Tom Stoppard Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 214 quotes)
We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.
Wheels have been set in motion, and they have their own pace, to which we are...condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one - that is the meaning of order. If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles: at least, let us hope so. Because if we happened, just happened to discover, or even suspect, that our spontaneity was part of their order, we'd know that we were lost. A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and, by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; his two-fold security.
Independence isn't all it's cracked up to be, you know. What country could be more independent than Russia? And in Russia now there isn't a squeak or a pinpoint of light. I have nowhere to publish. The Contemporary has stuck its head up out of harm's way. So I've stopped quarrelling with the world. I sat in this chair the first morning I woke up in this house ... and for the first time ... for a long time, there was silence. I didn't have to talk or think or move, nothing was expected of me, I knew nobody and nobody knew where i was, everything was behind me, all the moving from place to place, the quarrels and celebrations, the desperate concerns of health and happiness, love, death, printer's errors, picnics ruined by rain, the endless tumult of life ... and I just sat quiet and alone all day, looking at the tops of trees on Primrose Hill through the mist.
GUIL: It [Hamlet's madness] really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hints of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of camels, chameleons, capons, whales, weasels, hawks, handsaws -- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations; stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public -- knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong.ROS: And talking to himself.GUIL: And talking to himself.
When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.