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William Shakespeare was born in April 1564, and hundreds of years after his death, the world still quotes the Bard.
"To be, or not to be: that is the question," comes from "Hamlet." So does, "To thine own self be true." The countess in "All’s Well That Ends Well," meanwhile, cautions her son to, "love all, trust few."
We kept that one in mind when we saw this quote attributed to the playwright in an April 9 Facebook post.
"Shakespeare said: ‘I always feel happy,’" the post begins. "‘You know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt. Life is short. So love your life. Be Happy. & Keep smiling. Just live for yourself & before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you pray, forgive. Before you hurt, feel. Before you hate, love. Before you quit, try. Before you die, live."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
That’s because "it’s definitely not a Shakespeare quote!" said Abbie Weinberg, a research and reference librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
"Frankly," she added, "it doesn’t even sound like Shakespeare, so I have no idea how this misattribution happened."
The library hasn’t identified the actual source of the quote, Weinberg said. "It may be one of those modern ‘sententiae,’ received wisdom quotes."
We rate this Facebook post as Pants on Fire.
Facebook post, April 9, 2019
Time, "Here are Shakespeare’s 15 most beloved quotes," April 21, 2016
Email interview with Abbie Weinberg, research and reference librarian, Folger Shakespeare Library, April 25, 2019
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