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Sophocles Quotes

84 of the best book quotes from Sophocles
01
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“E’en intolerable ills, Finding right issue, tend to naught but good.”
Sophocles
author
Oedipus the King
book
Creon
character
trials
challenges
good
concepts
02
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“Words scare not him who blenches not at deeds.”
03
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“Monster! thy silence would incense a flint.”
04
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“May the god who sent this oracle Save us withal and rid us of this pest.”
05
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“I seemed forsooth too simple to perceive The serpent stealing on me in the dark.”
06
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“I am not so infatuate as to grasp The shadow when I hold the substance fast.”
07
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“A wise man heeds all matters great or small.”
08
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“Strangers must inquire Of denizens, and do as they are bid.”
09
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“Thou lov’st to speak in riddles and dark words.”
10
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“Offspring of endless Night, thou hast no power O’er me or any man who sees the sun.”
11
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“No living man can hope To force the gods to speak against their will.”
12
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“Yea, I am free, strong in the strength of truth.”
13
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“I have sent Menoeceus’ son, Creon, my consort’s brother, to inquire Of Pythian Phoebus at his Delphic shrine, How I might save the State by act or word.”
14
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“Not for some far-off kinsman, but myself, Shall I expel this poison in the blood; For whoso slew that king might have a mind To strike me too with his assassin hand.”
15
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“I am taught by suffering to endure.”
16
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“Transgressions past May be amended, cannot be made worse.”
17
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“Thy life is safe while any god saves mine.”
18
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“Many, my children, are the tears I’ve wept, And threaded many a maze of weary thought.”
19
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“Thou thyself art thine own bane.”
20
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“This day shall be thy birth-day, and thy grave.”
21
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“Thou art the man, Thou the accursed polluter of this land.”
22
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“A blight is on our harvest in the ear, A blight upon the grazing flocks and herds, A blight on wives in travail; and withal Armed with his blazing torch the God of Plague Hath swooped upon our city emptying The house of Cadmus, and the murky realm Of Pluto is full fed with groans and tears.”
23
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“Alas, alas, what misery to be wise When wisdom profits nothing!”
24
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“Crave not mastery in all, For the mastery that raised thee was thy bane and wrought thy fall.”
25
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“By open words A scheme of villainy is soon bewrayed.”
26
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“Thus then I answer: since thou hast not spared To twit me with my blindness—thou hast eyes, Yet see’st not in what misery thou art fallen.”
27
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“Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness!”
28
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“By the looks, marred though they be by fate, I judge thee noble.”
29
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“And if When born to misery, as born I was, I met my sire, not knowing whom I met or what I did, and slew him, how canst thou With justice blame the all-unconscious hand?”
30
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“Wail no more, let sorrow rest, All is ordered for the best.”
31
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“Anger has no old age but only death; The dead alone can feel no touch of spite.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
death
anger
spite
concepts
32
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“More hateful still the miscreant who seeks When caught, to make a virtue of a crime.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
33
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“Enjoy thy triumph; soon or late thou’lt find Thou art an enemy to thyself.”
34
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“Ah, woe is me! where shall I fly, where find Succor from gods or men?”
35
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“A State for one man is no State at all.”
36
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″‘Tis one thing to speak much, another well.”
37
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“Thebes is not wont to breed unrighteous sons.”
38
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“Say I am mad and give my madness rein To wreck itself; the worst that can befall Is but to die an honorable death.”
39
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“Thy tongue Is sharper than a sword’s edge, yet thy speech Will bring thee more defeats than victories.”
40
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“For death is gain to him whose life, like mine, Is full of misery.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
death
misery
gains
concepts
41
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“Such threats Vented in anger oft, are blusterers, An idle breath, forgot when sense returns.”
42
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“No youths have sung the marriage song for me, My bridal bed No maids have strewn with flowers from the lea, ‘Tis Death I wed.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
death
marriage
flowers
concepts
43
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“I wait full knowledge ere I judge.”
44
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“When misfortune comes, The wisest even lose their mother wit.”
45
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“I know myself a mortal, and my share In what the morrow brings no more than thine.”
46
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“Yet one word Wipes out all score of tribulations—love.”
Sophocles
author
Oedipus
character
love
words
trials
concepts
47
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“I contemn the man who sets his friend Before his country.”
