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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.”

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. 

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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) 

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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)

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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)
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of American Horror Story quotes that will terrify you.

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)

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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) 

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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) 

You might also like these Margaret Atwood quotes that prove words are powerful.

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.

Nia Simone McLeod
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