William Shakespeare
William ShakespeareReuters

Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Today marks the 450th birth anniversary of one of Britain's greatest cultural icons.

William Shakespeare's exact date of birth is unknown, but historians do know that he was baptised on 26 April, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, according to Holy Trinity Church records.

The Bard of Avon's body of work changed the course of world literature and his portfolio includes more than 35 plays, 150 sonnets and several poems.

His plays are globally renowned and are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted in various languages in the world. Initially, his plays were based on comedies and histories, before moving onto tragic comedies including Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, all of which rank as some of the finest works in English literature.

On the occassion of his birth anniversary, IBTimes UK have put together top 15 William Shakespeare quotes below.

  • "You are a lover. Borrow Cupid's wings and soar with them above a common bound." - Romeo and Juliet
  • "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - The Merchant of Venice
  • "Nothing will come of nothing: speak again." - King Lear
  • "They do not love that do not show their love. The course of true love never did run smooth. Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love." - A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - Hamlet
  • "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." - Twelfth Night
  • "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." - Julius Ceaser
  • "We know what we are, but not what we may be." - Hamlet
  • "Listen to many, speak to a few." - Hamlet
  • "Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind." - King Henry VI
  • "Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall." - Romeo and Juliet
  • "Men in rage strike those that wish them best." - Othello
  • "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." - Merchant of Venice
  • "I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!" - Unknown
  • "The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." - Unknown