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Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Love, Life, and Everything in Between

Jule Romans is the author of "I Speak My Love With Shakespeare" and other books. She has over 30 years of experience teaching Shakespeare.


Shakespeare Flower Quotes

Shakespeare references flowers throughout all his plays, poems, and sonnets. Some of the flower quotes are complex and difficult to understand if you have not read the works before. That's not true for these quotes. These Shakespeare flower quotes are short and easy to enjoy.

Some of the quotes here have a little twist of meaning. Some of them are funny. Quite a few offer philosophy along with the flowers. Many are about love. There are also several quotes that are simply eloquent descriptions. These flower quotes all have one thing in common. Like the flowers they describe, they all have at least a little bit of beauty.

Enjoy them, share them with friends, or use them in cards or gifts. Whatever your choice, these Shakespeare flower quotes are sure to keep your interest.


Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Love

Love is the focus of many other Shakespeare flower quotes using roses, violets, and wildflowers. However sometimes Shakespeare uses flowers in general to describe the powers and passions of love.

  • [She] crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, Scene i
  • And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene i
  • For revels, dances, masks and merry hours forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers. —Love’s Labour's Lost, Act IV, Scene ii
  • Away before me to sweet beds of flowers: love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers. —Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene i
  • Stay for me: where souls do couch on flowers, we'll hand in hand—Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, Scene xiv
  • So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, gently entwist; the female ivy so enrings the barky fingers of the elm. O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!—A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, Scene i
  • Like a bank for love to lie and play on...but quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers. —The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • Strew me over with maiden flowers, that all the world may know. —Henry VIII, Act IV, Scene ii
  • A violet in the youth of primy nature, forward, not permanent- sweet, not lasting; the perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more. —Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii
  • If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love, but that it bear this trial and last love.—Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene ii

Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Life

Flowers are good symbols uses in Shakespeare to offer life advice and personal wisdom.

  • I think the king is but a man, as I am: the violet smells to him as it doth to me. —Henry V, Act IV, Scene i
  • Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime rot and consume themselves in little time. —Venus and Adonis
  • At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth; but like of each thing that in season grows.Love's Labour's Lost, Act I, Scene I
  • This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth the tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms. —Henry VIII, Act III, Scene ii
  • The camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows. — Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, Scene iv
  • Praise the gods, and make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them. Unshout the noise. —Coriolanus, Act V, Scene v
  • Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers; make haste. —Cymbeline, Act I, Scene v
  • These flowers are like the pleasures of the world. —Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene ii
  • And good men's lives expire before the flowers in their caps. —Macbeth, Act IV, Scene iii
  • And do you now strew flowers in his way, that comes in triumph? —Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene i
  • Merrily, merrily shall I live now, under the blossom that hangs on the bough.— The Tempest, Act V, Scene i
  • To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, is wasteful and ridiculous excess. —King John, Act IV, Scene ii

Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Beauty

Flowers in Shakespeare represent beauty. Symbolically, Shakespeare flower quotes can discuss both inner and outer beauty.

  • Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good; a shining gloss that fadeth suddenly; a flower that dies when first it gins to bud. —The Passionate Pilgrim
  • As flowers dead lie wither'd on the beauty blemish'd once’s for ever lost.—The The Passionate Pilgrim
  • My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets! —Richard III, Act IV, Scene iv
  • Hence, and rest upon your never-withering banks of flowers. —Cymbeline, Act V, Scene iv
  • Now stand you on the top of happy hours, and many maiden gardens yet unset with virtuous wish would bear your living flowers. —Sonnet XVI

Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Seasons

From Spring through Winter, Shakespeare flower quotes address the seasons of the year. Some quotes use flowers as symbols for the passing of time. Some describe youth and the life that emerges in Spring. In some quotes, the symbols of wildflowers or herbs are used to offer wisdom on the phases of life. There are a few quotes that have political overtones.

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  • Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer's lease hath all too short a date. –Sonnet XVIII
  • Now, my fair'st friend, I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might become your time of day.—The The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • For thou art pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous, but slow in speech, yet sweet as springtime flowers. —Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene i
  • With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare. —Sonnet XXI
  • To his music, plants and flowers ever sprung; as sun and showers there had made a lasting spring. —Henry VIII, Act III, Scene i
  • Who are the violets now that strew the green lap of the new come spring? —Richard II, Act V, Scene ii
  • Daffodils,that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty. —The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • When daffodils begin to peer...why, then comes in the sweet o' the year.—The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iii


  • This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.—Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii
  • Here's flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; the marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun...these are flowers of middle summer. —The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • The yellows, blues, the purple violets, and marigolds...while summer-days do last. —Pericles, Act IV, Scene i
  • When daisies pied and violets blue, and lady-smocks all paint the meadows with delight. —Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene ii


  • A fair one are you—well you fit our ages with flowers of winter. —The The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet, lose but their show; their substance still lives sweet. —Sonnet V
  • These tidings nip me, and I hang the head as flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms. —Titus Andronicus, Act IV, Scene iv

Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Violets

Violets appear throughout Shakespeare's works. Violets are used to illustrate youth, innocence, and natural beauty. Violets are also often symbolically associated with springtime energy and vibrancy.

