14 Powerful and Hilariously Dark Anton Chekhov Quotes 

Because of his complicated upbringing, Anton Chekhov understood both the beauty and the devastation of the world, and we can learn a lot from his powerful quotes, as well as his dark and hilarious ones. 

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Born to a serf and grocery store owner, Anton Chekhov grew up in poverty and abuse. He supported his family by writing comic sketches and went on to study medicine in Moscow. Chekhov later became a doctor while simultaneously writing plays and short stories. He is considered to be one of the best writers of all time, and his plays and short stories are still held in high esteem by writers and critics. There is so much we can learn from his plays, his short stories, and simply just by reading some of his famous quotes!

Powerful Quotes by Chekhov

“Everything on earth is beautiful, everything – except what we ourselves think and do when we forget the higher purposes of life and our own human dignity.” 

“Do silly things. Foolishness is a great deal more vital and healthy than straining and striving after a meaningful life.”

Anton Chekhov with messy hair looking at the camera.
IMAGE VIA AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATER

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.”

“Life is given only once, and one wants to live it boldly, with full conscious and beauty.”

“I think human beings must have faith or must look for faith, otherwise our life is empty, empty. To live and not to know why the cranes fly, why children are born, why there are stars in the sky. You must know why you are alive, or else everything is nonsense, just blowing in the wind.”

Hilariously Dark Quotes by Chekov 

“What a fine weather today! Can’t choose whether to drink tea or hang myself.”

“Better to perish from fools than to accept praises from them.”

A portrait of a young Chekov.
IMAGE VIA NEW STATESMAN

“Even while lying, you’ll be believed if you speak with authority.”

“Better a debauched canary than a pious wolf.”

“A man and a woman marry because both of them do not know what to do with themselves.”

“For God’s sake, have some self-respect and do not run off at the mouth if your brain is out to lunch.”

“Nothing can be accomplished by logic and ethics.”

“If only one tooth aches, rejoice that not all of them ache…. If your wife betrays you, be glad that she betrayed only you and not the nation.”


For more quotes, click here.

For more on Chekhov’s short stories, click here.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / NOVA LANE