All that Glitters is not Gold is an old phrase that indicates that everything that looks good may not actually be all that good. By the way of this phrase, people are being cautioned. So We should not run desperately behind every looking beautiful material and face. we need to first know the fact and try to understand before accepting the things.

Short and Long Essay on All that Glitters is not Gold

Essay 1 (300 words)


The phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ is old but it is relevant even in the current times. It suggests that we must be very cautious about everything in life as we may be deceived by pretty faces and attractive packages that may only look good but in reality are fake and deceitful.

The Origin of the Phrase

The saying ‘all that glitters is not gold’ has evolved from the old phrase ‘all that glitters is not gold’ which was coined by the famous English author, William Shakespeare. It found mention in his play, The Merchant of Venice published back in 1596. ‘Glister’ was eventually replaced by ‘glitter’ as the phrase gained popularity.

John Dryden used the phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ in his poem, The Hind and the Panther in the year 1687. “All, as they say, that glitters, is not gold”, he wrote. The phrase is used universally to emphasize the fact that everything that seems beautiful or good may not actually be nice.

All that Glitters is Not Gold – A Warning

The phrase ‘all that glitters is not gold’ is a sort of warning. It warns people not to trust anything just by its external appearance. This has been done with the example of gold. It implies that everything that appears appealing to the eye may not be all that great. We must stay cautious at all times. We must scrutinize people, situations, things, and opportunities and try to understand them well before we accept them. If we fail to do so, we may be fooled and deceived. The phrase has been passed on from generation to generation and is commonly used to emphasize the mentioned point.


Several phrases are coined by various poets and authors from time to time, however only a few remain popular even after centuries of their origin. ‘All that glitters is not gold’ is one such phrase.


Essay 2 (400 words)


The saying ‘all that glitters is not gold’ means that everything that has a shiny and attractive exterior may not be good in the inside too. It says that the appearance of something cannot determine its real character. It may be glittery as gold but it may not necessarily be as precious.

All that Glitters is not Gold – A Lesson for Life

My grandfather often uses the phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’. He uses it to warn us against several things. As a little kid, I was often attracted to eye-catching things. I couldn’t think and analyze whether those things were actually useful for me or not. I also did not have a sense of whether they were right for me or not. Besides, I never really understood whether they were worth the amount being paid.

I wanted to purchase every toy that appealed to my eye without caring about whether it was useful for my age or not. However, I was often disappointed later as most of these toys didn’t turn out the way I expected them too. These were mostly wrapped in beautiful packing but as I opened them, there was hardly much material to play with. Often times, they were not even of my interest.

Seeing me disappointed with my newly bought toy, my grandfather once sat with me and explained a useful concept at length mentioning the phrase ‘all that glitters is not gold’. He told me that the market is flooded with numerous things and most of these are covered with fancy exteriors in order to lure the customers and increase sales. We cannot bring home everything that appeals to us as not everything is useful to us and not everything is worth purchasing. We need to check its utility and also assess whether we really need it or not before opting for it instead of just purchasing it for its face value.

He also explained that this holds good even for people and relationships. In life, we may meet many people. It is natural for us to get attracted to those who are beautiful and dress up nicely however we need to understand that these people may not necessarily be good at heart. So, before making friends and other relationships, we must observe the person properly to avoid getting hurt later.


The phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ is a warning and a lesson that everyone should learn. A person who understands it is likely to make wiser decisions in life.


Essay 3 (500 words)


‘All that glitters is not gold’ literally means that everything which is sparkling and shiny isn’t gold. This applies to almost everything. We come across numerous attractive things in life however not all of them are as pure as gold. Some of them only appear good but are evil or fake in reality. The phrase is commonly used across the globe for centuries.

Objection on Replacing ‘Glisters’ with ‘Glitters’

The saying ‘all that glitters is not gold’ that has become so popular has been accredited to the 16th century English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. However, what he had originally written was ‘all that glitters is not gold’. ‘Glisters’ was eventually replaced by ‘glitters’. Though the phrase has grown extremely popular and is used worldwide the replacement of ‘glisters’ with ‘glitters’ has offended many literature lovers even though both the terms have the same meaning. They see it as a misquotation and insist that the phrase originally written by Shakespeare is actually the correct version.

