Photo: Freebase/Public domain

The Best Quotes About Tragedy  

311 votes 180 voters 46.4k views

List Rules Must be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the tragedy sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best tragedy quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous tragedy quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic tragedy quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational tragedy quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about tragedy?" and "What are inspirational tragedy quotes?"

This list includes notable tragedy quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest tragedy quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite tragedy sayings get to the bottom of the list.
list ordered by
Tragedy is like strong acid -- it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth. D. H. Lawrence
The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives -- the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself. Norman Cousins
It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. Oscar Wilde
When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. Samuel Johnson
In this world there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst. Oscar Wilde
“It’s all right. Things as they once were will never be again, but it’s all right.” Janet Morris
The true end of tragedy is to purify the passions. Aristotle
This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. Horace Walpole
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. Dale Carnegie
Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain. Percy Bysshe Shelley
A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him. George Orwell
When you close your eyes to tragedy, you close your eyes to greatness. Stephen Vizinczey
What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his? Emil Cioran
There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. George Bernard Shaw
None but a poet can write a tragedy. For tragedy is nothing less than pain transmuted into exaltation by the alchemy of poetry. Edith Hamilton
We participate in tragedy. At comedy we only look. Aldous Huxley
You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks. Ludwig Wittgenstein
It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes. Dorothy Parker
The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism. Arthur Miller
There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is restful, tragedy, because one knows that there is no more lousy hope left. You know you're caught, caught at last like a rat with all the world on its back. And the only thing left to do is shout -- not moan, or complain, but yell out at the top of your voice whatever it was you had to say. What you've never said before. What perhaps you don't even know till now. Jean Anouilh
The greatest tragedy in America is not the destruction of our natural resources, though that tragedy is great. The truly great tragedy is the destruction of our human resources by our failure to fully utilize our abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with their music still in them.
Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. D. H. Lawrence
The little word is has its tragedies: it marries and identifies different things with the greatest innocence; and yet no two are ever identical, and if therein lies the charm of wedding them and calling them one, therein too lies the danger. George Santayana
Tragedy on the stage is no longer enough for me, I shall bring it into my own life. Antonin Artaud