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.





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