William Shakespeare Quotes on War & Peace (73 Quotes)




    Many a time hath banish'd Norfolk fought
    For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
    Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
    Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
    And, toil'd with works of war, retir'd himself
    To Italy; and there, at Venice, gave
    His body to that pleasant country's earth,
    And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
    Under whose colours he had fought so long.

    Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself;
    For friends kill friends, and the disorder's such
    As war were hoodwink'd.

    Vexed I am
    Of late with passions of some difference,
    Conceptions only proper to myself,
    Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
    But let not therefore my good friends be grieved-
    Among which number, Cassius, be you one-
    Nor construe any further my neglect
    Than that poor Brutus with himself at war
    Forgets the shows of love to other men.


    Even for the service that long since I did thee,
    When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
    Deep scars to save thy life; even for the blood
    That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.

    So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
    A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
    The rites for which I love him are bereft me,
    And I a heavy interim shall support
    By his dear absence.

    An earnest conjuration from the King,
    As England was his faithful tributary,
    As love between them like the palm might flourish,
    As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
    And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
    And many such-like as's of great charge,
    That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
    Without debatement further, more or less,
    He should the bearers put to sudden death,
    Not shriving time allow'd.


    You, Lord Archbishop,
    Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,
    Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
    Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor'd,
    Whose white investments figure innocence,
    The dove, and very blessed spirit of peace-
    Wherefore you do so ill translate yourself
    Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
    Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war;
    Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
    Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
    To a loud trumpet and a point of war?


    Cry ''havoc'' and let loose the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.


    Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mull'd, deaf, sleepy,
    insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war's a
    destroyer of men.

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man; As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit; To his full height.

    When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
    And broils root out the work of masonry,
    Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
    The living record of your memory.

    Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man
    in his bed- wash every mote out of his conscience; and dying so,
    death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly
    lost wherein such preparation was gained; and in him that escapes
    it were not sin to think that, making God so free an offer, He
    let him outlive that day to see His greatness, and to teach
    others how they should prepare.

    Withal I did infer your lineaments,
    Being the right idea of your father,
    Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
    Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
    Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
    Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
    Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose
    Untouch'd or slightly handled in discourse.

    The dangers of the days but newly gone,
    Whose memory is written on the earth
    With yet appearing blood, and the examples
    Of every minute's instance, present now,
    Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms;
    Not to break peace, or any branch of it,
    But to establish here a peace indeed,
    Concurring both in name and quality.

    He that plays the king shall be welcome- his Majesty shall
    have tribute of me; the adventurous knight shall use his foil and
    target; the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall
    end his part in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
    lungs are tickle o' th' sere; and the lady shall say her mind
    freely, or the blank verse shall halt fort.

    The naked, poor, and mangled Peace, Dear nurse of arts, plenty's, and joyful births.


    This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
    And the conjunction of our inward souls
    Married in league, coupled and link'd together
    With all religious strength of sacred vows;
    The latest breath that gave the sound of words
    Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love,
    Between our kingdoms and our royal selves;
    And even before this truce, but new before,
    No longer than we well could wash our hands,
    To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
    Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain'd
    With slaughter's pencil, where revenge did paint
    The fearful difference of incensed kings.



    A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.

    But your discretions better can persuade
    Than I am able to instruct or teach;
    And, therefore, as we hither came in peace,
    So let us still continue peace and love.





    But if the cause be not good, the King himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads chopped off in a battle shall join together at the latter day, and cry all, 'We died at such a place' - some swearing, some crying f


    The feast is ready which the careful Titus
    Hath ordain'd to an honourable end,
    For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome.

    Piety and fear,
    Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
    Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
    Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
    Degrees, observances, customs and laws,
    Decline to your confounding contraries
    And let confusion live.

    I am ashamd that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace.

    I feel within me A peace above all earthly dignities A still and quiet conscience.

    Ay me for aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth. But, either it was different in blood, Or else it stood upon the choice of friends, Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream Brief as the lightning in the collied night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold' The jaws of darkness do devour it up So quick bright things come to confusion.


    I speak of peace, while covert enmity; Under the smile of safety wounds the world.


    Peace peace Dost thou not see my baby at my breast, That sucks the nurse asleep.


    Captain Macmorris, I beseech you now, will you voutsafe
    me, look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or
    concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way
    of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to
    satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of
    my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline,
    that is the point.

    It is the
    greatest admiration in the universal world, when the true and
    aunchient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept: if you
    would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the Great,
    you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle-taddle nor
    pibble-pabble in Pompey's camp; I warrant you, you shall find the
    ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and the forms of it,
    and the sobriety of it, and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.

    Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
    That were the servants to this chosen infant,
    Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him;
    Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
    His honour and the greatness of his name
    Shall be, and make new nations; he shall flourish,
    And like a mountain cedar reach his branches
    To all the plains about him; our children's children
    Shall see this and bless heaven.

    Among this princely heap, if any here,
    By false intelligence or wrong surmise,
    Hold me a foe-
    If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
    Have aught committed that is hardly borne
    To any in this presence, I desire
    To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
    'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
    I hate it, and desire all good men's love.


    Farewell the tranquil mind farewell content; Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars; That make ambition virtue.

    So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
    Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
    And for the peace of you I hold such strife
    As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found.


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