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96 Samuel Beckett Quotes That Prod You To ‘Fail Better’

Famous As: Irish Novelist Who Won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature
Born On: April 13, 1906
Died On: December 22, 1989
Born In: Foxrock, Ireland
Died At Age: 83
Samuel Beckett was a prolific Irish avant-garde poet, novelist, literary translator, theatre director and playwright. He spent most of his adult life in Paris and wrote both in French and English. In his later career, he became growingly minimalist. He is regarded as one of the prominent figures in the ‘Theatre of Absurd.' Some of his best-known works include, ‘Happy Days,’ ‘Waiting for Godot,’ ‘Not I,’ ‘Murphy,’ and ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ amongst various others. He was also awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’ in 1969. We have created a corpus of meaningful sayings and quotes by Samuel Beckett, which have been curated from his works, poems, thoughts, novels, translations, plays, writings, and life. Go through the most popular and motivational thoughts and quotes by Samuel Beckett that might just change the way you look at life.
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Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.

Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.

Samuel Beckett
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett
You're on Earth. There's no cure for that.

You're on Earth. There's no cure for that.

Samuel Beckett
The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.

The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.

Samuel Beckett
Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett
I can't go on, I'll go on.

I can't go on, I'll go on.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?

Vladimir: Yes, yes, we're magicians.

Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist? Vladimir: Yes, yes, we're magicians.

Samuel Beckett
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.

Samuel Beckett
My mistakes are my life.

My mistakes are my life.

Samuel Beckett
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.

Samuel Beckett
Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!

Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!

Samuel Beckett
The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.

The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.

Samuel Beckett
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.

Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.

Samuel Beckett
I use the words you taught me. If they don't mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent.

I use the words you taught me. If they don't mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent.

Samuel Beckett
Vladimir: Did I ever leave you?
Estragon: You let me go.

Vladimir: Did I ever leave you? Estragon: You let me go.

Samuel Beckett
Let's go.

Let's go." "We can't." "Why not?" "We're waiting for Godot.

Samuel Beckett
Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful.

Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful.

Samuel Beckett
Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back.

Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back.

Samuel Beckett
There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.

There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.

Samuel Beckett
Words are all we have.

Words are all we have.

Samuel Beckett
Nothing is more real than nothing.

Nothing is more real than nothing.

Samuel Beckett
The only sin is the sin of being born

The only sin is the sin of being born

Samuel Beckett
ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this.
VLADIMIR: That's what you think.

ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this. VLADIMIR: That's what you think.

Samuel Beckett
No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.

No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.

Samuel Beckett
Don’t wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto.

Don’t wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: I'm like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget.

Estragon: I'm like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget.

Samuel Beckett
I must go on. I can't go on. I'll go on.

I must go on. I can't go on. I'll go on.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: People are bloody ignorant apes.

Estragon: People are bloody ignorant apes.

Samuel Beckett
VLADIMIR: What do they say?
ESTRAGON: They talk about their lives.
VLADIMIR: To have lived is not enough for them.
ESTRAGON: They have to talk about it.

VLADIMIR: What do they say? ESTRAGON: They talk about their lives. VLADIMIR: To have lived is not enough for them. ESTRAGON: They have to talk about it.

Samuel Beckett
What is that unforgettable line?

What is that unforgettable line?

Samuel Beckett
It was long since I had longed for anything and the effect on me was horrible.

It was long since I had longed for anything and the effect on me was horrible.

Samuel Beckett
I pause to record that I feel in extraordinary form. Delirium perhaps.

I pause to record that I feel in extraordinary form. Delirium perhaps.

Samuel Beckett
ESTRAGON: Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!
VLADIMIR: Did I ever leave you?
ESTRAGON: You let me go.

ESTRAGON: Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me! VLADIMIR: Did I ever leave you? ESTRAGON: You let me go.

Samuel Beckett
Yes, in my life, since we must call it so, there were three things, the inability to speak, the inability to be silent, and solitude, that’s what I’ve had to make the best of.

Yes, in my life, since we must call it so, there were three things, the inability to speak, the inability to be silent, and solitude, that’s what I’ve had to make the best of.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: Nothing to be done.

Estragon: Nothing to be done.

Samuel Beckett
You cried for night - it falls. Now cry in darkness.

You cried for night - it falls. Now cry in darkness.

Samuel Beckett
Habit is a great deadener.

Habit is a great deadener.

