25 Shawshank Redemption Quotes to Give You Hope in the Darkest Times

Without giving away spoilers, these Shawshank Redemption quotes will make you stop, think, and realize that even when you’ve hit rock bottom, hope, faith, and good friends can keep you alive.

Shawshank Redemption is a classic movie starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, based on a novella by Stephen King.

The story focuses on a man — Andy Dufrense (Robbins) — who gets sentenced to prison after being accused of murdering his wife and her lover.

While in jail, he experiences many hardships but also finds solace when befriending “Red” (Freeman) who helps him overcome the difficulties, lies, and betrayal he faces while in prison.

Shawshank Redemption explores many sociological concepts and the lessons of the movie can be interpreted in many different ways.

If you haven’t yet seen it — or, even if you have — these Shawshank Redemption quotes will give you hope even if it seems like there’s no way out. 

For even more inspiration, don’t forget to also check out these inspiring hope for the future quotes.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.

Shawshank Redemption Quotes on Hope

1. “I Have To Remind Myself That Some Birds Aren’t Meant To Be Caged.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

2. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

3. “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

4. “There are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.”  ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

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5. “Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

6. “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” — Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption

7. “I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company…[He points and taps his head] It was in here. [And he gestures over his heart] And in here. That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you. Haven’t you ever felt that way about music?” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption Quotes on Freedom

8. “That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

9. “It goes back to what I said about Andy wearing his freedom like an invisibility coat, about how he never really developed a prison mentality. His eyes never got that dull look.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

10. “We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

11. “I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t wanna know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you those voices soared, higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

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12. “Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

13. “Lord, it’s a miracle! A man up and vanished like a fart in the wind.” ― Warden Samuel Norton, Shawshank Redemption

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Shawshank Redemption Quotes on Confinement

14. “They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

15. “First you hate them. Then you get used to them. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

16. “The funny thing is, on the outside I was an honest man. Straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

17. “I’m Telling You, These Walls Are Funny.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

18. “I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

19. “In prison a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied.” ― Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

20. “Prison life consists of routine, and then more routine.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

21. “Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me.” ― Warden Samuel Norton, Shawshank Redemption

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22. “You eat when we say you eat. You shit when we say you shit and you piss when we say you piss. You got that, you maggot dick motherfucker?” ― Captain Byron Hadley, Shawshank Redemption

23. “This is Mr. Hadley, captain of the guards. I’m Mr. Norton, the warden. You are convicted felons. That’s why they sent you to me. Rule Number One- no blasphemy. I’ll not have the Lord’s name taken in vain in my prison. The other rules you’ll figure as you go along. Any questions?” ― Warden Samuel Norton, Shawshank Redemption

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Shawshank Redemption Quotes on Death

24. “Get busy living or get busy dying. That’s god damn right.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

25. “I like to think the last thing that went through his head other than that bullet, was how the hell that Andy Dufrense got the best of him.” ― Ellis Boy “Red” Redding, Shawshank Redemption

What did you learn from these Shawshank Redemption quotes?

Shawshank Redemption is considered one of the highest-rated films of all time.

The movie, and the story it’s based on, presents topics for many sociology lessons and perhaps even deep discussions with friends.

Although the film may be hard to watch, almost anyone can take a valuable lesson or two from the characters and their experiences while in prison.

The movie explores many issues that are no doubt still relevant today.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Shawshank Redemption quotes and lines?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. andy

    March 16, 2022 at 6:12 PM

    #5 is wrong… was said by Red… not Andy

  2. Shervin Bahmanpour

    May 9, 2020 at 1:49 AM

    This movie gave me a new perspective on how I view life. I don’t want to say anything cliche, but it gave me the one thing that I’ve been looking for for quite a while now. And that’s hope. It gave me hope, watching these fictional characters break free from their holdings, watching a caged bird be set into the wild, free to live its life. As old Stephen King always said, fear keeps a man prisoner, and hope sets him free, and I’ve been wanting for a taste of this hope for a while now.

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