Fear Quotes


  • Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
    o Book of Job, 41:33

  • Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    o Psalms, 23:4

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
    o Psalms, 27:1

  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
    o Psalms, 46:1-2

  • As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
    o Psalms, 103:11

  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    o Psalms, 111:10

  • Be not afraid of sudden fear.
    o Book of Proverbs, 3:25

  • Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
    o Ecclesiastes, 12:13

  • Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.
    o Translation: Whatever it is, I fear Greeks even when they bring gifts.
    o Virgil, The Aeneid, Bk. II, l. 49

  • Oderint dum metuant.
    o Translation: Let them hate, so long as they fear.
    o Lucius Accius, fragment

  • The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself.
    o Publilius Syrus, Maxims, No. 511 (100 BC)

  • For as children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true.
    o Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), Bk. II, l. 87

  • There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.
    o First Epistle of John, 4:18

  • From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
    o Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Ch. 8 (1513)

  • C’est de quoi j’ai le plus de peur que la peur.
    o Translation: The thing I fear most is fear.
    o Michel de Montaigne, Essais, Bk. I, ch. 18 (1580)

  • Extreme fear can neither fight nor fly.
    o William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece, l. 230 (1594)

  • True nobility is exempt from fear.
    o William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Act IV, sc. i (1594)

  • Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
    The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
    o William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Act V, sc. vi (1595)

  • O God of battles! steel my soldiers’ hearts;
    Possess them not with fear; take from them now
    The sense of reckoning, if the opposèd numbers
    Pluck their hearts from them.
    o William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, sc. i (1600)

  • Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
    When little fears grow great, great love grows there.
    o William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, sc. ii (1600-1601)

  • The weariest and most loathed worldly life
    That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
    Can lay on nature is a paradise
    To what we fear of death.
    o William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act III, sc. i

  • Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things underground, and much more in the skies.
    o Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha, Pt. III, Bk. 6 (1605-1615)

  • Now he’ll outstare the lightning. To be furious
    Is to be frightened out of fear.
    o William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. xi (1606-1607)

  • To fear the worst oft cures the worse.
    o William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act III, sc. ii (1609)

  • The fear of some divine and supreme powers keeps men in obedience.
    o Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Pt. III, sec. 4, member 1, subsec. 2 (1621-1651)

  • Nothing is terrible except fear itself.
    o Francis Bacon, De Augmentis Scientiarum, Bk. II, Fortitudo (1623)

  • Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
    o Francis Bacon, Apothegms, Of Death (1624)

  • Who is all-powerful should fear everything.
    o Pierre Cornielle, Cinna, Act IV, sc. ii (1640)

  • L’amour de la justice n’est en la plupart des hommes que la crainte de souffrir l’injustice.
    o Translation: The love of justice is simply in the majority of men the fear of suffering injustice.
    o François de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims, Maxim 78 (1665–1678)

  • Notre repentir n’est pas tant un regret du mal que nous avons fait, qu’une crainte de celui qui nous en peut arriver.
    o Translation: Our repentance is not so much sorrow for the ill we have done as a fear of the ill that may befall us.
    o François de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims, Maxim 180 (1665–1678)

  • Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
    To be we know not what, we know not where.
    o John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe, Act IV, sc. i (1676)

  • Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.
    o Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, Pt. III, definition 13: explanation (1677)

  • The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak.
    o Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Politique Tirée de l’Écriture Sainte (Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture) (1679 – published 1709)

  • For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
    o Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Pt. III, l. 66 (1711)

  • When I can read my title clear
    To mansions in the skies,
    I’ll bid farewell to every fear,
    And wipe my weeping eyes.
    o Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Bk. II, hymn 65

  • No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
    o Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756)

  • The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
    o Edmund Burke, Second Speech on Conciliation with America. The Thirteen Resolutions (March 22, 1775)

  • Fear is the foundation of most governments.
    o John Adams, Thoughts on Government (1776)

  • Like one that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part VI, st. 10 (1798)
  • Fair seedtime had my soul, and I grew up
    Fostered alike by beauty and by fear.
    o William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Bk. I, l. 301 (written 1799-1805)