Samuel Beckett
POZZO:
I am blind.
(Silence.)
ESTRAGON:
Perhaps he can see into the future.

POZZO: I am blind. (Silence.) ESTRAGON: Perhaps he can see into the future.

Samuel Beckett
They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.

They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.

Samuel Beckett
Vladimir: I don't understand. 
Estragon: Use your intelligence, can't you? 
Vladimir uses his intelligence. 
Vladimir: (finally) I remain in the dark.

Vladimir: I don't understand. Estragon: Use your intelligence, can't you? Vladimir uses his intelligence. Vladimir: (finally) I remain in the dark.

Samuel Beckett
Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining.

Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: What about hanging ourselves?
Vladimir: Hmm. It'd give us an erection.

Estragon: What about hanging ourselves? Vladimir: Hmm. It'd give us an erection.

Samuel Beckett
Silence, yes, but what silence! For it is all very fine to keep silence, but one has also to consider the kind of silence one keeps.

Silence, yes, but what silence! For it is all very fine to keep silence, but one has also to consider the kind of silence one keeps.

Samuel Beckett
To every man his little cross. Till he dies. And is forgotten.

To every man his little cross. Till he dies. And is forgotten.

Samuel Beckett
The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain.

The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain.

Samuel Beckett
Yes, there were times when I forgot not only who I was but that I was, forgot to be.

Yes, there were times when I forgot not only who I was but that I was, forgot to be.

Samuel Beckett
If you don't know where you are currently standing, you're dead.

If you don't know where you are currently standing, you're dead.

Samuel Beckett
Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.

Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.

Samuel Beckett
There is man in his entirety, blaming his shoe when his foot is guilty.

There is man in his entirety, blaming his shoe when his foot is guilty.

Samuel Beckett
The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.

The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.

Samuel Beckett
There is [...]
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love

There is [...] a last even of last times of saying if you do not love me I shall not be loved if I do not love you I shall not love

Samuel Beckett
Art has nothing to do with clarity, does not dabble in the clear and does not make clear

Art has nothing to do with clarity, does not dabble in the clear and does not make clear

Samuel Beckett
I don’t like animals. It’s a strange thing, I don’t like men and I don’t like animals. As for God, he is beginning to disgust me.

I don’t like animals. It’s a strange thing, I don’t like men and I don’t like animals. As for God, he is beginning to disgust me.

Samuel Beckett
The old endless chain of love, tolerance, indifference, aversion and disgust

The old endless chain of love, tolerance, indifference, aversion and disgust

Samuel Beckett
I’m like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget.

I’m like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget.

Samuel Beckett
That's how it is on this bitch of an earth.

That's how it is on this bitch of an earth.

Samuel Beckett
Words are the clothes thoughts wear.

Words are the clothes thoughts wear.

Samuel Beckett
I've got my faults, but changing my tune isn't one of them.

I've got my faults, but changing my tune isn't one of them.

Samuel Beckett
We always find something, eh Didi, to let us think we exist?

We always find something, eh Didi, to let us think we exist?

Samuel Beckett
The essential doesn't change.

The essential doesn't change.

Samuel Beckett
All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.

All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.

Samuel Beckett
We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.

We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.

Samuel Beckett
Spend the years of learning squandering
Courage for the years of wandering
Through a world politely turning
From the loutishness of learning.

Spend the years of learning squandering Courage for the years of wandering Through a world politely turning From the loutishness of learning.

Samuel Beckett
HAMM: We're not beginning to... to... mean something?
CLOV: Mean something! You and I, mean something!
(Brief laugh.) Ah that's a good one!

HAMM: We're not beginning to... to... mean something? CLOV: Mean something! You and I, mean something! (Brief laugh.) Ah that's a good one!

Samuel Beckett
We spend our life, it's ours, trying to bring together in the same instant a ray of sunshine and a free bench

We spend our life, it's ours, trying to bring together in the same instant a ray of sunshine and a free bench

Samuel Beckett
It's so nice to know where you're going, in the early stages. It almost rids you of the wish to go there.

It's so nice to know where you're going, in the early stages. It almost rids you of the wish to go there.

Samuel Beckett
Poets are the sense, philosophers the intelligence of humanity.

Poets are the sense, philosophers the intelligence of humanity.

Samuel Beckett
Unfathomable mind: now beacon, now sea.

Unfathomable mind: now beacon, now sea.

Samuel Beckett
To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.

To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.

Samuel Beckett
Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett
[A]ll I want to do is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante.

