found in the play itself, only in the opera.

2. “Love is a wonderful terrible thing.”

 

Where it's actually from: Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado. Also the quote is actually, "Love--the most wonderful and most terrible thing in the world."

Where it’s actually from: Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado. Also the quote is actually, “Love–the most wonderful and most terrible thing in the world.”

3. “The earth has music for those who listen.”

 

Where it's actually from: The quote is definitively not in any of Shakespeare's written works. It's most commonly attributed to poet and author George Santayana or Oliver Wendall Holmes.

Where it’s actually from: The quote is definitively not in any of Shakespeare’s written works. It’s most commonly attributed to poet and author George Santayana or Oliver Wendall Holmes.

4. “You say you love rain…”

Where it's actually from: A turkish poem titled, I Am Afraid. In addition, umbrellas weren't common in Europe until the 17th century, roughly a 100 years after Shakespeare died.

Where it’s actually from: A turkish poem titled, I Am Afraid. In addition, umbrellas weren’t common in Europe until the 17th century, roughly a 100 years after Shakespeare died.

 

5. “The less you speak of greatness, the more shall I think of it.”

 

Where it's actually from: Sir Francis Bacon to Sir Edward Coke in 1601 during a quarrel in a bar.

Where it’s actually from: Sir Francis Bacon to Sir Edward Coke in 1601 during a quarrel in a bar.

 

6. “So dear I love him that with him/All deaths I could endure/Without him, live on life.”

Where it's actually from: Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Where it’s actually from: Paradise Lost by John Milton.

 

7. “When words fail music speaks.”

Where it's actually from:This quote is paraphrased from Hans Christian Anderson's "What The Moon Saw" (from What The Moon Saw: And Other Tales), roughly two centuries after Shakespeare died. The actual quote is, "when words fail, sounds can often speak."

Where it’s actually from:This quote is paraphrased from Hans Christian Anderson’s “What The Moon Saw” (from What The Moon Saw: And Other Tales), roughly two centuries after Shakespeare died. The actual quote is, “when words fail, sounds can often speak.”

8. “We’re all in the same game; just different levels. Dealing with the same hell; just different devils.”

Where it's actually from: Tumblr staaahp, this is a Jadakiss song.

Where it’s actually from: Tumblr staaahp, this is a Jadakiss song.

 

9. “All glory comes from daring to begin.”

Where it's actually from: "John Brown", a poem by Eugene Fitch Ware.

Where it’s actually from: “John Brown”, a poem by Eugene Fitch Ware.

10. “Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares.”

 

Where it's actually from: The Notebook of Love twitter handle.

Where it’s actually from: The Notebook of Love twitter handle.

 

11. “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

Where it's actually from: While no one is quite sure where this quote sprang from, it's definitively not in any of Shakespeare's works. The quote does closely resemble, and is commonly said to derive from the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism: desire is the root of all suffering.

Where it’s actually from: While no one is quite sure where this quote sprang from, it’s definitively not in any of Shakespeare’s works. The quote does closely resemble, and is commonly said to derive from the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism: desire is the root of all suffering.

 

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46 thoughts on “11 Quotes Commonly Misattributed To Shakespeare

  1. Strange how many misattributed quotes there are. Thank you for sharing.
    Here’s one that is Shakespeare’s …

    ” A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” πŸ™‚

    ❀ carmen

  2. This is a wonderful collection of quotes, my friend, and so glad you’ve pointed out who the proper sources for them too! Shakespeare does have his own words that are well known and enough to go around πŸ˜‰

  3. Wonderful idea for a post, Mihran. Since I studied Shakespeare in college (theatre major) I could have told you they were NOT Shakespeare quotations but, except for a scant few, I could not have pointed to who actually said the misattributed words. Thanks so much for adding to my education.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      1. You’re very welcome, Mihran.

        To help your statistics I WILL like your page as soon as I can make it over there – but I want to warn you that I’m no longer fond of FaceBook and rarely visit anymore, to have more time for blogging. Please don’t take it personally that I won’t be active on your page.
        xx,
        mgh

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