Eugene O'Neill Eugene O'Neill > Quotes


Eugene O'Neill quotes (showing 1-30 of 60)

“I am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?”
Eugene O'Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays
“Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back.”
Eugene O'Neill
“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must be a little in love with death!”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night
“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”
Eugene O'Neill
“There is no present or future-only the past, happening over and over again-now.”
Eugene O'Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten
tags: past, time
“Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually.

Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken.

And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, or whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock, will answer you: 'It is the hour to be drunken! Be drunken, if you would not be martyred slaves of Time; be drunken continually! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“It's a great game - the pursuit of happiness.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Man's loneliness is but his fear of life.”
Eugene O'Neill
“EDMUND
*Then with alcoholic talkativeness
You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason!
*He grins wryly.
It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death!

TYRONE
*Stares at him -- impressed.
Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right.
*Then protesting uneasily.
But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death.

EDMUND
*Sardonically
The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“We are such things as rubbish is made of, so let's drink up and forget it.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“Suppose I was to tell you that it's just beauty that's calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on----in quest of the secret which is hidden over there----beyond the horizon?”
Eugene O'Neill, Beyond the Horizon
“Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see—and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! ”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“Dey's some things I don't got to be told. I kin read them in folks' eyes.”
Eugene O'Neill, The Emperor Jones
“I was set free! I dssolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself!.. And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“I have had my dance with Folly, nor do I shirk the blame;
I have sipped the so-called Wine of Life and paid the price of shame;
But I know that I shall find surcease, the rest my spirit craves,
Where the rainbows play in the flying spray,
'Mid the keen salt kiss of the waves.”
Eugene O'Neill
“To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It's irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.”
Eugene O'Neill, The Iceman Cometh
“I hate doctors! They'll do anything... to keep you coming to them. They'll sell their souls. What's worse, they'll sell yours, and you never know it till one day you find yourself in hell.”
Eugene O'Neill
“You said they had found the secret of happiness because they had never heard that love can be a sin.”
Eugene O'Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra
“And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.”
Eugene O'Neill
“Why can’t you remember your Shakespeare and forget the third-raters. You’ll find what you’re trying to say in him- as you’ll find everything else worth saying. 'We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep.''

- 'Fine! That’s beautiful. But I wasn’t trying to say that. We are such stuff as manure is made on, so let’s drink up and forget it. That’s more my idea.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“TYRONE

[Stares at him -- impressed.]
Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right.

[Then protesting uneasily]
But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death.

EDMUND

[Sardonically]

The makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.”
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
“You're two of a kind, and a bad kind.”
Eugene O'Neill
“I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room - and God damn it - died in a hotel room.”
Eugene O'Neill

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