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The active hatreds rend and snarl at one another; at the bottom, the sullen hatreds lie gurgling, unable even to express themselves for the rage that chokes them. ~ Dorothy L. Sayers
It is not enough for people to be angry—the supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anger is a common emotional response to real or imagined threats or harm to oneself or others, characterized by a desire, whether internalized or expressed, to engage in aggressive retaliation.

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  • Men often make up in wrath what they want in reason.
    • William R. Alger, reported in Maturin Murray Ballou, Treasury of thought: Forming an encyclopedia of quotations from Ancient and Modern Authors (1884), p.  23.
  • Anyone can become angry, that is easy...but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way...this is not easy.


  • Iratus semper plus putat posse facere quam possit.
    • The angry man always thinks he can do more than he can.
    • Albertano of Brescia, Liber consolationis et consilii (1246)
  • Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
    • Francis Bacon, Apophthegms (1679); first published in the Remains, No, IV (stated to have been made by Queen Elizabeth to a Sir Edward, last name not reported).
  • Dangers by being despised grow great.
    • Edmund Burke, speech on the Petition of the Unitarians, 1792.
  • Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
  • Great, strong, spiritual love — which is always at the same time a genuine, unsentimental love of man — cannot be without wrath. … Anger can no more be separated from love than flame and heat can from fire. Love and anger are a single fire of the Spirit.
    • Constantin Brunner, Our Christ : The Revolt of the Mystical Genius (1921), as translated by Graham Harrison and Michael Wex, edited by A. M. Rappaport, p. 169.
  • By doing this you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.


  • Is it possible to understand what God's love means for the oppressed without making wrath an essential ingredient of that love? What could love possibly mean in a racist society except the righteous condemnation of everything racist? ... A God minus wrath seems to be a God who is basically not against anything.
    • James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), p. 73
  • When anger rises, think of the consequences.
    • Confucius, as quoted in Yu-p'u Wang The Sacred Edict: Containing Sixteen Maxims of the Emperor Kang-He (1817), p. 298.
  • Heav'n has no rage, like love to hatred turn'd.
    Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd.


  • Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
  • Her wrath is a devastating flood which no one can withstand.
    A great watercourse, she abases those whom she despises.
    The mistress, a hurin bird who lets no one escape.
    Inana, a falcon preying on the gods.



  • I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.
    • Mahatma Gandhi. Young India (September 15, 1920), reprinted in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 21 (electronic edition), p. 252.


  • Ira furor brevis est: animum rege: qui nisi paret imperat.
    • Anger is momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 2. 62.


  • Anger narrowed the vision and made for foolish choices.


  • Above all he did not content himself with hurling invectives for emotional release and then to retire into smug, passive satisfaction. History had taught him it is not enough for people to be angry—the supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., "Honoring Dr. DuBois", speech at International Cultural Evening at Carnegie Hall, 23 February 1968, published in Freedomways: A Quarterly Review of the Negro Freedom Movement, compiled in Esther Cooper Jackson (ed.), Freedomways Reader: Prophets In Their Own Country, p. 36
  • When you are angry, it means you, yourself are unhappy. Even if you are wronged, you are still making yourself unhappy if you feel anger.
  • Don’t become angry over little things: there are enough big ones.
    • Donn Kushner, A Book Dragon, chapter 2


  • From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
  • Their anger in darkness turning, unreleased, unspoken, it's mouth a red wound, its eyes hungry...hungry for the moon.


  • Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious.


  • שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ, וְאַל תִּטֹּשׁ תּוֹרַת אִמֶּךָ תִּתְנַהֵג תָּמִיד לְדַבֵּר כָּל דְּבָרֶיךָ בְּנַחַת, לְכָל אָדָם וּבְכָל עֵת, וּבַזֶּה תִּנָּצֵל מִן הַכַּעַס, שֶׁהִיא מִדָּה רָעָה לְהַחְטִיא בְּנֵי אָדָם... וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּנָּצֵל מִן הַכַּעַס, תַּעֲלֶה עַל לִבְּךָ מִדַּת הָעֲנָוָה, שֶׁהִיא מִדָּה טוֹבָה מִכָּל מִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת... לְמַעַן תַּצְלִיחַ בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ, וְתִזְכֶּה לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא הַצָּפוּן לַצַּדִּיקִים.
Hear, my son, the instruction of your father and don't forsake the teaching of your mother (Mishlei 1:8). Get into the habit of always speaking calmly to everyone. This will prevent you from anger, a serious character flaw which causes people to sin... Once you have distanced yourself from anger, the quality of humility will enter your heart. This radiant quality is the finest of all admirable traits... so that you will succeed in all your ways. Thus you will succeed and merit the World to Come which lies hidden away for the righteous.
  • There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.


