Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON BEAUTY


Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

Women play with their beauty as children do with their knives. They wound themselves with it.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

As everybody knows, fine feathers make fine birds; a peasant girl but very moderately prepossessing to the casual observer in her simple condition and attire will bloom as an amazing beauty if clothed as a woman of fashion with the aids that Art can render; while the beauty of the midnight crush would often cut but a sorry figure if placed inside the field-woman's wrapper upon a monotonous acreage of turnips on a dull day.

THOMAS HARDY, Tess of the d'Urbervilles

There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple:
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with 't.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, The Tempest

Everything crass and rude and demeaning and dark falls dead like flies in beauty's wake.

JANE HAMILTON, A Map of the World

Beauty requires contrast.

JOHN GARDNER, Grendel

A woman's beauty does not belong to her alone. It is part of the bounty she brings into the world. She has a duty to share it.

J. M. COETZEE, Disgrace

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