100+ Best Tragedy Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Profoundly inspirational tragedy quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

Famous Tragedy Quotes

My bones are tired from all the tragedy in me. — Peter Krause

What the American public wants in the theater is a tragedy with a happy ending. — William Dean Howells

David Brinkley was an icon of modern broadcast journalism, a brilliant writer who could say in a few words what the country needed to hear during times of crisis, tragedy and triumph. — Tom Brokaw

Auschwitz is a place in which tragedy cannot occur. — Edward Bond

For those unfortunate enough to experience it, long-term unemployment – now, as in the 1930s – is a tragedy. And, for society as a whole, there is the danger that the productive capacity of a significant portion of the labour force will be impaired. — Barry Eichengreen

I like the tragedies way more than the comedies because they’re so universal. — Alan Cumming

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few. — Emily Dickinson

My tragedy is that all I want is a dog, and yet I have been cursed with cats all my life. — Michael Sheen

When you close your eyes to tragedy, you close your eyes to greatness. — Stephen Vizinczey

Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly. — George MacDonald

In all natural disasters through time, man needs to attach meaning to tragedy, no matter how random and inexplicable the event is. — Nathaniel Philbrick

Our happiness is certainly mixed in with the tragedies of life. You have to find the lemonade. You have to find the silver lining in the middle of everything that happens in life. — Chandra Wilson

This is the choice in life. You choose what is less bad. I don’t particularly like Mr. Obama, but I think he is less bad for the world than Mr. Romney. It is a tragedy of life that both candidates did not lose the election. They would have deserved both to lose. — Marc Faber

Life is a comedy when watching and a tragedy when experiencing. I try and share anything I have. — Eric Idle

The world is a mess. It seems that life gets harder on a personal level each and every day. Hug and kiss those you love every day. You never know when the tragedies of this world may visit your life. — Kevin Nash

You always hear that tragedies put sports in perspective, that they prove we shouldn’t care this much about the successes and failures of a bunch of wealthy strangers. I’m going the other way – sometimes, sports put everything else in perspective. — Bill Simmons

The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less. — Vaclav Havel

It is true that I have had heartache and tragedy in my life. These are things none of us avoids. Suffering is the price of being alive. — Judy Collins

As a kid, I knew all of the dinosaurs. It’s one of those tragedies that I’ve forgotten what dinosaurs are cool. — Matt Smith

The tragedy of Eliot Spitzer is almost Greek: Ascendant son of wealth and privilege dedicates his life to social justice, warns of the corruption lurking among us, and falls victim to his inner demons at the very moment of vindication. — Wil S. Hylton

Gay icons usually have some tragedy in their lives, but I’ve only had tragic haircuts and outfits. — Kylie Minogue

My positions on gun safety have remained consistent over the years, and have been on my website for years. Whether I’m in a tough re-election race, an easy re-election race, or if it isn’t an election year, whether there’s a high-profile tragedy in the news or otherwise, my position remains unchanged and on my website. — Brad Sherman

It always amazes me to think that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways. — Glenn Close

The difference between tragedy and comedy: Tragedy is something awful happening to somebody else, while comedy is something awful happening to somebody else. — Aaron Allston

Those who are believers in God find strength from their faith in the face of suffering. They are compelled to give sacrificially to help those in need. And they have the hope that comes from knowing that, with God by their side, the tragedy they are facing is never the final word. — Adam Hamilton

All writers are liars. They twist events to suit themselves. They make use of their own tragedies to make a better story… They are terrible people. — Nina Bawden

September 11 stands on its own as a terrible tragedy. — Vernon Jordan

Everybody knows about Pearl Harbor. The thing that really fascinated me is that through this tragedy there was this amazing American heroism. — Michael Bay

My heart goes out to victims and survivors of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy and to their families. This disaster will go down in history books as one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. — Ellen Tauscher

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

Tragedy is a great storytelling form. It worked extremely well for Shakespeare. It worked extremely well for Jim Cameron with Titanic. — Carlton Cuse

Tragedy is restful: and the reason is that hope, that foul, deceitful thing, has no part in it. — Jean Anouilh

The tragedy is that so many have ambition and so few have ability — William Feather