‘All that Glitters is not Gold’ Holds True for People

The phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ especially holds true for people in the current times. People these days have grown extremely cautious about their external appearances. They want to wear good clothes, dine in fancy restaurants and make rich friends. The growing craze of posting pictures on social media platforms is the best example of how people want to look good and seek attention from those around them. The pictures posted on social media are often deceptive.

These are an echo of the expression ‘all that glitters is not gold’. Many people admit to having dysfunctional families however their social media posts show that the picture is all rosy. Similarly, a simple picture is made to look exceedingly good by using filters and all sorts of applications. This is a perfect example of the phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’. Research shows that most people who appear to be beautiful and joyful on their social media pages are in reality just faking it all.

Besides, most people these days have grown quite greedy and self-centered. They often befriend others to fulfill their selfish motives. Many people bond with rich and influential people just so that they can brag about their friendship. Many people also fake being nice and friendly just to establish business links or grab a job opportunity.

Once their job is done, they change color like a chameleon. The phrase can aptly be used to warn us against such people. We must be very cautious while allowing people in our lives as often the most charming and friendly people turn out to be the meanest and egocentric people. We must thus assess people properly before establishing a deep connection with them else we may end up in trouble.


Many similar phrases have been coined from time to time but none has gained as much popularity as ‘all that glitters is not gold’. It is commonly used to warn people of the misleading exteriors of things.


Essay 4 (600 words)


‘All that glitters is not gold’ is an expression that emphasizes the fact that everything that appears to be beautiful and attractive may not be so. Many things that have a fancy exterior and shine like gold may not be as valuable. This holds true for people too. Many people appear to be beautiful and friendly but in reality, they may not be so.

Fable Related to the Phrase

There are many moral stories and fables that echo similar thoughts as the saying, ‘all that glitters is not gold’. One such popular fable is that of two friends, Anil and Sunil.

The two friends lived in a village. It was for the first time that they were traveling to the city. They were all quite excited about their trip. They had planned to visit many places in the city and do a lot of shopping. Anil especially wanted to purchase a watch. He had been saving for it for a long time. He was discussing his plan of purchasing a watch from the city with his friend just when the passenger sitting next to them overheard their conversation.

He took out two sparkling watches from his bag and showed it to the two friends. Anil was enticed by the beauty of those watches. He decided to purchase one of them at once. However, Sunil was a bit skeptical about his decision. He could not trust the man selling the watches as he said that the glistening strap of those watches was made of gold. He charged heavily for the watches.

Sunil warned Anil not to purchase the watch from the man as he suspected he was lying. However, Anil was so attracted to the beauty of the watch that he did not listen to Sunil. He happily handed a large sum of money to the stranger in exchange for a watch.

A few days later, the watch stopped working. Anil took it to the nearby shop to get it repaired. It was then that he learned that his watch was made of an ordinary material that only sparkled like gold but was not precious at all. He realized that all his money had gone down the drain and felt extremely disappointed. He regretted taking hasty decisions even after being warned by Sunil.

Since then, Anil took all the decisions very cautiously after assessing all the pros and cons. This is how each one of us should act in life as ‘all that glitters is not gold’.

Phrases Similar to ‘All that Glitters is not Gold’

The phrase, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ is an improvised version of the original saying, all that glitters is not gold’ which appeared in Shakespeare’s popular play, The Merchant of Venice in the year 1596. Many similar phrases have been coined by various writers from time to time. For instance, Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, The House of Fame’ included, ‘Hit is not al gold, that glareth’. The poem was published in the year 1380. Alian de Lille, the 12th-century French theologian wrote, ‘Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold’. The Latin version of the phrase is ‘Non-omne quod nitet aurum est’

Other similar phrases include, ‘appearances are deceptive’, ‘never judge by appearances’ and ‘never judge a book by its cover’. These are all used commonly and convey the same meaning however none is as popular as Shakespeare’s ‘all that glitters is not gold’.


‘All that glitters is not gold’ is a warning for each one of us especially for those who take hasty decisions just by looking at a thing, situation or person at the surface level. It is a warning for those who just look at the external beauty of things rather than analyzing their actual worth. This is because everything that is appealing to the eye may not be actually good. Just as there are many things that sparkle and shine but not all of them are as precious as gold.

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