  • The surest way to prevent war is not to fear it.
    o John Randolph, Speech in the House of Representatives (March 5, 1806)

  • The only thing I am afraid of is fear.
    o Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, From Philip Henry, Earl of Stanhope, Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington, published 1888 (November 3, 1831)

  • They are slaves who fear to speak
    For the fallen and the weak.
    o James Russell Lowell, Stanzas on Freedom, st. 4 (1843)

  • Alike were they free from
    Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
    o Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Pt. I, sec. 1 (1847)

  • Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.
    o Henry David Thoreau, Journal (September 7, 1851)

  • One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 74 (1878)

  • The broad effects which can be obtained by punishment in man and beast are the increase of fear, the sharpening of the sense of cunning, the mastery of the desires; so it is that punishment tames man, but does not make him “better.”
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, Second Essay, Section 15 (1887)

  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.
    o Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson, ch. 12 (1894)

  • Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.
    o Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Aphorisms (1905)

  • The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
    o H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural horror in Literature (1927)

  • Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
    The soul that knows it not, know no release
    From little things;
    Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
    Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
    The sound of wings.
    o Amelia Earhart, Courage (1927)

  • To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
    o Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals Ch. 16 (1929)

  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    o Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1933)

  • We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want…everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear…anywhere in the world.
    o Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress (January 6, 1941)

  • I am a member of a party of one, and I live in an age of fear. Nothing lately has unsettled my party and raised my fears so much as your editorial, on Thanksgiving Day, suggesting that employees should be required to state their beliefs in order to hold their jobs. The idea is inconsistent with our constitutional theory and has been stubbornly opposed by watchful men since the early days of the Republic.
    o E. B. White, Letter to the New York Herald Tribune (November 29, 1947)

  • Fear was my father, Father Fear.
    His look drained the stones.
    o Theodore Roethke, The Lost Son, I (1948)

  • Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
    o Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1950)

  • There is a mental fear, which provokes others of us to see the images of witches in a neighbor’s yard and stampedes us to burn down this house. And there is a creeping fear of doubt, doubt of what we have been taught, of the validity of so many things we had long since taken for granted to be durable and unchanging. It has become more difficult than ever to distinguish black from white, good from evil, right from wrong.
    o Edward R. Murrow, This I Believe (1951)

  • It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
    o Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954)

  • We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we…remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment unpopular.
    o Edward R. Murrow, See It Now, Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (March 7, 1954)

  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    o Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living (1960)

  • Let us never fear to negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.
    o John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address (January 20, 1961)

  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
    o Frank Herbert, Dune – Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear (1965)

  • Fear is an emotion that makes us blind. How many things are we afraid of? We’re afraid to turn off the lights when our hands are wet. We’re afraid to stick a knife into the toaster to get the stuck English muffin without unpluggin it first. We’re afraid of what the doctor may tell us when the physical exam is over; when the airplane suddenly takes a great unearthly lurch in midair. We’re afraid that the oil may run out, that the good air will run out, the good water, the good life. When the daughter promised to be in by eleven and it’s now quarter past twelve and sleet is spatting against the window like dry sand, we sit and pretend to watch Johnny Carson and look occasionally at the mute telephone and we feel the emotion that makes us blind, the emotion that makes a stealthy ruin of the thinking process.
    o Stephen King, Night Shift, foreward (1978)

  • Fear makes us blind, and we touch each fear with all the avid curiousity of self-interest, trying to make a whole out of a hundred parts, like the blind men with their elephant. We sense the shape. Children grasp it easily, forget it, and relearn it as adults. The shape is there, and most of us come to realize what it is sooner or later: it is the shape of a body under a sheet. All our fears add up to one great fear, all our fears are part of that great fear – an arm, a leg, a finger, an ear. We’re afraid of the body under the sheet. It’s our body. And the great appeal of horror fiction through the ages is that it serves as a rehearsal for our own deaths.
    o Stephen King, Night Shift, foreward

  • Quite an experience, to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.
    o replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982)

  • The only thing you fear is fearlessness.
    The bigger the weapon, the greater the fear.
    o R.E.M., Hyena (1986)

