Quotes / Ambition Is Evil

"Alduin wahlaan daanii (caused his (own) doom). His doom was written when he claimed for himself the lordship that properly belongs to Bormahu - our father Akatosh."

"We glorify lust, greed & pain
We drown our hope in poison rain
We point the finger, shift the blame
Ambition makes us whores"
Motörhead, "March Ör Die"

"A curious thing about Ugu the Shoemaker was that he didn't suspect, in the least, that he was wicked. He wanted to be powerful and great and he hoped to make himself master of all the Land of Oz, and that he might compel everyone in that fairy country to obey him. His ambition blinded him to the rights of others and he imagined anyone else would act just as he did if anyone else happened to be as clever as himself."
L. Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz

"He so badly wanted to be a knight. I remember this boy well. When he looked at me his eyes filled with wonder as though I were a hero. Was he happy, I wonder? He died while pursuing his dream but...I think it was my dream that killed him."
Griffith, Berserk

"Although the soldiers held Crassus to blame for all their ills, still they yearned to see his face and hear his voice. But he was lying on the ground by himself, enveloped in darkness, to the multitude an illustration of the ways of fortune, but to the wise an example of foolish ambition, which would not let him rest satisfied to be first and greatest among many myriads of men, but made him think, because he was judged inferior to two men only, that he lacked everything."
Plutarch, ''Parallel Lives: The Life of Crassus"

"Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. It sees no distinction in adding story to story upon the monuments of fame erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen."

"He's a highly talented guy. He does very good movies and he's not the sort of person who always talks bullshit. He does many, many things right. But he's also sick. Obsessed. He wants to make history, not movies. Anyone who wants to make history is stupid."
Klaus Kinski on director Werner Herzog

"As the mind to the body so the soul to the spirit, as death to the mortal man so failure to the immortal, such is the price of all ambition."

"There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition; no calamity greater than to be discontented with one's lot; no fault greater than the wish to be getting. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is an enduring and unchanging sufficiency."

"Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking, squealing Gucci little piggy"
Radiohead, "Paranoid Android"

"Whatever quality of human greatness I have the talent to portray—that was the quality the outer world sought to degrade. They let me play nothing but symbols of depravity, nothing but harlots, dissipation-chasers and home-wreckers, always to be beaten at the end by the little girl next door, personifying the virtue of mediocrity."
Kay Ludlow, Atlas Shrugged

"There is a passion in the human heart that is called aspiration. It flares with the noble flame, and by its light Man has traveled from the caves of darkness to the darkness of outer space. But when this passion becomes lust, when its flame is fanned by greed and private hunger, then aspiration becomes ambition—by which sin the angels fell."
The Control Voice, Opening Narration of The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Bellero Shield"

Annie: Does anyone ever choose Slytherin?
George: No, because that would be like saying 'I'm a sociopath.'

"That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions—that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come."
— Modern introduction to Mein Kampf

"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing."
— James 3:16, The Bible (New American Standard Version)

"I knew you weren't normal, but to have such an ambition at such a young age... It's no wonder you fell to Hades. Hmhmhm..."
Valvatorez, about Fuka Kazamatsuri, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten

"Motivation is bullshit, if you ask me this country could use a little less motivation. The people who are motivated are the ones who are causing all the trouble! Stock swindlers, serial killers, child molesters, Christian Conservatives, these people are highly motivated! I think motivation is overrated. You show me some lazy prick who's lying in bed all day, watching game shows and stroking his penis, and I'll show you a guy who's not causing any fucking trouble, okay?"

"I think for the most part people are good to start with. I think evil is somethin you bring on your own self. Mostly from wantin what you ain’t supposed to have."
Black, The Sunset Limited

"Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed."

"Ambition can creep as well as soar."
Edmund Burke

"Superior ability breeds superior ambition."
Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series, "Space Seed"

"He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes."

Clark: You're look for a political mess. Is that what they want?
Ritter: They want what every first term administration wants. A second term.

"You want to know why none would call you king? It was your eyes, Zant. All saw it, a lust for power burning in your pupils... Did you think we'd forget our ancestors lost their king to such greed?"

"Malcanthet wanted power and comfort, so she built Shendilavri and named her clan the succubi. For years, free love and peace reigned, but as time wore on, the Whore began to desire power more than comfort..."

Darth Vader: I expect you not to rest until you can assure the Emperor that Galen Erso has not compromised this weapon in any way.
Orson Krennic: So I'm still in command? You'll speak to the Emperor about — [gets Force choked by Vader]
Darth Vader: Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.

Listen: this story's one you ought to know,
You'll reap the consequence of what you sow.
This fleeting world is not the world where we
Are destined to abide eternally:
And for the sake of an unworthy throne
You let the devil claim you for his own.
I've few days left here, I've no heart for war,
I cannot strive and struggle any more,
But hear an old man's words: the heart that's freed
From gnawing passion and ambitious greed
Looks on kings' treasures and the dust as one;
The man who sells his brother, as you've done,
For this same worthless dust, will never be
Regarded as a child of purity.
The world has seen so many men like you,
And laid them low: there's nothing you can do
But turn to God; take thought then for the way
You travel, since it leads to Judgment Day.
Ferdowsi, The Shahnameh

Elaine was ambitious in the old-school sense. I mean "ambitious" as the word is used in Julius Caesar. Not merely eager to get ahead in the world, but avidly steamrolling competitors, allies, bystanders, and stray puppies in order to wield power. Elaine might look like an eighteen-year-old with a fifty-year-old's haircut, but on a scale of one to ten, where one was a doorknob and ten was a great white shark, Elaine would use the doorknob to beat the shark to death. I had no idea how she'd made Diamond's acquaintance, but she'd do it in a heartbeat if it gave her any advantage.
All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, by James Alan Garner