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50 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.

Uplifting Victor Hugo quotes

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

victor hugo quotes about what we become

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

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

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

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

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

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

victor hugo quotes about still i rise

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

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

Victor Hugo quotes about life and freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

victor hugo quotes about ideas

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

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

Those who live are those who fight. – Victor Hugo

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

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

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

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

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

What a grand thing to be loved! – Victor Hugo

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

victor hugo quotes about commitment

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

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

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

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

victor hugo quotes about life and being human

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

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

Inspiration and genius–one and the same. – Victor Hugo

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

Victor Hugo quotes about life

Life is a voyage – Victor Hugo

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

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

victor hugo quotes about kindness

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

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

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

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

Victor Hugo quotes about love

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

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

To divinise is human. To humanise is divine. – Victor Hugo

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

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

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

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

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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    Judy Strauss

    May 3, 2019 at 2:31 AM

    My fav:
    Gluttony punishes the glutton!

  3. Avatar

    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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