Character Sayings and Quotes

There’s no replacement for good character and integrity. That’s why we admire and gravite towards others with those qualities. Below you’ll find a collection of wise and insightful quotes about character.


Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.     

Helen Keller

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.     

Abraham Lincoln

Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.     

Jacqueline Bisset

The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back.      

Abigail Van Buren

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.     

Mark Twain

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.     

Abraham Lincoln

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.     

Kahlil Gibran

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.     

Albert Einstein

When you find a man you wish to marry, Tessa, remember this: You will know what kind of man he is not by the things he says, but by the things he does.      

Cassandra Clare

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.     

Henry David Thoreau

Be your character what it will, it will be known, and nobody will take it upon your word.     

Lord Chesterfield

Reputation is for time; character is for eternity.     

J. B. Gough

Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.     

John C. Geikie

The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.     

Ann Landers

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.     

Elmer G. Letterman

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.     

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.     

Thomas B. Macaulay

Reputation is what men and women think of us. Character is what God and the angels know of us.     

Thomas Paine

If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.     

Andre Maurois

A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.     

Jean Paul

Character is destiny.     

Heraclitus

Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work.     

Orison Sweet Marden

Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught     

J.C. Watts

Character is much easier kept than recovered.     

Thomas Paine

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.      

Confucius

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.     

Dale Carnegie

Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.     

Theodore Roosevelt

Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs.     

Joan Didion

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.     

Oscar Wilde

Character is the sum total of all our everyday choices.     

Margaret Jensen

It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.     

Frederick Douglass

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.     

Rita Mero

It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.      

Aeschylus

It is not what he had, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.      

Henri Frederic Amiel

Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.      

Aristotle

Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.     

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.     

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted     

Alfred Adler

Ability can take you the top, but it takes character to keep you there.     

Zig Ziglar

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.     

H. Jackson Brown

In the end you should always do the right thing even if it's hard.     

Nicholas Sparks

Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence.     

Elihu Burritt

Character is higher than intellect.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character is simply habit long continued.     

Plutarch

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.     

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.     

Shaquille Oneal

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.     

James Miles