48
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“For ‘tis most sweet to ‘scape oneself scot-free, And yet to bring disaster to a friend Is grievous.”
Sophocles
author
Guard
character
49
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“Ill fares the husband mated with a shrew, And her embraces very soon wax cold.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
50
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“Death were not wholly bitter with you near.”
51
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“Of evils current upon earth The worst is money. Money ‘tis that sacks Cities, and drives men forth from hearth and home; Warps and seduces native innocence, And breeds a habit of dishonesty.”
52
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“To err is common To all men, but the man who having erred Hugs not his errors, but repents and seeks The cure, is not a wastrel nor unwise.”
Sophocles
author
Teiresias
character
53
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“For when youth passes with its giddy train, Troubles on troubles follow, toils on toils, Pain, pain for ever pain; And none escapes life’s coils. Envy, sedition, strife, Carnage and war, make up the tale of life. Last comes the worst and most abhorred stage Of unregarded age, Joyless, companionless and slow.”
54
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“Alas! how sad when reasoners reason wrong.”
Sophocles
author
Guard
character
wrong
tragedy
reasoning
concepts
55
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“A good general Reports successes and conceals mishaps.”
56
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“Yea, for these laws were not ordained of Zeus, And she who sits enthroned with gods below, Justice, enacted not these human laws. Nor did I deem that thou, a mortal man, Could’st by a breath annul and override The immutable unwritten laws of Heaven.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
justice
gods
laws
man
concepts
57
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“Strained silence, so I deem, Is no less ominous than excessive grief.”
Sophocles
author
The Chorus
character
grief
emotions
silence
concepts
58
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“What evils are not wrought by Anarchy! She ruins States, and overthrows the home, She dissipates and routs the embattled host; While discipline preserves the ordered ranks.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
discipline
ruin
anarchy
concepts
59
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“No man shall say that I betrayed a brother.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
betrayal
honor
brothers
concepts
60
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“Go, consort With friends who like a madman for their mate.”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
insults
friends
madmen
concepts
61
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“No man is mad enough to court his death.”
Sophocles
author
The Chorus
character
death
men
mad
concepts
62
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“To reverence kith and kin can bring no shame.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
family
shame
reverence
concepts
63
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“Die then, and love the dead if thou must; No woman shall be the master while I live.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
death
curse
woman
concepts
64
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“For whoso thinks that wisdom dwells with him, That he alone can speak or think aright, Such oracles are empty breath when tried.”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
65
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“I was born to join in love, not hate - that is my nature.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
love
hate
concepts
66
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“God moves swiftly to cancel the folly of stubborn men.”
Sophocles
author
God
person
Creon
character
67
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“There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; no wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, and proud men in old age learn to be wise.”
68
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“It is the dead, not the living, who make the longest demands.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
69
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“A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
learning
concept
70
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“When you go free, nothing makes you happier, and when you hurt someone you care about, nothing can hurt more.”
71
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“Tomorrow is tomorrow. Future cares have future cures, And we must mind today.”
Sophocles
author
time
concept
72
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“And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory. I will lie with the one I love and loved by him”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
death
loyalty
glory
concepts
73
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“We have only a little time to please the living. But all eternity to love the dead.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
death
concept
74
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“Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still.”
Sophocles
author
Ismene
character
love
concept
75
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“It is not right if I am wrong. But if I am young, and right, what does my age matter?”
Sophocles
author
Creon
Haemon
characters
76
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“I didn’t say yes. I can say no to anything I say vile, and I don’t have to count the cost. But because you said yes, all that you can do, for all your crown and your trappings, and your guards—all that your can do is to have me killed.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
Creon
characters
power
freedom
concepts
77
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“A city which belongs to just one man is no true city.”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
freedom
concept
78
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“There’s nothing in the world so demoralizing as money.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
money
concept
79
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“Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.”
Sophocles
author
Ismene
character
grief
concept
80
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“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
Sophocles
author
Antigone
character
love
friendship
concepts
81
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“Whenever a man supposes that he alone has intelligence or expression or feeling, he exposes himself and shows his emptiness.”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
82
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″...all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
Teiresias
characters
pride
concept
83
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“Oh, it is hard to give in! But it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride.”
Sophocles
author
Creon
character
pride
concept
84
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“Reason is God’s crowning gift to a man”
Sophocles
author
Haemon
character
reason
concept

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