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12+ Important Captain Ahab Quotes From Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

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Captain Ahab is a popular literary character.

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'Moby Dick' an epic novel has endured as an American classic.

“From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale,” this quote by Captain Ahab is a quintessential tale of obsession by Herman Melville.

In rankings by several writers, 'Moby Dick' was rated as one of the best fictional works from the 1800s. Captain Ahab is demonstrated to be an imposing character; way before his first appearance, there is an aura of mysterious demeanor about the commander of the Pequod. From the beginning it is clear that Captain Ahab is a complex and convoluted character; a man of few words but great depths. However, Ahab is blasphemous and unreasonable in the course that he refuses to submit to any higher force. He doesn't revere or even recognize the prevalence of powers past himself. Ahab is god-like in that he is overwhelming. Maybe he even needs to be God. Here are some of the best Captain Ahab quotes for you to enjoy. After reading these Captain Ahab quotes, you must check out our 'Moby Dick' quotes and Herman Melville quotes.

Important Captain Ahab Quotes

'Moby Dick', a classic novel by Herman Melville, is an exemplary story about a man's obsession and revenge. Herman Melville has presented a beautiful tale of a captain's epic quest to discover and slaughter a whale that ripped off his leg in a past voyage. We have enlisted some of the best quotes from the epic novel for you. Dive in and have a good time recollecting memories of this classic tale with these deep Captain Ahab quotes.

Captain Ahab would do anything in the world for his ship.

1. “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

2. “Ahab and anguish lay stretched together in one hammock.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

3. “Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

4. “What I've dared, I've willed; and what I've willed, I'll do! They think me mad—Starbuck does; but I'm demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and—Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

5. “He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

6. “All men live enveloped in the whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

7. “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

Best Quotes From Captain Ahab

Captain Ahab becomes a man blinded by his obsession with revenge that all but only this quest matters to him. The single purpose for this voyage or rather Ahab’s life is to hunt down and kill the White Whale. Read on for some of the best Captain Ahab quotes from the book 'Moby Dick'.

'Moby Dick' is an extremely popular book.

8. “He's a grand, ungodly, god-like man, Captain Ahab; doesn't speak much; but, when he does speak, then you may well listen. Mark ye, be forewarned; Ahab's above the common; Ahab's been in colleges, as well as 'mong the cannibals; been used to deeper wonders than the waves; fixed his fiery lance in mightier, stranger foes than whales.'”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

9. “Aye, harpoons do like stuck in him like so many corkscrews. Aye, his spout is big, like Nantucket wheat. Aye, by death and devils, the white whale is Moby-Dick, if Moby-Dick you see! It was Moby-Dick that dismantled me, that reaped off my leg like a mower, a blade of grass and left me with this dead stump I stand on. For forever and a day I shall chase that white whale.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

10. “There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

11. “Call me Ishmael.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

12. “Top-heavy was the ship as a dinnerless student with all Aristotle in his head.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

13. “By heavens man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and fate is the handspike.”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

14. “Blacksmith, I set ye a task. Take these harpoons and lances. Melt them down. Forge me new weapons that will strike deep and hold fast. But do not douse them in water; they must have a proper baptism. What say ye, all ye men? Will you give as much blood as shall be needed to temper the steel?”

- Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Captain Ahab quotes then why not take a look at 'The Scarlet Letter' quotes, or 'Treasure Island' quotes.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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