I am writing a story and need Shakespearean quotes dealing with death, pain, and/or suffering.  All help would be greatly appreciated.I'm writing a story in the hopes that it will be published. ...

I am writing a story and need Shakespearean quotes dealing with death, pain, and/or suffering.  All help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm writing a story in the hopes that it will be published.  It is a detective fiction and need some quotes to incorporate for my police officer to recognize and explain.

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question needs to be on the discussion board, where you'll get a wider variety of responses.

Here are a few quotations you might consicer:

"Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once."
Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37)


"What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief."
The Winter's Tale (III, ii, 223-224 )


I pray thee peace, I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently,
However they have writ the style of gods,
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
Much Ado About Nothing Act 5, scene 1, 31–38


You can easily find more quotations by doing what I did. Go to the Shakespeare Quotes page here at eNotes( http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes). Then type one of your key words into the search box. You'll get many selections to choose from.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are a few of my favourites. The Macbeth one became the inspiration for Frost's poem 'Out, Out-'

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (Act V scene 5)

I find the quotation regarding the first Thane of Cawdor interesting and have used it as a writing stimulus for students

Nothing in his life

Became him like the leaving it.

Good luck with the writing!

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Look at Macbeth, Act 5.  Macbeth says

Out out brief candle!  / Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more; it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/ Signifying nothing.

This quote is such a rich list of metaphors and connotative language that you could use part or all of it in your story.

I think your idea is clever -- I know for myself that I love feeling smart and catching allusions or allusionary language.  There is no better author to draw from than William Shakespeare.



ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Congratulations on pursuing your writing and using research and other great literature to strengthen it. Intelligent readers will appreciate the use of intertextuality. One of the resources I use when I need to search for quotes is “The Quotations Page.” The following link should take you to the Shakespeare quotes they have. I believe there are at least 200 from which you can choose.


litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You are looking for Shakespeare quotes to incorporate into your story?  I think my favorite Shakespeare quote about death is from Hamlet.  It made a big impression on me as a teenager, and I think of it when I think about death.  I had never looked at it as a long sleep before, with possible dreams.

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

It's from Act III, Scene 1.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What a delightful treat, to find someone who wants to reflect the great, enduring themes of Shakespeare in a modern writing.  Good for you!

Here's one of my favorites from Hamlet:

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

Seems to me all the uses of this world!  (Iii)


epollock | Student

You can find particular quotes on Shakespeare from eNotes. They have quotes by passage or grouped by theme. The address is


One very memorable quote is

Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!
[Tybalt under Romeo's arm thrusts Mercutio in. Away Tybalt]

I am hurt.
A plague a' both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone and hath nothing?

Romeo And Juliet Act 3, scene 1, 90–9