Top 220 Despair Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Despair Quotes from famous people such as Matthew Arnold, Ayelet Waldman, John Ortberg, Orson Bean, Richard Flanagan, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.

Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.
Matthew Arnold
Most writers spend their lives standing a little apart from the crowd, watching and listening and hoping to catch that tiny hint of despair, that sliver of malice, that makes them think, ‘Aha, here is the story.’
Ayelet Waldman
Sin is, somehow, at the root of all human misery. Sin is what keeps us from God and from life. It is in the face of every battered woman, the cry of every neglected child, the despair of every addict, the death of every victim of every war.
John Ortberg
What I learned at home was despair and hopelessness. What I learned at the pictures was don’t give up the ship, we have only begun to fight, it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Orson Bean
If you choose to take your compass from power, in the end you find only despair. But if you look around the world you can see and touch – the everyday world that is too easily dismissed as everyday – you see largeness, generosity, hope, change for the better. It’s always small, but it’s real.
Richard Flanagan
The problems of a period are the existential crises of what can be but hasn’t yet been resolved; and regardless of how seriously we take that word ‘resolved,’ if there were not some new possibility, there would be no crisis – there would be only despair.
Rollo May
From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
Cesar Chavez
Poverty destroys Americans every day by means of confrontations with the law, disease, pollution, violence and despair.
Thomas Chatterton Williams
There are many different rivers that lead into despair: there’s poverty; there’s political repression; there’s gender apartheid – there’s a sense of culture loss; there’s religious fanaticism.
Lawrence Wright
For many people, Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of year. But the festive period can also bring its own unique stresses and strains. But don’t despair: there are solutions to many – if not all – of these issues.
Ellie Taylor
I’ve found a different way to scent the air: already it’s a by-word for despair.
Andrew Motion
Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.
Edmund Burke
My generation, faced as it grew with a choice between religious belief and existential despair, chose marijuana. Now we are in our Cabernet stage.
Peggy Noonan
We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.
Albert Einstein
I am the despair of my accountant; I am the plastic bags of receipts.
Val McDermid
It’s so much easier to count our disadvantages than tot up the mitigating circumstances that generally outweigh the despair.
Mariella Frostrup
I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
In 1983, most Nicaraguans had still not fallen to the depths of deprivation and despair which they would reach in later years, but many were already unhappy and restive.
Stephen Kinzer
I would never write stories with only despair and defeat and the dark side of life.
Morris Gleitzman
Despair has its own calms.
Bram Stoker
I make it my business to see or do something cultural in every place I go to. If you don’t, you’ll get into a state of constant despair.
Jack Reynor
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one’s rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Georges Bataille
Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.
Leonard Cohen
‘Sin Nombre’ was almost like the adolescent version of ‘Jane Eyre.’ ‘Jane Eyre’ sort of picks up where ‘Sin Nombre’ ends. It’s about this girl who starts off on her own at her lowest point of despair, and she figures out how she got there.
Cary Fukunaga
If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Samuel Johnson
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
I have seen (as far as it can be seen) many persons changed in a moment from the spirit of horror, fear, and despair to the spirit of hope, joy, peace; and from sinful desires, till then reigning over them, to a pure desire of doing the will of God.
John Wesley
Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom.
Anatole France
Despair is the conclusion of fools.
Benjamin Disraeli
Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.
Blaise Pascal
The whole government publicity situation has everybody in the news business almost in despair, with half a dozen agencies following different lines.
Elmer Davis
There is no despair so absolute as that which comes wit

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.
George Eliot
If I were a girl, I’d despair. The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.
Robert Graves
Unprecedented financial pressures, and an ever-increasingly aggressive public culture, along with social, moral and spiritual fragmentation, are leading to lives being overwhelmed by stress, intolerable interior isolation and even quiet despair.
Sean Brady
When I’m sitting at the desk not being able to write line one, it’s silence and despair! It’s not so easy to put the pen to the legal pad or type the first sentence on the computer screen.
Erica Jong
Boast is always a cry of despair, except in the young it is a cry of hope.
Bernard Berenson
I didn’t want ‘BSG’ to have to rewrite Anders as a sniveling, whining ball of despair who’s hiding out in the corner.
Michael Trucco
Music is entertainment, and we need that in order not to fall into the pit of despair.
Varg Vikernes
When I arrived in Laos and found young Americans living there, out of free choice, I was surprised. After only a week, I began to have a sense of the appeal of the country and its people – along with despair about its future.
Noam Chomsky
Her pupils were at once her salvation and her despair. They gave her the means of supporting life, but they made life hardly worth supporting.
P. G. Wodehouse
Cheever constantly voiced doubts about his writing. Reading ‘The Naked and the Dead’ made him despair of his own ‘confined talents.’
Geoff Dyer
It’s curious how we act in moments of personal despair.
Lawrence Welk
The upside of a downward spiral into despair and defeat in young adulthood is that pretty early on, I was forced to face not only the foolish things I had done but also the stark realization that there was likely no end to what I was capable of doing.
Beth Moore
Despair gives courage to a coward.
Thomas Fuller
Oh rage! Oh despair! Oh age, my enemy!
Pierre Corneille
The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.
Henri Nouwen
For every moment of triumph, there is an unequal and opposite feeling of despair. Take that iconic photograph of Muhammad Ali standing triumphantly over the prostrate, semiconscious wreckage of Sonny Liston. Great photo. Now think of Liston. Do the pleasure/pain calculus.
Charles Krauthammer
I have been in Congress for more than a half century. I have lived through times of fear and times of hope. Of despair and of achievement. I have seen our government at its best, but today I fear that we see our government at its worst.
Robert Byrd
There is no love of life without despair of life.
Albert Camus
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.
Cesar Chavez
I was a late developer. For years, I was searching. I was a lost soul something your parents despair of and your peers deride. It isn’t at all happy trying to find the right career.
Roddy Llewellyn
Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.
John Donne
I think that historical processes have meaning and that we have to accept this – or else face utter despair.
Rene Girard
I routinely oscillate between exultation and despair. Maybe at the end of the day I feel pretty good about what I’ve written, but the next morning I see that it’s crap. Then I start again – make a new outline, do some more research, try to rethink the whole question.
Barbara Ehrenreich
I have nothing against people having work done, it is when I hear tale of girls of 16 queuing up to get bigger breasts, that is when I despair.
Amanda Burton
Waste brings woe, and sorrow hates despair.
Robert Greene
As for despair, it comes about when I have been a fool and hate myself and despair of my personality. I am prone to gloom, but not depression as such.
Alain de Botton
Terrorism is a real despair. These are people for whom life has been so negative that they’re willing to die if they can take down some of their enemies.
John Shelby Spong
It’s easy to lose sight of God when life is sweet and easy, but there is something awesome about despair, and it is the closeness of God when we are at our weakest.
Kristin Armstrong
It has never been, and never will be easy work! But the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Many people on our planet right now despair; they think we’ve reached a point where we’ve discovered most of the things. I’m going tell you right now: Please don’t despair.
Nathan Wolfe