concept

Death Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes about death
  1. #1
    “Rue’s death has forced me to confront my own fury against the cruelty, the injustice they inflict upon us. But here, even more strongly than at home, I feel my impotence. There’s no way to take revenge on the Capitol. Is there?”
  2. #2
    “Do I want to live? . . . [W]ould you like to live with your soul in the grave?”
  3. #3
    “There is no more exciting sport than flying, for if you lose, you die.”
  4. #4
    “Death is like the insect
    Menacing the tree,
    Competent to kill it,
    But decoyed may be.”
  5. #5
    “Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all those who live without love.”
  6. #6
    “Because I could not stop for Death.”
  7. #7
    “We slowly drove – He knew no haste”
  8. #8
    “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”
  9. #9
    “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
  10. #10
    “You see, there’s different kinds of dead: there’s sort of dead, mostly dead, and all dead.”
  11. #11
    “He kills her in her own humor.”
  12. #12
    “Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.”
  13. #13
    “Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.”
  14. #14
    “It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does. It can hurt to walk down a hallway or open the fridge. It hurts to put on a pair of socks, to brush your teeth. Food tastes like nothing. Colors go flat. Music hurts, and so do memories. You look at something you’d otherwise find beautiful—a purple sky at sunset or a playground full of kids—and it only somehow deepens the loss. Grief is so lonely this way.”
  15. #15
    “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
  16. #16
    “When I knew my mother would be dead in a few months, I had two choices . . .” She looked at him. “I could distance myself from the pain or get closer to it. Maybe because I’d lost my dad without getting a chance to tell him what he meant to me, I decided to get closer. I got so close, her pain and fear became my own. We shared everything and loved each other like we never had when death was some distant thing.”
  17. #17
    “I looked at the stars, and considered how awful it would be for a man to turn his face up to them as he froze to death, and see no help or pity in all the glittering multitude.”
  18. #18
    “I had heard the old Indian legend about the red fern. How a little Indian boy and girl were lost in a blizzard and had frozen to death. In the spring, when they were found, a beautiful red fern had grown up between their two bodies. The story went on to say that only an angel could plant the seeds of a red fern, and that they never died; where one grew, that spot was sacred.”
  19. #19
    In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall; she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year . . . No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New-year’s day.
  20. #20
    Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. “Someone is dying,” thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.
  21. #21
    “Death! Strange that there should be such a word, and such a thing, and we ever forget it; that one should be living, warm and beautiful, full of hopes, desires and wants, one day, and the next be gone, utterly gone, and forever!”
  1. #22
    It is a common thing for the countenances of the dead, even in that fixed and rigid state, to subside into the long-forgotten expression of sleeping infancy, and settle into the very look of early life; so calm, so peaceful, do they grow again, that those who knew them in their happy childhood, kneel by the coffin’s side in awe, and see the Angel even upon earth.
  2. #23
    We need be careful how we deal with those about us, when every death carries to some small circle of survivors, thoughts of so much omitted, and so little done.
    book
    Oliver Twist
    character
    Oliver
    concept
    Death
  3. #24
    “Some day...after I am dead, you may perhaps come to learn the right and wrong of this. I cannot tell you.”
  4. #25
    “With a heavy heart, I turned and walked away. I knew that as long as I lived I’d never forget the two little graves and the sacred red fern.”
  5. #26
    Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.
  6. #27
    “I am only alive because I have not yet died.”
  7. #28
    “How could you live each day knowing that you were simply whiling away the days until your own death?”
  8. #29
    Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself.
  9. #30
    “Death was a friend, and sleep was death’s brother.”
  10. #31
    “Putting black cloths on the hives is for us. I do it to remind us that life gives way into death, and then death turns around and gives way into life.”
  11. #32
    “Your number was up the first time I met you.”
  12. #33
    “You are not a grenade, not to us. Thinking about you dying makes us sad, Hazel, but you are not a grenade. You are amazing. You can’t know, sweetie, because you’ve never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows.”
  13. #34
    It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.
  14. #35
    “For my part, I should prefer death to hopeless bondage.”
  15. #36
    “Two households, both alike in dignity
    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene
    From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
    From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
    A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life
    Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
    Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.”
  16. #37
    “To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there’s the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
    No traveller returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
    The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
    Be all my sins remember’d!”
    author
    Shakespeare
    book
    Hamlet
    concepts
    LifeDeath
  17. #38
    “To die, to sleep -
    To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there’s the rub,
    For in this sleep of death what dreams may come...”
  18. #39
    “These violent delights have violent ends
    And in their triump die, like fire and powder
    Which, as they kiss, consume.”
