Literary Quotations
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You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

MOLIÈRE, The Misanthrope

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists

Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

You can't understand. You're using the language of reason, not of the heart; you live in a world of abstractions.


Humiliate the reason and distort the soul.


Reason is God's greatest gift to man.


Man ... is dangerous as a fanatic. He can only be enslaved whilst he is spiritually weak enough to listen to reason.


Pure reason avoids extremes, and requires one to be wise in moderation.

MOLIÈRE, The Misanthrope

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Reason in madness!


When valour preys on reason,
It eats the sword it fights with.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

Harp not on that, nor do not banish reason
For inequality; but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear where it seems hid,
And hide the false seems true.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Measure for Measure

When opponents are at loggerheads, we say: "Let them reason together, and by reasoning clarify what their differences are, and thus inch closer. They may seem to share nothing else, but at least they share reason.

J. M. COETZEE, Elizabeth Costello

Mad is he who hopes that our reason can traverse the infinite way.

DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy

People are content to live in contradictory worlds, so long as they know the reason for each.

ALAN LIGHTMAN, Einstein's Dreams

Reason is simply a vast tautology.

J. M. COETZEE, Elizabeth Costello

Beware gentle knight. There is no greater monster than reason.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, All the Pretty Horses

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