FACT CHECK: Did Shakespeare Say, ‘The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A post shared on Facebook alleges that playwright William Shakespeare once stated, “The earth has music for those who listen.”

Verdict: False

Though the origin of the quote is unknown, there is no evidence that it originated with Shakespeare.

Fact Check:

Shakespeare, sometimes referred to as the Bard of Avon, is an influential English playwright, poet and actor, active during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Many of his works, such as “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet,” are widely considered classics. (RELATED: Did Shakespeare Say A Quote About A ‘Battle Of Wits’?)

However, the Daily Caller News Foundation found no evidence that this saying originated with Shakespeare. It doesn’t appear in those plays, or any of his others. Searching his collected poems also turned up no results.

Two experts — “Shakespeare Early and Late: A Textbook” author Paul Budra and Oxford University professor Emma Smith – confirmed in emails to the DCNF that Shakespeare did not author the statement.

The origin of the quote is not definitively known, though it is popularly attributed to Shakespeare and Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana, who is often cited without providing a specific source.

A variation of the expression also appears in amateur poet Reginald Vincent Holmes’ 1955 poem “The Magic of Sound.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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