365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

294. Tattoo designs inspired by “Romeo and Juliet”

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With the popularity of tattoos on the rise – as well as the popularity of being a total nerd for Shakespeare – it makes sense that those seeking ink are also seeking to be inspired by the Bard. He was a master of writing beautiful words and verses, as well as painting beautiful images in his speeches that have lived on for centuries. Many admirers would like to make an everlasting mark upon their skin to represent their love for his incredible writing.

One of his most romantic and popular plays, “Romeo and Juliet”, has several wonderful passages that would work well for a literary tattoo. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.


“One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.”

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

“Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

“I defy you, stars!”

“Be but sworn my love.”


-Anything to do with crossed stars (stars in general make up a lot of the play’s action and verse, since it has to do with fate and “star-crossed lovers”).

-An idea from the hilarious book “My Name is Will” by Jess Winfield, a founding member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company: Two roses, one white and one red (which, incidentally, mirrors the roses from the War of the Roses), with “By any other name” written below.

-Of course, roses in general work, as well. Though roses are a very popular and oftentimes cliche tattoo choice, adding something a little more Shakespearean will set yours apart from the rest!

-For a couple’s tattoo (not that I recommend doing this…ever), there is the idea of one getting “Montague” and the other “Capulet”. Go all out with a coat of arms, if you feel inspired!

-A mask is always a good option, since Romeo and Juliet first meet and fall in love at a masked ball.

-This one is my own personal idea…but if you want to steal it, go right ahead, since I haven’t made up my mind about it yet: A quill pen, with a line or two from “Romeo and Juliet” being scripted.


Written by Caroline Mincks

July 22, 2010 at 12:22 AM

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