[A]ll I want to do is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante.

Samuel Beckett
But I know what darkness is, it accumulates, thickens, then suddenly bursts and drowns everything.

But I know what darkness is, it accumulates, thickens, then suddenly bursts and drowns everything.

Samuel Beckett
Life is habit. Or rather life is a succession of habits.

Life is habit. Or rather life is a succession of habits.

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

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

Samuel Beckett
Dear incomprehension, it's thanks to you I'll be myself, in the end.

Dear incomprehension, it's thanks to you I'll be myself, in the end.

Samuel Beckett
When a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping to go in a straight line.

When a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping to go in a straight line.

Samuel Beckett
If you do not love me I shall not be loved. If I do not love you I shall not love.

If you do not love me I shall not be loved. If I do not love you I shall not love.

Samuel Beckett
If there is one question I dread, to which I have never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it is the question what am I doing.

If there is one question I dread, to which I have never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it is the question what am I doing.

Samuel Beckett
But what matter whether I was born or not, have lived or not, am dead or merely dying. I shall go on doing as I have always done, not knowing what it is I do, nor who I am, nor where I am, nor if I am.

But what matter whether I was born or not, have lived or not, am dead or merely dying. I shall go on doing as I have always done, not knowing what it is I do, nor who I am, nor where I am, nor if I am.

Samuel Beckett
Use your head, can't you, use your head, you're on earth, there's no cure for that!

Use your head, can't you, use your head, you're on earth, there's no cure for that!

Samuel Beckett
How do you manage it, she said, at your age? I told her I'd been saving up for her all my life.

How do you manage it, she said, at your age? I told her I'd been saving up for her all my life.

Samuel Beckett
How hideous is the semicolon.

How hideous is the semicolon.

Samuel Beckett
For in me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further on.

For in me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further on.

Samuel Beckett
My dear Tom,
Delighted to get your letter. Do write again. This life is terrible and I don't understand how it can be endured.

My dear Tom, Delighted to get your letter. Do write again. This life is terrible and I don't understand how it can be endured.

Samuel Beckett
What kind of country is this where a woman can't weep her heart out on the highways and byways without being tormented by retired bill-brokers!

What kind of country is this where a woman can't weep her heart out on the highways and byways without being tormented by retired bill-brokers!

Samuel Beckett
Words and images run riot in my head, pursuing, flying, clashing, merging, endlessly. But beyond this tumult there is a great calm, and a great indifference, never really to be troubled by anything again.

Words and images run riot in my head, pursuing, flying, clashing, merging, endlessly. But beyond this tumult there is a great calm, and a great indifference, never really to be troubled by anything again.

Samuel Beckett
Let us say before i go any further, that i forgive nobody. i wish them all an atrocious life in the fires of icy hell and in the execrable generations to come.

Let us say before i go any further, that i forgive nobody. i wish them all an atrocious life in the fires of icy hell and in the execrable generations to come.

Samuel Beckett
When you're in the shit up to your neck, there's nothing left to do but sing.

When you're in the shit up to your neck, there's nothing left to do but sing.

Samuel Beckett
I love order. It's my dream. A world where all would be silent and still, and each thing in its last place, under the last dust.

I love order. It's my dream. A world where all would be silent and still, and each thing in its last place, under the last dust.

Samuel Beckett
Decidedly it will never have been given to me to finish anything, except perhaps breathing. One must not be greedy.

Decidedly it will never have been given to me to finish anything, except perhaps breathing. One must not be greedy.

Samuel Beckett
Be again, be again. (Pause.) All that old misery. (Pause.) Once wasn't enough for you.

Be again, be again. (Pause.) All that old misery. (Pause.) Once wasn't enough for you.

Samuel Beckett
Estragon: Suppose we repented.

Vladimir: Repented what?

Estragon: Oh...(He reflects.) We wouldn’t have 
 to go into the details.

Vladimir: Our being born?

Estragon: Suppose we repented. Vladimir: Repented what? Estragon: Oh...(He reflects.) We wouldn’t have to go into the details. Vladimir: Our being born?

Samuel Beckett
Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.

Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.

Samuel Beckett
The search for the means to put an end to things, an end to speech, is what enables the discourse to continue.

The search for the means to put an end to things, an end to speech, is what enables the discourse to continue.

Samuel Beckett
Dying for dark - the darker the worse. Strange.

Dying for dark - the darker the worse. Strange.

Samuel Beckett