Throughout history, writers have been prolific influencers on the culture of their time. Even now, many quotes from famous novels have stood the test of time. They’re framed and used as artwork, quoted in literary works, and referred to for inspiration.
With so many amazing works out there, narrowing down the top quotes isn’t easy. We did the hard work and picked the top 6 most popular literary quotes as they stand today.
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.”
The tragic end of A Tale of Two Cities provides a quote that gives us something to think about. As Sydney Carton awaits his death sentence, after swapping places with the husband of the woman he loves, he reflects on the decision he’s made. It’s a heartbreaking moment that’s impossible to forget.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
There are many quotes from the Harry Potter series that readers love. This one, however, really speaks to the trajectory we all take as we grow up and come into ourselves. Of course, Albus Dumbledor famously said this to Cornelius Fudge about muggles. The headmaster was quick to point out that talent will prevail.
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Romantic quotes are often the ones we read the most, and for good reason, love is all around us. But this quote from Wuthering Heights speaks to the heart of that instant, soulmate connection, so many of us are searching for. Cathy sees it in her relationship with Heathcliff, although she’s set to marry someone else.
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
When it comes to love, Shakespeare is probably the most quoted author of all time. The playwright is known for his poetic prose, including this beautiful line from Romeo and Juliet, said by Romeo as he catches a glimpse of his love on the balcony.
Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller
“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.'”
Forgiveness is something so many of us struggle with throughout our lives, and with this quote, Jodi Picoult captures the essence behind finding forgiveness. The reason it’s so important is that it has nothing to do with the person we forgive and everything to do with letting go of their weight in our hearts.
There are many amazing quotes from famous authors that we could pull from. These were just a few of our favorites. What’s one of yours?