Weakness

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Weakness refers to a lack in force or ability; the opposite of strength.

Quotes[edit]

  • Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.
    • Joseph Addison, The Spectator (1711–1714), No. 162 (5 September 1711).
  • What would it mean for a woman to be a warrior today? How could modern women control the means of production and reproduction? Miracles of consciousness aside, I see no way for women to defeat or transfer patriarchy without achieving power. Unlike male groups, women have little power with which to either avoid or commit violence. Women traditionally are physically weak and politically powerless in a culture that values physical strength and its extended representation in the form of weaponry and money. Women, like men, must be capable of violence or self-defense before their refusal to use violence constitutes a free and moral choice, rather than 'making the best of a bad bargain.
  • Amiable weakness.
    • Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones (1749), Book X, Chapter VIII. Sheridan—School for Scandal, Act V, scene 1.
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
    • Mohandas Gandhi, in "Interview to the Press" in Karachi about the execution of Bhagat Singh (23 March 1931), published in Young India (2 April 1931).
  • And the weak soul, within itself unbless'd,
    Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
  • All members of the world community should resolutely discard old stereotypes and motivations nurtured by the Cold War, and give up the habit of seeking each other's weak spots and exploiting them in their own interests.
  • If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need for violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness.
  • Even Achilles was only as strong as his heel.
    • Frank Underwood House of Cards season 2 episode 11, written by John Mankiewicz & Beau Willimon
  • If weakness may excuse,
    What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
    Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
    All wickedness is weakness; that plea, therefore,
    With God or man will gain thee no remission.
  • Are you or aren't you convinced that weakness is a man's condition? How can you raise yourself if you haven't fallen first?
  • Heaven forming each on other to depend,
    A master, or a servant, or a friend,
    Bids each on other for assistance call,
    Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
  • Fine by defect, and delicately weak.
  • La faiblesse est le seul défaut que l'on ne saurait corriger.
  • Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.
    • Jonathan Swift,Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)
  • Remember, I have not appointed you as commanders and tyrants over the people. I have sent you as leaders instead, so that the people may follow your example. Give the Muslims their rights and do not beat them lest they become abused. Do not praise them unduly, lest they fall into the error of conceit. Do not keep your doors shut in their faces, lest the more powerful of them eat up the weaker ones. And do not behave as if you were superior to them, for that is tyranny over them.
    • Umar as quoted in Omar the Great : The Second Caliph Of Islam (1962) by Muhammad Shibli Numani, Vol. 2, p. 33
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body.
    • U.S. Marine Corps slogan
  • Omnis enim ex infirmitate feritas est.
    • All savageness is a sign of weakness.
      • De Vita Beata (On the Happy Life): cap. 3, line 4
    • Alternate translation: All cruelty springs from weakness. (translator unknown)
      • Seneca the Younger, As quoted in Caxtoniana: A Series of Essays on Life, Literature, and Manners (1864), Harper & brothers, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, p. 174 (in the essay The Sympathetic Temperment).

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 863-64.
  • The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull.
  • But the concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
  • Amiable weakness of human nature.
    • Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XIV.
  • Das sterbliche Geschlecht ist viel zu schwach
    In ungewohnter Höhe nicht zu schwindeln.
    • The mortal race is far too weak not to grow dizzy on unwonted heights.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, I, 3, 98.
  • On affaiblit toujours tout ce qu'on exagère.
  • Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
    Shows sof'ness in the upper story!
  • Even the weakest is thrust to the wall.
    • In Scogin's Tests (1540). "The weakest goeth to the wall." Title of a play printed 1600, and 1618. "The weakest goes to the wall." Tuvill, Essays Morall (1609).
  • Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's pleasure, woman's pain—
    Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain.

External links[edit]

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