116+ Best Despair Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Despair is a cause of hopelessness. Inspirational despair quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

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Famous Despair Quotes

Despair has its own calms. Bram Stoker

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it always. Mahatma Gandhi

Despair often breeds disease. Sophocles

This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. T.S. Eliot

Life begins on the other side of despair. Jean Paul Sartre

My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. L.M. Montgomery

Despair is the conclusion of fools. Benjamin Disraeli

The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination. Marion Zimmer Bradley

Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference. Charlie Chaplin

I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company. Henry Miller

Law is born from despair of human nature. Jose Ortega y Gasset

Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart; do not let compliments go to your head and criticisms to your heart; do not let success go to your head and failure to your heart. Roy T. Bennett

Action is the antidote to despair. Joan Baez

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is sure to be noticed. Søren Kierkegaard

We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings. Albert Einstein

Oft hope is born when all is forlorn. J.R.R. Tolkien

We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure. Cesar Chavez

Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank  but that’s not the same thing. Joseph Conra

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

The prince is never going to come. Everyone knows that; and maybe sleeping beauty’s dead. Anne Rice

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. Pope John Paul II

I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace. Hermann Hesse

Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings. Elie Wiesel

I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it’s white, it’s snow white. Sandy Welch

To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing. Raymond Williams

The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die. Juliette Lewis

Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano! Frederic Chopin

Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living. Jo Nesbo

Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope. Mahalia Jackson

Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it. J.D. Stroube

Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected. Robert Frank

Despair is the price one pays for self awareness. Look deeply into life, and you’ll always find despair. Irvin D. Yalom

Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time. Albert Camus

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! Elif Shafak

If you’re an advocate of gentleness, you’re simplistic and naive. If you’re an advocate of despair and hate, you’re sophisticated. Leo Buscaglia

The wounds that never heal can only be mourned alone. James Frey

The slums are not a place of despair. Its inhabitants are all working towards a better life. Vikas Swarup

The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. Woody Allen

Presumption should never make us neglect that which appears easy to us, nor despair make us lose courage at the sight of difficulties. Benjamin Banneker

There’s no such thing as perfect writing, just like there’s no such thing as perfect despair. Haruki Murakami

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair. Alfred Lord Tennyson

A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope. Philip K. Dick

Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair. William Blake

There are far too many silent sufferers.  Not because they don’t yearn to reach out, but because they’ve tried and found no one who cares. Richelle E. Goodrich

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair. Edmund Burke

Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. Andrew Solomon

Oh rage! Oh despair! Oh age, my enemy! Pierre Corneille

She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair. Patricia Briggs

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair. Niccolo Machiavelli

The only real laughter comes from despair. Groucho Marx

Comedy is an escape, not from truth but from despair; a narrow escape into faith. Christopher Fry

When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something. Dmitri Shostakovich

Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. Alexandre Dumas

He looked at her as a man might look at a faded flower he had plucked, in which it was difficult for him to trace the beauty that had made him pick and so destroy it. Leo Tolstoy

Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven. John Donne

Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t. Dr. Seuss

Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair. Tokugawa Ieyasu

But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope. George Eliot

He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor. Menander

You can tell a lot from a person’s nails. When a life starts to unravel, they’re among the first to go. Ian McEwan

When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something, but if you are carried by despair, there is no hope. Thich Nhat Hanh

It is almost as if happiness is an acquired taste, like coconut cordial or ceviche, to which you can eventually become accustomed, but despair is something surprising each time you encounter it. Lemony Snicket

Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom. Anatole France

I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something the eternal what’s the use? sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis. Gustave Flauberf

Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair. William Shakespeare

The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts. Alain de Botton

I realize that I live in the bubble of insanity. I feel the weight of human suffering, loneliness and despair on me all the time. It’s not getting easier; if anything, it’s always right on the edge of my skin. Erwin McManus

You see, we cannot draw lines and compartments and refuse to budge beyond them. Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. He paused, considering what he had just said. Yes, he repeated. In the end, it’s all a question of balance. Rohinton Mistry

I would never write stories with only despair and defeat and the dark side of life. Morris Gleitzman

The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first. Blaise Pascal

Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair. Rollo May

My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math;in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything. Stephenie Meyer

Melancholy and sadness are the start of doubt doubt is the beginning of despair; despair is the cruel beginning of the differing degrees of wickedness. Comte de Lautreamont

When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it. Oscar Wilde

Sin pulls a man down into despondency and despair. Ezra Taft Benson

But, in her life, nothing was going to happen. Such was the will of God! The future was a dark corridor, and at the far end the door was bolted. Gustave Flaubert

There’s always hope, and there’s always despair. Andrea Riseborough

Don’t despair despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don’t surrender to events with hope. Alain de Botton

I will indulge my sorrows, and give way to all the pangs and fury of despair. Joseph Addison

Some days simply lay on you like stones. Patrick Rothfuss

We define only out of despair, we must have a formula to give a facade to the void. Emil Cioran

To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing. Raymond Williams

Gaiety is often the reckless ripple over depths of despair. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

To hope for nothing, to expect nothing, to demand nothing. This is analytical despair. James Hillman

Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair. Franz Kafka

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair. Alfred Lord Tennyson

But he who dies in despair has lived his whole life in vain. Theodor W. Adorno

The rest is just wishes and hope, the most fragile of things. Sabaa Tahir

I don’t want to live in a culture of despair. I’d like to live in a culture of hope. Natalie Merchant

In a world gushing blood day and night, you never stop mopping up pain. Aberjhani

As for despair, it comes about when I have been a fool and hate myself and despair of my personality. I am prone to gloom, but not depression as such. Alain de Botton

What is the nature of the search? you ask. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair. Walker Percy

There is no greater folly in the world than for a man to despair. Miguel de Cervantes

We must be willing to encounter darkness and despair when they come up and face them, over and over again if need be, without running away or numbing ourselves in the thousands of ways we conjure up to avoid the unavoidable. Jon Kabat Zinn

Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down. Hector Berlioz

Hope was an instinct only the reasoning human mind could kill. An animal never knew despair. Graham Greene

You may not know it, but at the far end of despair, there is a white clearing where one is almost happy. Joan Baez

I wanted to tell her not to entertain despair like this. Despaire wasn’t a guest, you didn’t play its favorite music, find it a comfortable chair. Despair was the enemy white oleander. Janet Fitch

To exist is a habit I do not despair of acquiring. Emile M. Cioran

Is there any good news? Tesla said. Who ever promised that? Who ever said there’d be good news? Clive Barker

God gave you not a spirit of faithlessness, not a spirit of despair. Joseph Barber Lightfoot

I tried to groan, Help! Help! But the tone that came out was that of polite conversation. Samuel Beckett

Despair swallows up cowardice. William Hazlitt

And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears the wind howls. Why must you mimic them? Mervyn Peake

Every message of despair is the statement of a situation from which everybody must freely try to find a way out. Eugene Ionesco

Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die. Frank Herbert

Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope. Austin O’Malley

The majority of my patients consisted not of believers but of those who had lost their faith. Carl Jung

The characteristic political attitude of today is not one of positive belief, but of despair. Herbert Read

Being a cheerful hobbit, he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed. J.R.R. Tolkien

Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair. Martin Seligman

The art of our necessities is strange That can make vile things precious. William Shakespeare

The depth of our despair measures what capability and height of claim we have to hope. Thomas Carlyle

Isolation and loneliness are central causes of depression and despair. Bell Hooks