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730+ Quotes From Moby-Dick (2024) Epic Tales Retold

In the vast ocean of classic literature, Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" stands as a towering masterpiece that has captured the imagination of readers for generations. This epic tale of obsession, adventure, and the relentless pursuit of an enigmatic white whale has left an indelible mark on the world of literature. In this exploration, we set sail into the literary depths, uncovering the profound wisdom encapsulated in "Quotes From Moby-Dick." As we embark on this journey, we invite you to immerse yourself in the world of "Moby-Dick" and explore the timeless wisdom that resides within its pages, waiting to inspire and provoke thought as we navigate the tempestuous waters of life.

Quotes From Moby Dick 1-OnlyCaptions

Quotes From Moby-Dick (2024)

Within the pages of Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" lie profound insights, poetic prose, and timeless wisdom that continue to captivate readers. Here, we present a collection of unique and thought-provoking "Quotes From Moby-Dick" that delve into the depths of human nature, the mysteries of the sea, and the eternal quest for meaning:

  • "Call me Ishmael."
  • "It is not down in any map; true places never are."
  • "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as I can."
  • "I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing."
  • "There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness."
  • "I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks, where’er I sail. The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm my track; let them; but first I pass. Yonder, by the dim lights of the palace, I mark thee, mocking but sisterly. Ah, noble ship! That thou shouldst lie by the reedy brinks of so serene a lake; that thou shouldst float upon it, as if to bear the weight of the innocent world; and yet to have no part in it, whatsoever. So do I mark the pebbles, and the pearl-paved sea-horizons. So does she sink, luring my fish, her tortoise-shell as bright as mirrors; so does she, as so many a thousand times before—Sink, sink, O sister, in this leprous water—Sink! Oh, gentle ship! She sinks, she rises, rises, and her bows spout thick waters. Her name? The Pequod. Sink and rise, rise and sink, sink and rise; this is the eternal game of the sea, for she is mercurial as well as mortal—lovely Solitude!"
  • "Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever."
  • "Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending."
  • "It's a damp, drizzly November in my soul."
  • "Oh, time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed. No more. This lovely light, it lights not me; all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can ne’er enjoy."
  • "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!"
  • "Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."
  • "There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men."
  • "Let us fly, let us fly! Old Nick take me if is not Leviathan described by the noble prophet Moses in the life of patient Job."
  • "I try all things, I achieve what I can."
  • "To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living."
  • "The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. ‘All is vanity.’ ALL. This wilful world hath not got hold of unchristian Solomon’s wisdom yet. But he who dodges hospitals and jails, and walks fast crossing graveyards, and would rather talk of operas than hell; calls Cowper, Young, Pascal, Rousseau, poor devils all of sick men; and throughout a care-free lifetime swears by Rabelais as passing wise, and therefore jolly;—not that man is fitted to sit down on tomb-stones, and break the green damp mould with unfathomably wondrous Solomon."
  • "What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm? But if the great sun move not of himself; but is as an errand-boy in heaven; nor one single star can revolve, but by some invisible power; how then can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I. By heaven, man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and Fate is the handspike."
  • "I would prefer not to."
  • "If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me."
  • "The drama’s done. Why then here does any one step forth?—Because one did survive the wreck."
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey - more a demon than a man!—aye, aye! what a forty years’ fool—fool—old fool, has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now?"
  • "All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks."
  • "The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of song, let us first seek to understand the gift of silence. And this is the noblest lesson that animals teach us—to be silent and to be diligent."
  • "He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great."
  • "Let not the modern paintings of this scene mislead us; for though the creature encountered by that valiant whaleman of old is vaguely represented of a griffin-like shape, and though the battle is depicted on land and the saint on horseback, yet considering the great ignorance of those times, when the true form of the whale was unknown to artists; and considering that as in Perseus' case, St. George's whale might have crawled up out of the sea on the beach; and considering that the animal ridden by St. George might have been only a large seal, or sea-horse; bearing all this in mind, it will not appear altogether incompatible with the sacred legend and the ancientest draughts of the scene, to hold this so-called dragon no other than the great Leviathan himself."
  • "Now, in his heart, Ahab had some glimpse of this, namely: all my means are sane, my motive and my object mad."
  • "Again, as the profound calm which only apparently precedes and prophesies of the storm, is perhaps more awful than the storm itself; for, indeed, the calm is but the wrapper and envelope of the storm; and contains it in itself, as the seemingly harmless rifle holds the fatal powder, and the ball, and the explosion; so the graceful repose of the line, as it silently serpentines about the oarsmen before being brought into actual play—this is a thing which carries more of true terror than any other aspect of this dangerous affair. But why say more? All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life."
  • "And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists."
  • "It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation."
  • "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul…"
  • "I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks where'er I sail."
  • "Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian."
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck."
  • "I try all things; I achieve what I can."
  • "It is not down on any map; true places never are."
  • "The drama's done. Why, then here does any one step forth?—Because one did survive the wreck."
  • "And doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago."
  • "For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim)."
  • "Queequeg was a native of Rokovoko, an island far away to the west and south."
Quotes From Moby Dick-OnlyCaptions

