Great Quotations: Shakespeare on Courage and Death

What You Say About Death And Dying
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Here is a famous quotation from Shakespeare that can be used in a speech or in an article or book that you write, or as a eulogy for someone brave who has died, perhaps at a funeral of a police officer, a firefighter, or someone from the military.

It also addresses two different topics–courage and death–by reminding us that death is inevitable.  The profound existential question for all of us is not whether we die, but how we die, and how we lived before we die.

Here is the great quote from Shakespeare:

“Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end will come when it will come.”
–“Julius Caesar”

Here’s a tip for Toastmasters, or for anyone giving a speech.  You can use this short bit of poetry effectively to begin your presentation.   Simply pause, after being introduced, look at your audience, and begin:  “Cowards die many times….”

Or you can use the first two sentences of this quotation to conclude your presentation by saying something like, “I would like to leave you with this thought:  ‘Cowards die many times…death but once.”

Don’t leave yet. Check out at least one other article. You’re already here. Why rush off? is full of good advice.  We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator if you invest more time here.

–Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his services, contact us at 404-256-5927 or  Learn more about Gene Griessman at and at


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