Great Shakespeare Quote Wall Art

by WiseFool

Some of the most beautiful phrases in the English language came from Shakespeare's pen. Now, those words can also decorate your walls.

As the fashion for wallpaper has waned, a love of wall art (in the form of prints, decals and stickers), has increased. And with good reason; wall art not only makes an otherwise plain wall attractive, but also says something about the wall's owner. Whether it's a beautiful seascape or a positive affirmation, the art on your walls tells visitors something about you.

Personally, I'm a big fan of quotes on wall decals and prints. I'm also a big fan of Shakespeare, so these two loves have combined in my search for the perfect Shakespeare quote wall art. Here are just a few that have proven strong contenders for me, and they just might appeal to you too.

Why are Shakespeare's Quotes so Popular?

In my view, Shakespeare wrote some of the finest phrases that have ever graced the English language. However, there are many other poets and playwrights who have also penned amazingly beautiful passages and are, unfortunately, not as frequently quoted.

So, what magic stardust does Shakespeare have? The truth is, I don't know. It certainly didn't hurt that his work, unlike his contemporaries', experienced a significant revival during the Victorian era. If that hadn't occurred, Shakespeare's work might be as obscure, to the average person, as that of Thomas Kyd or William Congreave.

But, as it is, William Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the English language (second to Samuel Johnson). And, with phrases like those listed below, I think he deserves that top spot. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream Wall Art

Written while under the influence of marijuana (at least so it's rumored), A Midsummer Night's Dream offers some great quotes on the nature, and changeability, of love.

One of the most famous lines from the play is, "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."

Anyone whose ever been in love knows this is entirely true: we dive head-first into love, very much with our eyes shut. 

I think this decal would make a great piece of wall art for the bedroom, but it would look equally good in any room! 

Twelfth Night Quote Print

When the ragtag gang in Twelfth Night decide to teach the self-righteous Malvolio a lesson, they write him a letter that he believes to be from Olivia. He reads aloud, " not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."

Some nights, I lay awake wondering what having greatness thrust upon me would feel like...does anybody have any experience they'd like to share?

Regardless of greatness and its thrusting ways, it's a wonderful Shakespeare quote and this white on black print would make a great (see what I did there?) addition to any wall. 

'Be Not Afraid of Greatness'

Shakespeare Quote Print
Be Not Afraid Of Greatness (William Shakespeare Quote), premium art...
Only $10.95

'To Thine Own Self Be True'

Shakespeare Wall Decal
To Thine Own Self Be True, Shakespeare - Wall Quote Inspirational V...
Only $9.98

Hamlet Quote Wall Art

"To thine own self be true," is one of Shakespeare's most famous quotes and is not just a great line in the context of the play; these are words of wisdom we should all live by. What does Shakespeare mean?

Well, there are two ways of interpreting it. The most popular view is that the quote means, 'follow your heart', and it can certainly be read that way. But, if we look at the full quote, "To thin own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man," it's clear that what Polonius is actually saying is, 'be honest with yourself and you'll be honest with everybody else.'

Wise words!

A Midsummer Night's Dream Wall Art

Yep, another one from the play which (unusually) was crafted entirely from Shakespeare's imagination.

In this comedy, one of the funniest scenes occurs when the two young women: Helena and Hermia get into what can only be described as a cat fight - see the video on the right.

And, "And though she be but little, she is fierce," would also make a great, and very comical, quote for a baby girl's nursery wall. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act Three, Scene Two - 1982

Christine Baranski as Helena and Deborah Rush as Hermia

'Though She Be But Little'

Shakespeare Quote Wall Decal
SHE IS FIERCE Shakespeare Quote Vinyl Wall Decal Lettering Nursery ...
Only $12.25

'If Music Be The Food of Love'

Shakespeare quote wall decal
Housewares Vinyl Decal Quote Shakespeare Dandelion Feather Musical ...

Twelfth Night Wall Art

Arguably the most famous quote from Twelfth Night, also happens to be the opening line, "If music be the food of love play on..." Now, I'm not sure if we can have excess of music...or whatever the food of love may be, but it's a beautiful poetic phrase nonetheless.

Although it's one of Shakespeare's rather overused quotes, it's still one of my favorites. And I really love this wall decal design.

Along with the quote itself (and the less often repeated full line at that), the design has musical notes as dandelion seeds being blown in the breeze, and a feather quill. It looks great and certainly adds a little Shakespearean culture to any living room!

Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 Print

Okay, so it's not so much a quote, as it is a whole sonnet, but I think it's quoted so frequently that it counts for the purposes of our list.

Contrary to popular belief, sonnet 14 (and 125 further Shakespearean sonnets), was written for a young man, known only as the 'Fair Youth'. Now, this isn't to suggest that William Shakespeare was gay, although he might have been.

What seems more likely though, is that what we view as 'romantic' was actually just a platonic appreciation of another man's good looks.

No matter who it was written for, today it's very much viewed as a romantic love poem, and would, therefore, make a great addition to the wall of any love-filled home. 

'Shall I Compare Thee'

Shakespeare Quote Print
Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 HIGH QUALITY CANVAS Print With Light Added ...
Only $68.83
Updated: 01/20/2014, WiseFool
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WiseFool on 01/21/2014

Thanks, Mira. Glad you enjoyed the wizz.

Mira on 01/21/2014

I didn't know some of these were Shakespeare's. Great read!:)

WiseFool on 01/20/2014

Hi Ologsinquito! Yes, I think it can look really good. There are some lower quality prints and decals that don't look so swell, but I think these look great.

ologsinquito on 01/20/2014

You can see why wall art is so popular now.

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