25 Zorba the Greek Quotes to Enlighten Your Thoughts

Zorba the Greek quotes are popular among folks.

These quotes are known to offer insight into the challenges of life and how to deal with them.

That’s why we created this list of the most famous Zorba the Greek quotes. 

In addition, we have also talked about the “Zorba the Greek” novel and its message.

So, let’s dive without any delay!

Some Words about Zorba the Greek?

“Zorba the Greek” is a popular novel by Nikos Kazantzakis.

It was first published in 1946 and tells the story of a young intellectual.

He is only known as “the narrator” in this novel.

The plot of the Story

The story starts with the narrator’s decision to leave city life and move to Crete.

While in Crete, he plans to start working on a lignite mine, which he inherited. 

The story unfolds gradually when the narrator meets Alexis Zorba, an eccentric and colorful man.

Zorba loves to live his life to the fullest and enjoys every bit by indulging in pleasures like drinking, food, love, and dancing.

The narrator’s interactions with Zorba allow him to embrace life, which leads to a personal transformation.

While trying to work on the lignite mine, the narrator and Zorba face many setbacks and challenges. 

On the other hand, local villagers also suspiciously monitor the narrator’s efforts to establish the lignite mine. 

The challenges Zorba and the narrator face allow them to know their lives. 

The characters are also confronted with untold realities of life and death.

In addition, the characters learn the difference between passion and reason.

In the end, the novel ends with a combination of triumph and tragedy.

Character List

Listed below are the main characters of the novel “Zorba the Greek.” 

  • Alexis Zorba
  • The Narrator
  • Madame Hortense
  • The Widow
  • Stavridaki
  • Father Zaharia
  • Uncle Anagnosti
  • Mavrandoni
  • Karayannis

What is the Message of Zorba the Greek?

The message offered by this novel is complex and multifaceted.

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However, the theme portrays the idea that one should live his/her life to the fullest. 

Through the depiction of the character of Zorba, the novel explains how essential it is to live in the present moment.

The narrator is shown as an intelligent person with an analytical approach to life.

On the other hand, Zorba gives more weight to emotions and impulses. 

One of the messages that this novel offers to the readers is about creating a balance between reason and passion.

Another message related to the idea is that life is unpredictable and uncertain. 

Hence, one should learn the art of navigating through the prevailing obstacles and challenges.

 You will also enjoy our article on Charlotte’s Web quotes.

Top 5 Zorba the Greek Quotes

Let’s begin with the top five Zorba the Greek quotes.

1. “A fault confessed is half redressed.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

2. “You can knock on a deaf man’s door forever.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

3. “I would fill my soul with flesh, my flesh with soul.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

4. “God hates a half-devil ten times more than an arch-devil!” — Nikos Kazantzakis

5. “Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all, in my view, is not to have one.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Zorba the Greek Quotes About Being Happy & Happiness

What happiness is and when you feel happy are beautifully described in Zorba the Greek quotes below.

6. “And – God forgive me – I believe I am happy.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

7. “Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

8. “When I encounter a sunrise, a painting, a woman, or an idea that makes my heart bound like a young calf, then I know I am standing in front of happiness.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

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9. “Confucius says: ‘Many seek happiness higher than man; others beneath him. But happiness is the same height as a man.’ That is true. So there must be happiness to suit every man’s stature.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

10. “While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past, and we look back on it do we suddenly realize – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we had been.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Zorba the Greek Quotes about Man

Go through Zorba the Greek quotes below to gain insight into how Nikos Kazantzakis sees humanity.

11. “Leave your books alone. Aren’t you ashamed? Man is a wild beast, and wild beasts don’t read.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

12. “God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

13. “You have everything but one thing: madness. A man needs a little madness or else – he never dares cut the rope and be free.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

14. “Everyone follows his own bent. Man is like a tree. You’ve never quarreled with a fig tree because it doesn’t bear cherries, have you?” — Nikos Kazantzakis

15. “The highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe!” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Zorba the Greek Quotes about Life & Death

The following Zorba the Greek quotes are particularly illustrative of the novel’s depiction of life and death.

16. “Leave nothing for death but a burned-out castle.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

17. “Death, like life, dies at every moment and is born again at every moment.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

18. “What a miracle life is and how alike are all souls when they send their roots down deep and meet and are one!” — Nikos Kazantzakis

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19. “All those who actually live the mysteries of life haven’t the time to write, and all those who have the time don’t live them! D’you see?” — Nikos Kazantzakis

20. “Death had entered my life with a familiar and well-loved face, like a friend come to call for you and who waits patiently in a corner until you have finished your work.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Motivational Zorba the Greek Quotes 

Insightful life advice can be gleaned from these philosophically motivational quotes from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

21. “Do you know the definition of being alive? To undo your belt and look for trouble.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

22. “The longer I live, the more I rebel. I’m not going to give in; I want to conquer the world!” — Nikos Kazantzakis

23. “I knew that over and above the truth, there exists another duty which is much more important and much more human.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

24. “You’ve got a devil inside you, as well, but you don’t know his name yet, and since you don’t know that, you can’t breathe. Baptize him, boss, and you’ll feel better!” — Nikos Kazantzakis

25. “When you’ve made up your mind, no use lagging behind; go ahead and no relenting. Let your youth have free reign; it won’t come again, so be bold and no repenting.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Which of these Zorba the Greek Quotes is your Favorite? 

Our compilation of Zorba the Greek quotes are essentially motivational.

Going through these quotes can help you strengthen your inner self.

All these quotes are listed under their respective sections. 

The quotes are worth sharing via Instagram or any other social media platform.

We hope you like our collection of Zorba the Greek quotes.

If yes, share your favorite quote with us via the comments section.

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