  • They are as gentle as zephyrs blowing below the violet. —Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene ii
  • I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, Scene i
  • When I do count the clock that tells the time, and see the brave day sunk in hideous night; When I behold the violet past prime, and sable curls all silver'd o'er with white. —Sonnet XII
  • O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, that breathes upon a bank of violets. —Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene i
  • Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight: these blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean, never can blab, nor know not what we mean. —Venus and Adonis

Shakespeare Flower Quotes about Herbs, Wildflowers and Weeds

Herbs, wildflowers, and weeds have multiple meanings in Shakespeare's works. Some references offer a bit of life wisdom, while others usher in tragedy.

  • You must wear your rue with a difference! —Hamlet, Act IV, Scene v
  • The fairest flowers o' the season are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors, hich some call nature's bastards.—The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene iv
  • In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white...fairies use flowers for their charactery. —Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V, Scene v
  • Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread but as the marigold at the sun's eye, and in themselves their pride lies buried, for at a frown they in their glory die.—Sonnet XXV
  • I must go seek some dewdrops here, and hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, Scene i
  • Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun, forbid the sun to enter,like favourite made proud by princes, that advance their pride against that power that bred it.—Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, Scene i
  • Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: it fell upon a little western flower, before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, and maidens call it love-in-idleness. –A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, Scene i
  • I would not grow so fast, because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste. —Richard III, Act II, Scene iv
  • As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate, Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd. —Sonnet CXXIV

Shakespeare Flower Quotes About Roses

Shakespeare uses roses throughout his works. These quotes offer with and wisdom on the nature of love, life, friendship, and even politics.

At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth; but like of each thing that in season grows. —Love's Labour's Lost, Act I, Scene I

  • But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, than that which withering on the virgin thorn, grows, lives and dies in single blessedness. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene i
  • By the roses of the spring, by maidhood, honour, truth and every thing, I love thee so. —Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene i
  • What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. —Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii
  • There will I make thee a bed of roses, with a thousand fragrant posies. —The Passionate Pilgrim
  • What though the rose have prickles, yet 'tis pluck'd. —Venus and Adonis
  • When I have pluck'd the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again. It must needs wither. —Othello, Act V, Scene ii
  • But when you have our roses, you barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves, and mock us with our bareness. —Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, Scene xiii
  • The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem for that sweet odour which doth in it live. —Sonnet LIV
  • Sweet roses do not so; Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made. —Sonnet LIV
  • Against the blown rose may they stop their nose that kneel'd unto the buds. —Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, Scene xiv
  • I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any. —Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Scene iii
  • Prick not your finger as you pluck it off, lest bleeding you do paint the white rose red, and fall on my side so, against your will. —Henry VI, Part 1, Act II, Scene iv
  • Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer, but dare maintain the party of the truth, pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me. —Henry VI, Part 1, Act II, Scene iv
  • Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud. —Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene ii
  • This pale and angry rose...will I for ever and my faction wear. —Henry VI, Part 1,, Act II, Scene iv
  • Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose, with whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed. —Henry VI, Part 2, Act I, Scene i
  • Thou shalt not lack the flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor the azured harebell, like thy veins. —Cymbeline IV, Scene ii
  • Such an act that blurs the grace and blush of modesty; calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose from the fair forehead of an innocent love. —Hamlet, Act III, Scene iv
  • Wither one rose, and let the other flourish. —Henry VI, Part 3, Act II, Scene v
  • In mine ear I durst not stick a rose lest men should say 'Look, where three-farthings goes!' —King John, Act I, Scene i
  • Of Nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast, and with the half-blown rose. —King John, Act III, Scene i
  • No more be grieved at that which thou hast done: roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud. —Sonnet XXXV
  • If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn doth to our rose of youth rightly belong. —All's Well That Ends Well, Act I, Scene iii
  • He that sweetest rose will find must find love's prick. —As You Like It, Act III, Scene ii
  • For nothing this wide universe I call, save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all. —Sonnet CIX
  • So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not to those fresh morning drops upon the rose. —Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, Scene iii
  • Therefore, change favours; and, when they repair, blow like sweet roses in this summer air. —Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene ii
  • For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose indeed. —Pericles, Act IV, Scene vi
  • But see, or rather do not see, my fair rose wither: yet look up, behold, that you in pity may dissolve to dew. —Richard II, Act V, Scene i
  • From fairest creatures we desire increase, that thereby beauty's rose might never die. —Sonnet I
  • Why should poor beauty indirectly seek roses of shadow, since his rose is true? —Sonnet LXVII
  • Nor did I wonder at the lily's white, nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; they were but sweet, but figures of delight, drawn after you, you pattern of all those. —Sonnet XCVIII
  • Even her art sisters the natural roses.—Pericles, Act V, Prologue
  • Their lips were four red roses on a stalk, which in their summer beauty kiss'd each other. —Richard III, Act IV, Scene iii
  • The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade to paly ashes. —Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Scene i
  • Say that she frown; I'll say she looks as clear as morning roses newly wash'd with dew. —Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene i
  • For women are as roses, whose fair flower, being once display'd, doth fall that very hour. —Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene
  • How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, doth spot the beauty of thy budding name! —Sonnet XCV
  • I have seen roses damask'd, red and white, but no such roses see I in her cheeks. —Sonnet CXXX
  • I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. —Macbeth, Act II, Scene iii
  • Like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. —Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii
  • And in the wood, where often you and I Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie, emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene i
  • With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine... Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight. —A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, Scene i

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Jule Romans

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