What makes America great is that we can come together during times of national tragedy. — Dennis Hastert

Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have. — Arthur E. Morgan

‘Greek Street’ is a very strange beast. I think of it as ‘The Long Good Friday’ meets ‘Agamemnon.’ A way of using those fantastically rich stories from Greek tragedy to take a look at our world and to explore some of the things I think about this world. — Peter Milligan

I’m not so sure that people consider homelessness to be as important as, say, the Vietnam War. One should never even try to equate them because, of course, they’re tragedies on both sides of the coin. — Graham Nash

For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. — Simon Wiesenthal

To me, the tragedy about this whole image-obsessed society is that young girls get so caught up in just achieving that they forget to realize that they have so much more to offer the world. — America Ferrera

Having experienced personally and through my family the tragedy of Chile is something always present in my memory. I do not want events of that nature ever to happen again, and I have dedicated an important part of my life to ensuring that and to the reunion of all Chileans. — Michelle Bachelet

It’s one of the great tragedies of our contemporary life in America, that families fall apart. Almost everybody has that in common. — Sam Shepard

The worst tragedy that could have befallen me was my success. I knew right away that I was through – cast out. — Jonas Salk

Tragedy is like strong acid – it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth. — D. H. Lawrence

Tragedy occurs when a human soul awakes and seeks, in suffering and pain, to free itself from crime, violence, infamy, even at the cost of life. The struggle is the tragedy – not defeat or death. — Whittaker Chambers

In all love stories the theme is love and tragedy, so by writing these types of stories, I have to include tragedy. — Nicholas Sparks

I always wanted to tell the story of how Pearl Jam is the story of lightning striking twice. As well as being the flipside of the classic rock tale where great promise ends in tragedy. This is where tragedy begins great promise. — Cameron Crowe

We must stop criminalizing mental illness. It’s a national tragedy and scandal that the L.A. County Jail is the biggest psychiatric facility in the United States. — Elyn Saks

I wanted my new release ‘Get Back Up’ to benefit Haiti in their tragedy and I am blessed to use my music to help as your purchase becomes our gift. — TobyMac

I lost my sleep, and this is the greatest tragedy that can befall someone. It is much worse than sitting in prison. — Emile M. Cioran

Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn. — Irvin S. Cobb

I’ve always been drawn to discomfort and that limbo of unease you get between comedy and tragedy. — Steve Coogan

It’s important to talk about loving yourself and looking at your tragedies and the stuff that makes you grow. — Anne Heche

I’m a huge fan of Jack Lemmon, he was someone who managed to tread that line between comedy and tragedy and sometimes give very big performances, but they were never over-demonstrative and they were never not based on a kind of real truthful human being. — Steve Coogan

Sometimes bad luck hits you like in an ancient Greek tragedy, and it’s not your own making. When you have a plane crash, it’s not your fault. — Werner Herzog

One of the tragedies of the Bush administration is that we went back to business as usual, make a deal with the Democrats, lets all be friends in Washington philosophy. — Pete du Pont

I trust people too much, and the other tragedy is I can’t say no. — Farooq Abdullah

There is no tragedy in missing a putt, no matter how short. All have erred in this respect. — Walter Hagen

I like to take these unusual characters and then make them as normal as possible, because we all know that the tragedy and the abnormal always hides itself behind the normal — Isabelle Huppert

I don’t understand why Europeans and South Americans can take more sophistication. Why is it that Americans need to hear their happiness major and their tragedy minor, and as jazzy as they can handle is a seventh chord? Are they not experiencing complex emotions? — Joni Mitchell

The tragedy of bold, forthright, industrious people is that they act so continuously without much thinking, that it becomes dry and empty. — Brenda Ueland

All lives have triumphs and tragedies, laughter and tears, and mine has been no different. What really matters is whether, after all of that, you remain strong and a comfort to your loved ones. I have tried to meet that test. — Pat Nixon

I’ve had at least my share of tragedy, but I have had far more than my share of happiness. — Pierre Salinger

In tragedy every moment is eternity; in comedy, eternity is a moment. — Christopher Fry

It was a Greek tragedy. Nixon was fulfilling his own nature. Once it started it could not end otherwise. — Henry A. Kissinger

Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy. — Havelock Ellis

I think it’s the tragedy of our time that we’re not aware of the affect of the manner in which we’ve adopted tools. Those tools have become who we are. — Godfrey Reggio

To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Things happen to everybody in the course of a lifetime. Relationships end, people die, tragedy befalls everyone. So everyone has this wealth of experience, and the older you are the more you have to draw on. — Eric Stoltz

Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right. — Amos Oz

If we had a terrorist attack, the way the people respond is going to determine whether that attack is just a tragedy or whether that attack becomes an all-out disaster. — Patrick J. Kennedy

I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like its crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like its laughing. Nowadays, we would say, How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask. — Gilbert Gottfried

Greek philosophy seems to have met with something with which a good tragedy is not supposed to meet, namely, a dull ending. — Karl Marx

There is no tragedy more woeful than the victory of hate, nor any attainment so hopelessly barren as the sterility of that achievement; for hate is finality, and finality is the greatest evil which can happen in a world of movement. — James Stephens

We owe it to the flood victims of New Orleans to give them truthful answers as to why this event took place and to assure our citizens that tragedies like this will never happen again. — Charles Rangel

The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way. — William Barclay

Racism has been for everyone like a horrible, tragic car crash, and we’ve all been heavily sedated from it. If we don’t come into consciousness of this tragedy, there’s going to be a violent awakening we don’t want. The question is, can we wake up? — Anna Deavere Smith

Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really where failure comes. — Tom Cochrane

Tragedy, for me, is not a conflict between right and wrong, but between two different kinds of right. — Peter Shaffer

Money talks. It starts rumors about careers and complicity and speaks of the tragedies and triumphs of our social lives. — Barbara Kruger

In a household tragedy, you are very much aware of being alone. It is something that is possible to grasp, and that is why it hurts so much. Because you are alone. I know a little about this. — Per Petterson

The bells cease, and the power goes from me, and I descend again to the world of the living; and if in some foolish confiding moment I try to explain why I want to re-live those old days, to tear the Truth out of the past so that all men shall see plainly, perhaps someone will say to me, ‘Oh, the War! A tragedy – best forgotten.’ — Henry Williamson

It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. — Loren Eiseley

It doesn’t matter how much wisdom you have. If you don’t have position, you have nothing. That’s the tragedy of India. — Rahul Gandhi

Abraham Lincoln comes from nothing, has no education, no money, lives in the middle of nowhere on the frontier. And despite the fact that he suffers one tragedy and one setback after another, through sheer force of will, he becomes something extraordinary: not only the president but the person who almost single-handedly united the country. — Seth Grahame-Smith

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. — Plato

Society mends its wounds. And that’s invariably true in all the tragedies, in the comedies as well. And certainly in the histories. — Charlton Heston

The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations. — Adam Smith

I sometimes wonder if the tragedies my family has suffered are a kind of karmic price for all the fame and fortune the Bee Gees have had. — Robin Gibb

You go down to Skid Row and you see literally hundreds of people and not just men, but women and children as well. It’s really a tragedy that our society has come to that. — Ernie Hudson

Life is neither comedy or tragedy, life is what you make of it. — Radha Mitchell

The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities. — Benjamin E. Mays

There’s obviously a lot of tragedy in comedy; I really enjoy the paradox of what a really good comedy is. — Ellen Page

I would like to think that as a result of not just my own experiences, but at least being empathetic and compassionate about other people’s experiences and plights and tragedies, that I am affected by it and learn from it. — Terry McMillan

What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his? — Emile M. Cioran

War is tragedy. The great war stories are tragedies. It’s the failure of diplomacy. ‘War and Peace,’ ‘A Farewell to Arms,’ ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls.’ Those are some of the greatest tragedies. — David Mamet

Unfortunately, since the Sept. 11 tragedy, our business is not doing too well. — Hunter Tylo

Plot, rules, nor even poetry, are not half so great beauties in tragedy or comedy as a just imitation of nature, of character, of the passions and their operations in diversified situations. — Horace Walpole

Being able to sing all these years has helped me handle life’s tragedies. — Patti Page

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next. — Nora Ephron

It is selfish to concern oneself with tragedies. — Rose Kennedy

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