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Victor Hugo Quotes on Love, Life and Music

Looking for inspirational Victor Hugo quotes?

Well first, who is Victor Hugo?

Victor Hugo, the celebrated French author, best known for Les Misérables, was born Victor-Marie Hugo in Besançon, France, on February 26, 1802, to mother Sophie Trébuche and father Joseph-Léopold-Sigisbert Hugo.

Hugo studied law from 1915 to 1818, but after being encouraged to do so by his mother, he decided to embark on a literary career.

He created a journal in which he published his work and the work of his friends, which he named the Conservateur Litteraire.

His first book of poetry, Odes etpoésiesdiverses, was published in 1821, the same year his mother died and he married AdèleFoucher.

He published his first novel in 1823 and published a number of plays after.

One of his most well-known works, Notre-Dame de Paris(The Hunchback of Notre Dame), was published in 1831.

By the 1840s, he was considered one of the most celebrated literary figures in France, but in 1841, he was elected to the French Academy.

He was nominated for the Chamber of Peers, which, along with the accidental drowning of his daughter and her husband, made him take a step back from writing.

However, behind closed doors, he began working on what would go on to become possibly his most famous work: Les Misérables, which he finally published in 1862 to immediate success, making it one of the best-known works of literature from the 19th century.

His later works were darker, with a focus on themes like God, Satan, and death.

On his 80th birthday in 1882  the street he lived on was renamed Avenue Victor Hugo.

In 1883, his mistress Juliette died.

Hugo himself died in Paris on May 22, 1885.

Victor Hugo is inspirational because he didn’t let personal tragedies – like the deaths of his mother, his daughter, and his daughter’s husband – stop him from continuing his career and realizing his dream.

Here are the Victor Hugo Quotes for any occasion and topic.

Also, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily wisdom. 

See the rest of our quote database for even more inspirational ideas and thoughts.

Uplifting Victor Hugo quotes

1. “Those who live are those who fight.” – Victor Hugo

2. “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

3. “Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” – Victor Hugo

4. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” – Victor Hugo

5. “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” – Victor Hugo

6. “Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.” – Victor Hugo

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7. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo

8. “There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering–a hell of boredom.” – Victor Hugo

9. “To love another person is to see the face of God.” – Victor Hugo

10. “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo quotes about life and freedom

11. “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” – Victor Hugo

12. “A study can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.” – Victor Hugo

13. “Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job.” – Victor Hugo

14. “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” – Victor Hugo

15. “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo

16. “Christianity leads poetry to the truth. Like it, the modern muse will see things in a higher and broader light. It will realize that everything in creation is not humanly beautiful, that the ugly exists beside the beautiful, the unshapely beside the graceful, the grotesque on the reverse of the sublime, evil with good, darkness with light.” – Victor Hugo

17. “A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas.” – Victor Hugo

18. “If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progress is, call it Tomorrow.” – Victor Hugo

19. “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” – Victor Hugo

20. “What Is Love? I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed through his shoes and the stars through his soul.” – Victor Hugo

21. “To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.” – Victor Hugo

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22. “The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.” – Victor Hugo

23. “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

24. “Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats.” – Victor Hugo

25. “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.” – Victor Hugo

26. “When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door.” – Victor Hugo

27. “What a grand thing to be loved!” – Victor Hugo

28. “The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.” – Victor Hugo

29. “The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.” – Victor Hugo

30. “People do not lack strength; they lack will.” – Victor Hugo

31. “There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.” – Victor Hugo

32. “It is by suffering that human beings become angels.” – Victor Hugo

33. “The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories that it has come to be disbelieved. Few people daresay nowadays that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet that is the way love begins, and only that way.” – Victor Hugo

34. “Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.” – Victor Hugo

35. “Inspiration and genius–one and the same.” – Victor Hugo

36. “Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.” – Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo quotes about life

37. “Life is a voyage.” – Victor Hugo

38. “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo

39. “The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.” – Victor Hugo

40. “The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real. It is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we love.” – Victor Hugo

41. “When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn of happy old age.” – Victor Hugo

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42. “Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” – Victor Hugo

43. “It is from book that wise people derives consolation in the troubles of life.” – Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo quotes about love

44. “You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love, is to live by it.” – Victor Hugo

45. “Not being heard is no reason for silence.” – Victor Hugo

46. “To divinise is human. To humanise is divine.” – Victor Hugo

47. “The reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God, this is love.” – Victor Hugo

48. “Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.” – Victor Hugo

49. “The first symptom of love in a young man is timidity; in a girl boldness.” – Victor Hugo

50. “Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” – Victor Hugo

51. “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.” – Victor Hugo

52. “Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.” – Victor Hugo

53. “If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.” – Victor Hugo

More Victor Hugo quotes and sayings

54. “Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” – Victor Hugo

55. “What I feel for you seems less of earth and more of a cloudless heaven.” – Victor Hugo

56. “The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable.” – Victor Hugo

57. “To love and be loved, that is the miracle of youth.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

58. “That’s life,” said the philosopher each time he was almost laid prostrate. “It’s often our best friends who make us fall.” – Victor Hugo

59. “To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further.” – Victor Hugo

60. “At the end of life death is a departure; but at life’s beginning a departure is death.” – Victor Hugo

Which Victor Hugo quotes were your favorite? What other quotes by Victor Hugo would you add to the list?

Tell us in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. Stephen Smith

    May 6, 2019 at 1:01 PM

    Friends are like old coats: they seem to fit us well, they keep us warm, and because we have known them and worn them so often, we are comfortable.— >>I’m sorry I can’t remember the exact quote…!

  2. Judy Strauss

    May 3, 2019 at 2:31 AM

    My fav:
    Gluttony punishes the glutton!

  3. Kathleen Ayers

    February 4, 2019 at 10:56 PM

    I love the comments above. I would like to add this one.

    “Make no small plans, for they have no power to stir the souls of men.”

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