Tom Stoppard Quotes

Quotes tagged as "tom-stoppard" Showing 1-11 of 11
“Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung? The dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature's highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we're expected! But there is no such place, that's why it's called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.”
Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia

“It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing.... A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It's the best possible time of being alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

“It's the wanting to know that makes us matter.”
Tom Stoppard , Arcadia

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”
Tom Stoppard

“Your opinions are your symptoms.”
Tom Stoppard, Professional Foul

“Let me get it straight. Your father was king. You were his only son. Your father dies. You are of age. Your uncle becomes king."

"Yes."

"Unorthodox.”
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

“Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view.
And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone.

When you look up the stage directions, it says, ‘Exit Ariel.”
Tom Stoppard

“I fell in love with literature and stayed lovesick all my life.”
Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia

“If we can’t arrange our own happiness, it’s a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.”
Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia

“ROS (mournfully): Not even England. I don't believe in it anyway.
GUIL: What?
ROS: England.
GUIL: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, you mean.”
Tom Stoppard- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

“the same cast of mind is still manifest; the fascination with the eccentric, the delight in puns, the evocation of artistically controlled disorder.”
T. Bareham, Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, Jumpers, Travesties: A Casebook