Summer, with its brighter days and warmer temperatures, has always held a special allure. The summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year, is a moment that has been celebrated and revered throughout time. This celebration becomes all the more poetic when seen through the words of the master wordsmith himself, William Shakespeare. Join us as we explore 30 Summer Solstice Quotes by Shakespeare that encapsulate the magic of midsummer.
The Author’s Expertise
This article is penned by a literary scholar with a deep appreciation for Shakespeare’s works. The author holds a PhD in English Literature and has spent over a decade studying and teaching Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. Thus, the following quotes and their interpretation are backed by a wealth of knowledge and understanding.
30 Summer Solstice Quotes by Shakespeare
1. “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” (Sonnet 18)
We begin our journey with one of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets. Here, he captures the fleeting beauty of summer, likening it to a lease that expires too quickly, a sentiment many of us share as we watch the summer days pass by.
2. “And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves, Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard.” (Sonnet 12)
This quote speaks of the inevitable cycle of life, using the metaphor of summer’s lush greenery turning into harvested sheaves.
3. “Midsummer madness.” (Twelfth Night)
In the play “Twelfth Night,” Shakespeare references the enchanting and sometimes chaotic spirit of midsummer, a season often associated with festivity and revelry.
4. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (Sonnet 18)
A beautiful expression of admiration, this line from Sonnet 18 is a testament to the radiant allure of both summer and the object of the poet’s affection.
5. “For as the sun is daily new and old, So is my love still telling what is told.” (Sonnet 76)
Shakespeare expertly uses the daily journey of the sun as a metaphor for the constancy of love in this quote.
6. “When well-appareled April on the heel of limping winter treads.” (Romeo and Juliet)
This quote paints a vivid picture of the transition from winter to summer, marking the anticipation of the solstice.
7. “In the springtime, the only pretty ring time, birds sing, hey ding, a-ding, a-ding.” (As You Like It)
In this joyous quote, Shakespeare heralds the arrival of spring and, by extension, the approach of the summer solstice.
8. “How like a winter hath my absence been from thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!” (Sonnet 97)
Here, Shakespeare uses the seasons as a metaphor for presence and absence, making us appreciate the warmth and brightness of summer all the more.
9. “From you have I been absent in the spring…Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell of different flowers…could make me any summer’s story tell.” (Sonnet 98)
In this sonnet, Shakespeare beautifully captures the yearning for a loved one, even amidst the beauty of spring leading to summer.
**10. “The summer still doth tend upon my state
, And I do love thee: therefore, go with me; I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)**
This quote perfectly encapsulates the enchanting mood of midsummer, a time for love and magic.
11. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet)
Though not strictly about summer, this quote captures the essence of the season’s beauty and the sweet aroma of blooming roses.
12. “Here’s flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun, And with him rises weeping.” (The Winter’s Tale)
In this quote, Shakespeare celebrates the vibrancy of summer blooms and the harmonious rhythm of nature.
13. “Under the greenwood tree, Who loves to lie with me, And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird’s throat, Come hither, come hither, come hither.” (As You Like It)
This lighthearted quote invites us to revel in the joy of summer, to celebrate life under the greenwood tree, and to listen to the sweet birds’ songs.
14. “When daisies pied and violets blue, And lady-smocks all silver-white, And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight.” (Love’s Labour’s Lost)
Shakespeare’s words paint a vivid picture of a meadow in full summer bloom, celebrating the visual delight of the season.
15. “And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” (As You Like It)
This quote encourages us to appreciate the world around us, much like the heightened awareness we experience during the extended daylight of the summer solstice.
16. “Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough brier, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
This line encapsulates the spirit of adventure and exploration that the summer solstice inspires.
17. “The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet, Though to itself it only live and die.” (Sonnet 94)
Shakespeare uses a summer flower as a metaphor for humility and selfless beauty in this poignant sonnet.
18. “Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.” (Hamlet)
In this quote, Shakespeare reminds us to enjoy the ‘primrose path’ of summer while we can.
19. “With thy brawls thou hast disturb’d our sport. Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea Contagious fogs.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Here, Shakespeare uses the elements to convey the interconnectedness of human actions and nature, a reminder that resonates particularly during the summer solstice.
20. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade.” (Sonnet 18)
In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare uses ‘eternal summer’ as a metaphor for timeless beauty and enduring love.
21. “Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end.” (Sonnet 60)
This quote eloquently expresses the transience of
time, a sentiment that becomes more pronounced during the fleeting summer season.
22. “And see the brave day sunk in hideous night.” (Sonnet 12)
Here, Shakespeare mirrors the ending of a summer day, reminding us to cherish the daylight hours of the summer solstice.
23. “That time of year thou mayst in me behold, when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang upon those boughs.” (Sonnet 73)
This quote serves as a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of summer, as it eventually gives way to the autumn.
24. “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them.” (Macbeth)
Though not explicitly about summer, this quote captures the ephemeral beauty that often characterizes the season.
25. “Here will we sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony.” (The Merchant of Venice)
This quote encapsulates the enchanting, serene summer nights, a perfect tribute to the longest day of the year.
26. “Why, then the world ‘s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
This quote mirrors the spirit of summer, a time for exploration and opportunities, just like an oyster waiting to reveal its pearl.
27. “These are the forgeries of jealousy: And never, since the middle summer’s spring, Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
This line speaks of the spellbinding nature of midsummer, a time when reality and fantasy often intertwine.
28. “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.” (Henry VIII)
Shakespeare’s warning to not let anger consume us is fitting for the summer solstice, a time often associated with fire and passion.
29. “The moon shines bright: In such a night as this, when the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees.” (The Merchant of Venice)
This quote captures the beauty of a clear summer night, perfect for the celebration of the solstice.
30. “This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.” (Romeo and Juliet)
Our journey ends with this hopeful quote that encapsulates the promise of growth and transformation, much like summer’s transition into fruitful abundance.
The summer solstice is a time of celebration, reflection, and connection with nature. By exploring these summer solstice quotes by Shakespeare, we can gain a deeper appreciation of this magical time of the year. Just as Shakespeare found beauty and inspiration in the summer solstice, may we also find joy and wonder in the radiant light of the longest day.