Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ugo Betti

Italian Playwright, Judge and Author

"There is no forgiveness in nature."

"The spontaneity of slaps is sincerity, whereas the ceremonial of caresses is largely convention."

"Killing time is the chief end of our society."

"Is not man himself the most unsettled of all the creatures of the earth? What is this trembling sensation that is intensified with each ascending step in the natural order?"

"A long association-prolonged human contact, when a man and woman live together-this ends up producing a sort of rot, a poison."

"All of us are mad. If it weren't for the fact every one of us is slightly abnormal, there wouldn't be any point in giving each person a separate name."

"Everyone has, inside himself ... what shall I call it? A piece of good news! Everyone is ... a very great, very important character."

"I think the family is the place where the most ridiculous and least respectable things in the world go on."

"If we have anything kind to say, any tender sentiment to express, we feel a sense of shame"

"'Mad' is a term we use to describe a man who is obsessed with one idea and nothing else."

"A vague uneasiness: the police. It's like when you suddenly understand you have to undress in front of the doctor."

"At a given moment, I open my eyes and exist. And before that, for all eternity, what was there? Nothing."

"The first temptation, upon meeting an old friend after many years, is always to - look the other way."

"There is always a certain peace in being what one is, in being that completely."

"There's nothing worse than taking something into your head it turns into a revolving wheel that you can't control."

"This free will business is a bit terrifying anyway. It's almost pleasanter to obey, and make the most of it."

"Thought itself needs words. It runs on them like a long wire. And if it loses the habit of words, little by little it becomes shapeless, somber."

"We know well enough when we’re being unjust and despicable. But we don't restrain ourselves because we experience a certain pleasure, a primitive sort of satisfaction in moments like that."

"When I say I, I mean a thing absolutely unique, not to be confused with any other."

"Murderers, in general, are people who are consistent, people who are obsessed with one idea and nothing else."

"Memories are like stones, time and distance erode them like acid."

"When you want to believe in something, you also have to believe in everything that's necessary for believing in it."

"Who cares about great marks left behind We have one life... Just one. Our life. We have nothing else."

"We play make believe, pretend to take ourselves and each other seriously--to love each other, hate each other--but then--it isn't true. It isn't true, we don't care at all!"