Cruelty Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old cruelty quotes, cruelty sayings, and cruelty proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Kindness is the beginning of cruelty.     

Frank Herbert

Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would.

Thomas Hardy

When we think of cruelty, we must try to remember the stupidity, the envy, the frustration from which it has arisen.

Edith Sitwell

Cruelty is easy, cheap and rampant.

Brené Brown

The only thing worse than cruelty is delegated cruelty.     

Matthew Scully

The worst cruelty that can be inflicted on a human being is isolation.     


Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable.     

Tennessee Williams

If anything should take place behind closed doors, it was cruelty and betrayal.

Edward St. Aubyn

Cruelty is a tyrant that's always attended with fear.

Thomas Fuller

Cruelty signifies rigor, implacable intention and decision, irreversible and absolute determination.     

Antonin Artaud

Cruelty is softened by fear, not pity.

Mason Cooley

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.     

George Eliot

Cruelty is the first attribute of the devil.     


War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.

William Tecumseh Sherman

All the cruelty and torment of which the world is full is in fact merely the necessary result of the totality of the forms under which the will to live is objectified.     

Arthur Schopenhauer

In great hearts the cruelty of life gives birth to good.

Vastly Grossman

Cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all.     

Marquis De Sade

Cruelty is the surest sign of stupidity.     

Marty Rubin

Cruelty is a part of nature, at least of human nature, but it is the one thing that seems unnatural to us.     

Robinson Jeffers

Cruelty is all out of ignorance. If you knew what was in store for you, you wouldn't hurt anybody, because whatever you do comes back much more forceful than you send it out.     

Willie Nelson

Is cruelty still cruel if it is necessary? Is cruelty still cruel if it is part of a lie?     

Johnny Rich

Cruelty and fear shake hands together. An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence.     

Honoré de Balzac

Cruelty is contagious in uncivilized communities.     

Harriet Ann Jacobs

Cruelty is not something you can just sugar coat with a smile, with laughter, with a hug or with an act of kindness. It is a diabolical behaviour that will keep popping up behind that smile, behind that laughter, behind that hug and behind that act of kindness. 'A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.' (Proverbs 11:17)

Euginia Herlihy

It is cruelty to the innocent not to punish the guilty.     

Robinson Jeffers

Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kid of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty.

G.K. Chesterton

Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt.

George Bernard Shaw

There's a certain edge about cruelty. If you're honest about it, most people wince, but say it had to be said.

Pete Waterman

Probably human cruelty is fixed and eternal. Only styles change.

Martin Amis

Lack of courage leads to cruelty.     

Lailah Gifty Akita