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50 Best Quotes by Shakespeare on Friendship

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Get the best quotes by Shakespeare on friendship, loyalty, fake friends and betrayal, and the similarities and differences between love and friendship.

famous william shakespeare love quotes

Friendship is an incredibly popular topic in Shakespeare, so these quotes span everything from the Sonnets to Hamlet and beyond. The Merchant of Venice is quoted most frequently here.

In Shakespeare, as in life, friendship can be about loyalty and companionship, as well as betrayal and other darkness. One of the most notorious Shakespearean friendships is that of Horatio and Hamlet, with Horatio going so far as to offer to commit suicide for Hamlet, plagued with troubles.  However, you may also recall that the unwavering trust Julius Caesar placed in his friend Brutus was misplaced.

Without further ado, below are all the best quotes by William Shakespeare on friendship from a variety of sources, from plays to Sonnets.

Best Quotes by Shakespeare on Friendship

best william shakespeare friendship quote

"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, / Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel." - Hamlet

"Keep thy friend, under thy own life's key." - All's Well That Ends Well

"But where there is true friendship, there needs none." - Timon of Athens

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall with our English dead." - Henry V

"He that is thy friend indeed, / He will help thee in thy need: / If thou sorrow, he will weep; / If thou wake, he cannot sleep: / Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part. / These are certain signs to know / Faithful friend from flattering foe." - The Passionate Pilgrim

"My friends were poor but honest." - All's Well That Ends Well

"The band that seems to tie their friendship together will be the very strangler of their amity." - Antony and Cleopatra

"Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love Accompany your hearts!" - A Midsummer Night's Dream

"A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities." - Julius Caesar

"All friends shall taste / The wages of their virtue, and all foes / The cup of their deservings." - The Merchant of Venice

"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends." - Coriolanus

"That which I would discover / The law of friendship bids me to conceal." -  The Two Gentlemen of Verona

"I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure / I count myself in nothing else so happy / As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends; / And as my fortune ripens with thy love, / It shall be still thy true love's recompense." - The Merchant of Venice

"Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself; / For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such / As war were hoodwink'd." - The Merchant of Venice

"To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods."- The Winter's Tale

"Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears; / Your hopes and friends are infinite." - The Merchant of Venice

"For when no friends are by, men praise themselves." - The Merchant of Venice

"Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all, to envious and calumniating time." - Troilus and Cressida

"In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it." - The Merchant of Venice

"My way of life / Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf, / And that which should accompany old age, / As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, / I must not look to have; but in their stead, / Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath, / Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not." - The Merchant of Venice

"Friendship is constant in all other things / Save in the office and affairs of love." - Much Ado About Nothing

"My good friends, I'll leave you till night." - The Merchant of Venice

"If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not / As to thy friends; for when did friendship take / A breed for barren metal of his friend?" - The Merchant of Venice

"Thy friendship makes us fresh." - Henry VI

"Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to love; / And I forgive and quite forget old faults, And joy that thou becom'st King Henry's friend." - The Merchant of Venice

"By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our friends true and constant: a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot,
very good friends." - The Merchant of Venice

"I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends." - The Merry Wives of Windsor

"Thou common friend, that's without faith or love- / For such is a friend now; treacherous man, / Thou hast beguil'd my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me." - The Merchant of Venice

"To Milan let me hear from thee by letters / Of thy success in love, and what news else / Betideth here in absence of thy friend; / And I likewise will visit thee with mine." - The Merchant of Venice

"Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears; / Your hopes and friends are infinite." - The Merchant of Venice

"To me, fair friend, you never can be old." - Sonnet 104

"That I will here dismiss my loving friends, / And to my fortunes and the people's favour / Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd." - The Merchant of Venice

"Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time." - Troilus and Cressida

"There is a devil / haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man; a tun of man is
thy companion." - The Merchant of Venice

"I count myself in nothing else so happy / As in a soul remembering my good friends." - Richard II

"A noble shalt thou have, and present pay; / And liquor likewise will I give to thee, / And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood." - The Merchant of Venice

"Words are easy, like the wind; faithful friends are hard to find." - The Passionate Pilgrim

"If any man challenge this, he / is a friend to Alencon and an enemy to our person; if thou / encounter any such, apprehend him, an thou dost me love." - The Merchant of Venice

"That I will here dismiss my loving friends, / And to my fortunes and the people's favour / Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd." - The Merchant of Venice

"Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people." - Henry VIII

"There is flattery in friendship." - Henry V

"Good my friends, consider / You are my guests." - The Merchant of Venice

"I rais'd him, and I pawn'd / Mine honour for his truth; who being so heighten'd, / He watered his new plants with dews of flattery, / Seducing so my friends; and to this end / He bow'd his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free." - The Merchant of Venice

"Most friendship is faining, most loving mere folly: / Then, heigh-ho, the holly.
This life is most jolly." - As You Like It

"The presence of a king engenders love / Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends, / As it disanimates his enemies." - The Merchant of Venice

"To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes, / Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown; / But where there is true friendship, there needs none." - Timon of Athens

"The great man down, you mark his favourite flies, / The poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies; / And hitherto doth love on fortune tend, / For who not needs shall never lack a friend, / And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy." - The Merchant of Venice

"But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end." - Sonnet 30


Those are all the most famous quotes by Shakespeare on friendship.

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