  • Is it that they fear the pain of death, or could it be they fear the joy of life?
    o Toad The Wet Sprocket, Pray Your Gods (1991)

  • To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves…We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here–with its gift of energy and heightened awareness–so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation.
    o Peter McWilliams, Life 101 (1995)

  • Fear. Fear attracts the fearful. The strong. The weak. The innocent. The corrupt. Fear. Fear is my ally.
    o Darth Maul, promotional clip for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

  • Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
    o Yoda in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

  • Let fear propel you forward. Do not let failure stifle you.
    o Iron-Tail Fratley (World Map Key Item), from Final Fantasy IX (2000)

  • I don’t know about angels, but it’s fear that gives men wings.
    o Max Payne, from Max Payne PC game (2001)

  • I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild- mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.
    Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you’ve defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you. The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you
    o Yann Martel, “Life of Pi”, (161-2)

  • Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully.
    o Frances Moore Lappé, O Magazine, (May 2004)

  • I’ve grown certain that the root of all fear is that we’ve been forced to deny who we are.
    o Frances Moore Lappé, O Magazine, (May 2004)

  • Far too many people have been swept into the post-9/11 system of fear that is the basis of all public policy these days.
    o Bob Barr, ACLU boardmember and former Congressman from Georgia; quoted in “Feds may soon check all workers’ IDs”, USA Today, 2 March 2006

  • Take the so-called politics of fear — the constant reference to risks, from hoodies on the street corner to international terrorism. Whatever the truth of these risks and the best ways of dealing with them, the politics of fear plays on an assumption that people cannot bear the uncertainties associated with them. Politics then becomes a question of who can better deliver an illusion of control.
    o Ex-vicar Mark Vernon; quoted in “God. Who knows?”, BBC News, 4 December 2006. URL accessed on 2006-12-10.


  • A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.
    o Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

  • A wise man does not fear, a man afraid does not think.
  • All fear the voice of death calling to them.
  • All who love life, fear the reaper.
  • Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.
    o Gary Larson – The Far Side

  • Brave are they who know everything yet fear nothing.
  • Fear ensures loyalty!
    o Commissar, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

  • Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.
    o Michael Pritchard

  • Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt.
    o George Sewell

  • Fear me, but follow!
  • Foolish are those who fear nothing, yet claim to know everything.
  • I do not fear death. Death fears ME!
    o Shas’o Sa’cea Dre’koran Ta’ar, replying to the Space Marine ultimatum on Nimbosa.

  • I fear no evil, for I am fear incarnate!
    o Force Commander, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War

  • I no longer fear God, I love him; for love casts out fear.
    o St. Anthony the Great

  • Let the fear of danger be a spur to prevent it; he that fears not, gives advantage to the danger.
    o Francis Quarles

  • Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
    o Anonymous

  • None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
    o Ferdinand Foch

  • Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
    o Dorothy Thompson

  • Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    o Marianne Williamson

  • Some people are afraid of heights. I’m afraid of widths.
    o Steven Wright

  • Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.
    o Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • The most drastic and usually the most effective remedy for fear is direct action.
    o William Burnham

  • The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
    o Aung San Suu Kyi

  • There is nothing to fear; if aggression is the result of fear, then fear is the fear of aggression. So if you are afraid of an aggressor, you are afraid of a thing which is afraid of you, a person ruled by his fear. And why should you be afraid of someone who is behaving like a small child in the darkness?
    o Project Pitchfork

  • There is nothing to fear but failure.
  • Though I walk in the Valley of The Shadow of The Daemon, I shall know no fear, For I am what the Daemon fears.
    o Grand master Mandulis of the Grey Knights

  • Today the enemy shall know fear.
  • Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be.
    o Lactantius

  • You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
    o Eric Hoffer

  • Fear is fuel.
  • Fear, the great universal denominator.
  • We must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings great ruin.
    o Dune

  • Fear… Fear is my ally
    o Darth Maul

  • Fear only loneliness, for when we are alone things become much scarier.”
    o Shane O’Neill

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