  • The active hatreds rend and snarl at one another; at the bottom, the sullen hatreds lie gurgling, unable even to express themselves for the rage that chokes them.
  • Being once chaf'd, he cannot
    Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
    What's in his heart.
  • What sudden anger's this? How have I reap'd it?
    He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
    Leap'd from his eyes: So looks the chafed lion
    Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd him;
    Then makes him nothing.
  • You are yoked with a lamb,
    That carries anger as the flint bears fire;
    Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark.
    And straight is cold again.
  • Touch me with noble anger!
    And let not women's weapons, water drops,
    Stain my man's cheeks.
  • The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel, the cripple.
  • It engenders choler, planteth anger;
    And better 'twere that both of us did fast,
    Since, of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,
    Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.
  • A man prone to anger stirs up strife; anyone disposed to rage commits many transgressions.
  • Since, Zoilus, you rage like a mad dog, and dart out your viper's tongue against everybody, and can never be quiet, and are always swelling like the frog, I wonder you too don't burst.


  • Senseless, and deformed,
    Convulsive Anger storms at large; or pale,
    And silent, settles into fell revenge.
  • There are things that must evoke our anger to show we care. It is what we do with that anger. If we direct that energy we can use it positively or destructively.


  • Usually, when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 27-28.
  • I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe;
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.
  • Alas! they had been friends in youth;
    But whispering tongues can poison truth,
    And constancy lives in realms above;
    And life is thorny, and youth is vain;
    And to be wrothe with one we love
    Doth work like madness in the brain.
  • Beware the fury of a patient man.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 1005.
  • A man deep-wounded may feel too much pain
    To feel much anger.
  • Anger seeks its prey,—
    Something to tear with sharp-edged tooth and claw,
    Likes not to go off hungry, leaving Love
    To feast on milk and honeycomb at will.
  • Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
    • Ephesians, IV. 26.
  • Craignez la colère de la colombe.
    • Beware the anger of the dove.
    • French Proverb. See Quitard's Dictionary of Proverbs.
  • Anger, which, far sweeter than trickling drops of honey, rises in the bosom of a man like smoke.
    • Homer, The Iliad, XVIII, 108.
  • Fœnum habet in cornu.
    • He has hay on his horns.
    • Horace, Satires, I. 4. 34.
  • Trahit ipse furoris
    Impetus, et visum est lenti quæsisse nocentem.
    • They are borne along by the violence of their rage, and think it is a waste of time to ask who are guilty.
    • Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, II, 109.
  • Nemo me impune lacessit.
    • No man provokes me with impunity.
    • Motto of the Order of the Thistle.
  • Quamlibet infirmas adjuvat ira manus.
    • Anger assists hands however weak.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), I. 7. 66.
  • Ut fragilis glacies interit ira mora.
    • Like fragile ice anger passes away in time.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, I. 374.
  • He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
    • Proverbs, XVI. 32.
  • Anger wishes that all mankind had only one neck; love, that it had only one heart; grief, two tear-glands; and pride, two bent knees.
  • Dem tauben Grimm, der keinen Führer hört.
  • No pale gradations quench his ray,
    No twilight dews his wrath allay.
  • Quamvis tegatur proditur vultu furor.
    • Anger, though concealed, is betrayed by the countenance.
    • Seneca the Younger, Hippolytus, CCCLXIII.
  • Ne frena animo permitte calenti;
    Da spatium, tenuemque moram; male cuncta ministrat
    • Give not reins to your inflamed passions; take time and a little delay; impetuosity manages all things badly.
    • Statius, Thebais, X, 703.
  • Not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole.
  • Furor fit læsa sæpius patientia.
    • Patience provoked often turns to fury.
    • Syrus, Maxims, 178.
  • Furor arma ministrat.
    • Their rage supplies them with weapons.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I, 150.
  • Tantæne animis cœlestibus iræ.
    • Can heavenly minds such anger entertain?
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I, 11.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 13-14.
  • The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence.
  • The proud man hath no God; the envious man hath no neighbor; the angry man hath not himself.
  • He submits himself to be seen through a microscope, who suffers himself to be caught in a fit of passion.
  • There was a man here last night — you needn't be afraid that I shall mention his name — who said that his will was given up to God, and who got mad because the omnibus was full, and he had to walk a mile to his lodgings.
  • When I had twice or thrice made a resolute resistance to anger, the like befell me that did the Thebans; who, having once foiled the Lacedemonians, never after lost so much as one battle which they fought against them.
  • An unsanctified temper is a fruitful source of error, and a mighty impediment to truth.
  • Our passions are like convulsion fits, which make us stronger for the time, but leave us weaker forever after.
  • If anger proceeds from a great cause, it turns to fury; if from a small cause, it is peevishness; and so is always either terrible or ridiculous.

External links[edit]

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