Robert Oxton Bolt

Robert Oxton
Bolt
1924
1995

English Playwright and 2-Time Oscar Winning Screenwriter.

Author Quotes

Will, I'd trust you with my life. But not your principles. You see, we speak of being anchored to our principles. But if the weather turns nasty you up with an anchor and let it down where there's less wind, and the fishing's better. And Look, we say, look, I'm anchored! To my principles!

When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

When a man takes an oath... he's holding his own self in his own hands. Like water. And if he opens his fingers then- he needn't hope to find himself again.

We speak of being anchored to our principles. But if the weather turns nasty you up with an anchor and let it down where there's less wind, and the fishing's better.

This account of him [Thomas More] developed as I wrote: what first attracted me was a person who could not be accused of any incapacity for life, who indeed seized life in great variety and almost greedy quantities, who nevertheless found something in himself without which life was valueless and when that was denied him was able to grasp his death.

Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But, if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And, if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

The law is not a "light" for you or any man to see by; the law is not an instrument of any kind. The law is a causeway upon which so long as he keeps to it a citizen may walk safely.

The man who tells lies hides the truth, but the man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it.

Morality's not practical. Morality's a gesture. A complicated gesture learnt from books.

No one

I am used to hear bad men misuse the name of God, yet God exists.

If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all... why then perhaps we must stand fast a little --even at the risk of being heroes.

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.

Death comes for us all. Even for kings he comes.

Even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh.

And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down... d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

But since we see that avarice, anger, pride and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.

A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert Oxton
Last Name
Bolt
Birth Date
1924
Death Date
1995
Bio

English Playwright and 2-Time Oscar Winning Screenwriter.