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50 The Handmaid’s Tale Quotes About Womanhood, Suffering, and More

Published on January 3, 2020 7:15 AM EST
50 The Handmaid’s Tale Quotes About Womanhood, Suffering, and More

Are you a fan of Hulu’s original series The Handmaid’s Tale? We’ve compiled a selection of The Handmaid’s Tale quotes on womanhood, love, suffering, and more. 

What makes The Handmaid’s Tale binge-worthy television?

Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian drama that stars Elizabeth Moss as June Osborne or “Offred.”

50 The Handmaid’s Tale Quotes About Womanhood, Suffering, and More

Since its premiere in 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale has received critical and commercial acclaim, including 14 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes. The show also broke ground for streaming content as the first TV show released by a streaming service to win an Emmy for an Outstanding Series. 

Although The Handmaid’s Tale is based on a novel from the 1980s, the tales told within the drama series are relatable to the struggles of modern-day. 

Below are quotes that we have curated from the award-winning series. 

We also have a selection of funny Fleabag quotes as well as these tear-jerking This Is Us quotes. Be sure to also check them out.

The Handmaid’s Tale quotes about suffering

1. “You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

2. “You can’t change anything about this. It’s going to end the same no matter what you do so there’s no point trying to be tough or brave. Brave isn’t any part of this. Everybody breaks.” – Nick (Max Minghella)

3. “Now I’m awake to the world. I was asleep before.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

4. “Please, God, I don’t want pain. I don’t want to be a doll, hung on the wall. I want to keep on living. I’ll do anything. Resign my body freely to the uses of others. I’ll sacrifice. I’ll repent. I’ll abdicate. I’ll renounce.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

5. “I don’t need oranges. I need to scream. I need to grab the nearest machine gun.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

6. “The most painful thing is not the betrayal of trust, June. Do you know what’s most painful? The most painful thing in this entire ugly incident is the ingratitude.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

 7. “I stretch out my arms to him, but he slips away. Like a ghost at daybreak. And I am left here.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

8. “I’m sorry there is so much pain in this story. I’m sorry it’s in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire, pulled apart by force, but there is nothing I can do to change it. I’ve tried to put some of the good things in as well.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

9. “Who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow. Not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

10. “Only in suffering will we find grace.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

11. “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

12. “Is this it? Is this enough for you, this bullsh*t life? Is this what you want? – June (Elisabeth Moss)

13. “You will never be free of me. You will never be free of me until both of my children are safe.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

14. “I would like to be without shame. I would like to be shameless. I would like to be ignorant. Then I would not know how ignorant I was.” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

15. “They all deserve to suffer. It’s an acquired taste, seeing others in pain.” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

The Handmaid’s Tale quotes about love 

16. “Every love story is a tragedy if you wait long enough.” – Fred (Joseph Fiennes) 

17. “Nobody dies from lack of sex. It’s lack of love we die from.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

18. “A rose is a rose, except here. Here it has to mean something. It’s beautiful.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

19. “Love isn’t real. It was never anything more than lust with a good marketing campaign.” – Fred (Joseph Fiennes) 

20. “It’s okay to take a sliver of someone and hold on to that. Especially if it’s all you have.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

The Handmaid’s Tale quotes about society

21. “The world can be quite an ugly place. But we cannot wish that ugliness away. We cannot hide from that ugliness.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

22. “Better never means better for everyone. It always means worse for some.” – Fred (Joseph Fiennes) 

23. “Even the righteous need a little show business.” – Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) 

24. “I know this must feel so strange, but ordinary is just what you’re used to. This may not be ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. This will become ordinary.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

25. “They should never have given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

26. “It’s hard making it in a society that only cares about profit and pleasure. No wonder God has turned His back on us. No wonder there are no children. He doesn’t want them to grow up in this screwed-up world.” – Commander Pryce (Robert Curtis Brown)

27. “There’s always a black market, there’s always something that can be exchanged.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

28. “You helped to create this world. How long did you think it would be before it came for you?” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

29. “The correct image can sway opinion.” – Fred (Joseph Fiennes)

30. “Popularity is not a contest, it’s a responsibility.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

31. “One can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

32. “You have to let the rabble-rousers blow off a little steam or they’ll smash everything to bits.” – Joseph (Bradley Whitford)

Remember to also read these quotes from Stranger Things television series.

Funny The Handmaid’s Tale quotes

33. “Blessed be the fruit loops.” – Erin (Erin Way) 

34. “I look like a pirate … a space pirate.” – Janine (Madeline Brewer)

35. “This used to be an ice cream place. They had the most amazing salted caramel.” – Emily (Alexis Bledel)

36. “May the Lord keep you in his mercy, you stupid girl.” – Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd)

37. “Oh, tequila. I miss you most of all.” – Janine (Madeline Brewer)

38. “I’m wondering why such an important, brilliant man would take in such a shitty handmaid.” – Emily (Alexis Bledel)

39. “Wouldn’t it be funny if you actually turned out to be a hero?” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

The Handmaid’s Tale quotes about womanhood

40. “Someone once said that ‘Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.’” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

41. “Never mistake a woman’s meekness for weakness.” – Mrs. Castillo (Zabryna Guevara)

42. “I will not be that girl in the box.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

43. “Sterile. That’s a forbidden word. There is no such thing as a sterile man anymore. There’s only women who are fruitful and women who are barren.” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

44. “Wear the dress. Pull the strings.” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

45. “Women like you are like children. Asking for too much, taking whatever you want. Damn the consequences.” – Joseph (Bradley Whitford)

46. “The mouth of a woman is a deep pit. He that falls therein will suffer. You are the misery of all man. All of you.” – Fred (Joseph Fiennes) 

47. “No mother is ever, completely, a child’s idea of what a mother should be.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

48. “I shouldn’t have expected you to understand. You have no idea what it is like to have a child of your own flesh and blood. And you never will.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

Inspirational Handmaid’s tale quotes

49. “Whether this is my end or a new beginning, I have no way of knowing. I have given myself over into the hands of strangers. I have no choice. It can’t be helped. And so I step up, into the darkness within or else the light.” – June (Elisabeth Moss)

50. “You don’t know what you’re capable of until you have to do it.” – June (Elisabeth Moss) 

What’s your favorite character from The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian society, but some parallels can be made between the series and modern-day gender issues. The series is quite terrifying, but that terror often lies in the possibility of its existence. 

Within The Handmaid’s Tale, there are glimmers of hope that are shown in the series’ main characters, especially June (Elisabeth Moss). June is constantly dealing with a horrific situation. But, she often sees the light amongst all the darkness as motivation to keep fighting. 

We hope that The Handmaid’s Tale quotes and lines featured above give you a nugget of knowledge to learn from and inspiration for the rest of your day.

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