  19. #40
    “The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
    And Immortality.”
  20. #41
    “To die will be an awfully big adventure.”
  21. #42
    “And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.”
  1. #43
    “It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and re-adjust the way you thought of things.”
  2. #44
    “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”
  3. #45
    [S]he made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon-day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.
  4. #46
    “There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
  5. #47
    “I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is leaving you all. I’m not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven.”
  6. #48
    “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
  7. #49
    “O, here
    Will I set up my everlasting rest,
    And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
    From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
    Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
    The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
    A dateless bargain to engrossing death!”
  8. #50
    “Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
    Give me my Romeo; and, when I shall die,
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night...”
  9. #51
    “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
  10. #52
    “thus with a kiss I die”
  11. #53
    A father, sister, and mother, were gained, and lost, in that one moment.
  12. #54
    “Life... is a paradise to what we fear of death.”
  13. #55
    “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
    Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And too often is his gold complexion dimm’d:
    And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
    By chance or natures changing course untrimm’d;
    By thy eternal summer shall not fade,
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
    Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”
  14. #56
    “Old Dan must have known he was dying. Just before he drew his last breath, he opened his eyes and looked at me. Then with one last sigh, and a feeble thump of his tail, his friendly gray eyes closed forever.”
  15. #57
    “Thus I die. Thus, thus, thus.
    Now I am dead,
    Now I am fled,
    My soul is in the sky.
    Tongue, lose thy light.
    Moon take thy flight.
    Now die, die, die, die.”
  16. #58
    “Ah, if he could only die temporarily!”
  17. #59
    He looked like death; not death as it shows in shroud and coffin, but in the guise it wears when life has just departed; when a young and gentle spirit has, but an instant, fled to Heaven, and the gross air of the world has not had time to breathe upon the changing dust it hallowed.
    author
    Charles Dickens
    book
    Oliver Twist
    character
    Oliver
    concept
    Death
  18. #60
    “Marley was dead.”
  19. #61
    “Live faithfully, fight bravely, and die laughing.”
  20. #62
    “If certain, when this life was out,
    That yours and mine should be,
    I ’d toss it yonder like a rind,
    And taste eternity.”
  21. #63
    “We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”
  1. #64
    “At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage. I didn’t yet appreciate its terrible finality or the havoc it could wreak on those who’d entrusted the deceased with their hearts.”
  2. #65
    “Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies..”
  3. #66
    “What I saw was more than I could stand. The noise I heard had been made by Little Ann. All her life she had slept by Old Dan’s side. And although he was dead, she had left the doghouse, had come back to the porch, and snuggled up by his side.”
  4. #67
    “A man rarely knows the day and hour when he will die. I could be killed at any moment, and there’s not a blasted thing I can do about it.”
  5. #68
    “Death is part of who we are. It guides us. It shapes us. It drives us to madness. Can you still be human if you have no mortal end?”
  6. #69
    “Everyone dies alone, Eragon. Whether you are a king on a battlefield or a lowly peasant lying in bed among your family, no one can accompany you into the void.”
  7. #70
    ″‘How terrible,’ said Eragon, ‘to die alone, separate even from the one who is closest to you.‘”
  8. #71
    “June played with her eyes closed, as if May’s spirit getting into heaven depended solely on her. You have never heard such music, how it made us believe death was nothing but a doorway.”
  9. #72
    “That night I lay in bed and thought about dying and going to be with my mother in paradise. I would meet her saying, ‘Mother, forgive. Please forgive,’ and she would kiss my skin till it grew chapped and tell me I was not to blame. She would tell me this for the first ten thousand years.”
  10. #73
    “July 1, 1964, I lay in bed waiting for the bees to show up, thinking of what Rosaleen had said when I told her about their nightly visitations.
    ‘Bees swarm before death,’ she’d said.”
  11. #74
    “I found her lying on her stomach, her hind legs stretched out straight, and her front feet folded back under her chest. She had laid her head on his grave. I saw the trail where she had dragged herself through the leaves. The way she lay there, I thought she was alive. I called her name. She made no movement. With the last ounce of strength in her body, she had dragged herself to the grave of Old Dan.”
  12. #75
    “No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”
    “They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.
    “And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”
    “A pit full of fire.”
    “And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”
    “No, sir.”
    “What must you do to avoid it?”
    I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.”
  13. #76
    “‘Are you possessed with a devil,’ he pursued, savagely, ‘to talk in that manner to me when you are dying? Do you reflect that all those words will be branded in my memory, and eating deeper eternally after you have left me?‘”
  14. #77
    “I’m tired of being enclosed here. I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart: but really with it, and in it.”