Also Read: Quotes From The Four Agreements

  • "Queequeg was a native of Rokovoko, an island far away to the west and south."
  • "But it is a common name in Nantucket, they say, and I suppose this Peter here is an emigrant from there."
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey - more a demon than a man!"
  • "That monomaniac Ahab, madman as he seemed, was advancing his peculiar enterprise, not alone in subordinate ways, but also in a fashion the most subduing."
  • "Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."
  • "For in his eyes I read some lurid woe would shrivel me up, had I it."
  • "Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure."
  • "It is the dearest quality of the Sperm Whale’s oily nature; that in several things…"
  • "Sleep? That bed is a mouldy lathe; I will never wear a nightcap again."
  • "And I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up."
  • "For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity."
  • "Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians and Pagans alike—for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending."
  • "Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale…"
  • "Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but where to does all that circumnavigation conduct?"
  • "And as for going as cook,—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls."
  • "I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing."
  • "Now when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger."
  • "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme."
  • "Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up."
  • "I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy."
  • "And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago."
  • "It’s a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky."
  • "Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries—stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region."
  • "What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time…"
  • "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee."
  • "Delight is to him—a far, far upward, and inward delight—who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self."
  • "It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan."
  • "Go not—go not!—See it is a dead, blind thing, great God! is it that I am dead? Is it that I shall never see thee again?—Oh, the unoffending sharks, they pounce upon them; savagely they gulp down fresh draughts of my blood!"
  • "Speak not! whisper! It is a lifeless thing that would speak!—aye, aye! it is but a dumb beetle; I, Ishmael, only am escaped alone to tell thee."
  • "I’ll sail with ye."
  • "The great floodgates of the wonder-world swung open…"
  • "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy…"
  • "There she blows!"
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her…"
  • "I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks, where'er I sail."
Quotes From Moby Dick 2-OnlyCaptions
  • "It's a white whale, I say."
  • "He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it."
  • "The drama's done. Why then here does any one step forth?—Because one did survive the wreck."
  • "Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up."
  • "It's a Nantucket ship, becalmed!"
  • "The unoffending sharks, they pounce upon this predestinated man, and fate has given him a pickax and spade…"
  • "Whenever I hear a man talk of his ill luck, that justifies my friend in staving in his soul's head."
  • "Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round the Horn, and round perdition's flames before I give him up."
  • "It's a deep, damp night; such a night as only a harpooneer could love."
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey—more a demon than a man!"
  • "The doubloon goes a-begging! See how the world pays court to thee."
  • "And as for going as cook—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls…"
  • "Yes, I have heard something curious on that score, sir; how that a dismasted man never entirely loses the feeling of his old spar…"
  • "There she blows!—the flukes! Look!"
  • "Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings…"
  • "It is an honorable thought…"
  • "What can be expected of a cook who's in the condition I was?"
  • "Oh, I was a fine boy, aint I? Why it's pudding, pudding!"
  • "So powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me…"
  • "I said nothing, and tried to think nothing."
  • "The great God absolute! The center and circumference of all democracy! His omnipotence…"
  • "What's the mighty difference between holding a mast's lightning-rod in the storm, and standing close by a mast that hasn't got any lightning-rod at all in a storm?"
  • "I don't know, no more than the man in the moon is."
  • "I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world."
  • "It's a way they have in the Navy of testifying their respect for the dead."
  • "Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians and Pagans alike."
  • "And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago."
  • "And, as for going as cook—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;—though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will."
  • "Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey—more a demon than a man!—aye, aye! what a forty years' fool—fool—has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now?"
  • "For all men tragically great are made so through a certain morbidness."
  • "And as for going as cook—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;—though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will."
  • "Ignorance is the parent of fear."
  • "Oh, the charity of a penny of mine own dear earned money would convert a providence street arab into a thrifty and obedient pupil of the excellent Fisk Free and Grammar School."
  • "So, though in the clear air of day, suspended against a blue-veined neck, the pure-watered diamond drop will healthful glow; yet, when the cunning jeweller would show you the diamond in its most impressive lustre, he lays it against a gloomy ground, and then lights it up, not by the sun, but by some unnatural gases."
  • "I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world."
Quotes From Moby Dick 3-OnlyCaptions

Also Read: Quotes From Ben-Hur

As we delve into the profound and often enigmatic words of Captain Ahab, Ishmael, and the diverse crew of the Pequod, we are reminded of the timeless relevance of Melville's work. "Quotes From Moby-Dick" serves as a treasure trove of insights and reflections on the human condition, inviting readers to ponder their own obsessions and desires, as well as their place in the vast expanse of existence. Melville's words have the power to transport us to the heart of the ocean, where the line between man and nature blurs, and where the pursuit of the elusive white whale becomes a symbol of our relentless quest for meaning and purpose in life.

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