Henrik Ibsen Quotations

-A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.

-A forest bird never wants a cage.

-A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth.

-A marriage based on full confidence, based on complete and unqualified frankness on both sides; they are not keeping anything back; there’s no deception underneath it all. If I might so put it, it’s an agreement for the mutual forgiveness of sin.

-A minority may be right, and a majority is always wrong.

-A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.

-Castles in the air – they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build as well.

-Castles in the air – they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build too.

-Do not use that foreign word “ideals.” We have that excellent native word “lies.”

-Don’t use that foreign word “ideals.” We have that excellent native word “lies.”

-Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt.

-I’m afraid for all those who’ll have the bread snatched from their mouths by these machines. What business has science and capitalism got, bringing all these new inventions into the works, before society has produced a generation educated up to using them!

-In that second it dawned on me that I had been living here for eight years with a strange man and had borne him three children.

-In your power, all the same. Subject to your will and your demands. No longer free! No! That’s a thought I’ll never endure! Never.

-It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.

-It was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I wanted only to pick at a single knot; but when I had got that undone, the whole thing raveled out. And then I understood that it was all machine-sewn.

-Marriage! Nothing else demands so much of a man.

-Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.

-One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, “I have it,” merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.

-One should never put on one’s best trousers to go out to battle for freedom and truth.

-People who don’t know how to keep themselves healthy ought to have the decency to get themselves buried, and not waste time about it.

-Really to sin you have to be serious about it.

-The devil is compromise.

-The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right.

-The man whom God wills to slay in the struggle of life – he first individualizes.

-The pillars of truth and the pillars of freedom – they are the pillars of society.

-The spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly a second time.

-The spirit of truth and the spirit of freedom – these are the pillars of society.

-The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.

-The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.

-The worst enemy of truth and freedom in our society is the compact majority.

-The worst enemy of truth and freedom in our society is the compact majority. Yes, the damned, compact, liberal majority.

-These heroes of finance are like beads on a string; when one slips off, all the rest follow.

-You should never have your best trousers on when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.

-You should never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.

-Your home is regarded as a model home, your life as a model life. But all this splendor, and you along with it… it’s just as though it were built upon a shifting quagmire. A moment may come, a word can be spoken, and both you and all this splendor will collapse.
Henrik Ibsen