  15. #78
    “I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”
  16. #79
    “You see, there’s different kinds of dead: there’s sort of dead, mostly dead, and all dead. This fella here, he’s only sort of dead, which means there’s still a memory inside, there’s still bits of brain. You apply a little pressure here, a little more there, sometimes you get results.”
  17. #80
    “Widows happen. Every day—don’t they, Your Highness?”
  18. #81
    “I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”
  19. #82
    “Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
  20. #83
    “For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin’; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.”
    author
    Bram Stoker
    book
    Dracula
    character
    Mina Murray
    concepts
    DeathLife
  21. #84
    “Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.”
    author
    E.B. White
    book
    Charlotte's Web
    character
    Charlotte
    concept
    Death
  1. #85
    “Her tone was surprisingly tender, and probably she sensed how important he really was to her, because when he did die, two years further on, she went right after, and most of the people who knew her well agreed it was the sudden lack of opposition that undid her.”
  2. #86
    “Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”
  3. #87
    “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
  4. #88
    “When Alex left for Alaska,” Franz remembers, “I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn’t believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex. After I dropped off the hitchhikers,” Franz continues,” I turned my van around, drove back to the store, and bought a bottle of whiskey. And then I went out into the desert and drank it. I wasn’t used to drinking, so it made me real sick. Hoped it’d kill me, but it didn’t. Just made me real, real sick.”
  5. #89
    “Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”
  6. #90
    “Who is it who decides that one man should live and another should die? My life wasn’t worth any more than his, but he’s the one who’s buried, while I get to enjoy at least a few more hours above the ground. Is it chance, random and cruel, or is there some purpose or pattern to all this, even if it lies beyond our ken?”
  7. #91
    “It was you who did it, Lily. You didn’t mean it, but it was you.”
  8. #92
    “I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried a part of my life along with my dog.”
  9. #93
    “Someone who thinks death is the scariest thing doesn’t know a thing about life.”
  10. #94
    “You would be amazed how many magicians have died after being bitten by mad rabbits. It’s far more common than you might think.”
  11. #95
    “For with eyes made clear by many tears, and a heart softened by the tenderest sorrow, she recognized the beauty of her sister’s life--uneventful, unambitious, yet full of the genuine virtues which ‘smell sweet, and blossom in the dust’, the self-forgetfulness that makes the humblest on earth remembered soonest in heaven, the true success which is possible to all. ”
  12. #96
    “You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”
  13. #97
    “Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart.”
  14. #98
    “August said, ‘We sit with her so we can tell her good-bye. It’s called a vigil. Sometimes people have a hard time letting death sink in, they can’t say good-bye. A vigil helps us do that.’
    “If the dead person is right there in your living room, it would certainly make things sink in better. It was strange to think about a dead person in the house, but if it helped us say good-bye better, then okay, I could see the point of it.”
  15. #99
    “Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.”
  16. #100
    “Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”
  17. #101
    “The noble killed him then, with no warning; a flash of the nobleman’s sword and Domingo’s heart was torn to pieces.”
  18. #102
    “Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.”
  19. #103
    ″‘It is required of every man,’ the Ghost returned, ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world—oh, woe is me!—and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!‘”
  20. #104
    “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
  21. #105
    “I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
  22. #106
    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”
  23. #107
    ″‘Covering the hives was supposed to keep the bees from leaving. You see, the last thing they wanted was their bees swarming off when a death took place. Having bees around was supposed to ensure that the dead person would live again.’
    “My eyes grew wide, “Really?′
    ”‘Tell her about Aristaeus,’ Zach said.
    ”‘Oh, yes, Aristaeus. Every beekeeper should know that story . . . Aristaeus was the first keeper of bees. One day all his bees died, punishment by the gods for something bad that Aristaeus had done. The gods told him to sacrifice a bull to show he was sorry, and then return to the carcass in nine days and look inside it. Well, Aristaeus did just what they said, and when he came back, he saw a swarm of bees fly out of the dead bull. His own bees, reborn. He took them home to his hives, and after that people believed that bees had power over death. The kings in Greece made their tombs in the shape of beehives for that very reason.‘”
  24. #108
    “I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: ‘White, white! L-L-Love! My God!‘—and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, ‘Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,’ and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.
  25. #109
    ″[Y]ou must strive to be calm, even if a hundred ravening enemies are snapping at your heels. Empty your mind and allow it to become like a tranquil pool that reflects everything around it and yet remains untouched by its surroundings. Understanding will come to you in that emptiness, when you are free of irrational fears about victory and defeat, life and death.”
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