Quotes: He Who Fights Monsters

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    Anime and Manga 

Kill the spiders and save the butterflies... it's rational until you realize that by striving for it, you become a spider yourself.
Vash the Stampede, Trigun

No matter how strong, for a human to fight a monster means he has submerged his humanity and transformed himself into a greater monster.
Schierke, Berserk

Awakened Being: You know... you're the monster... here...
Ophelia: Heh. [Kills the Awakened Being]

You can't change anything unless you can discard part of yourself too. To surpass monsters, you must be willing to abandon your humanity.
Armin Arlert, Attack on Titan

Knuckle Joe: He wasn't a father. He was a weakling.
Meta Knight: Good. I am glad. That way, he will not have to see what a monster you have become.
Knuckle Joe: What? I am not a monster!
Meta Knight: Anyone who abandons his reason, and lives only by hatred, is a monster!
Knuckle Joe: Grrr...
Tiff: What we do makes us all monsters. Look what you did to Kirby.
Knuckle Joe: But I am not a monster!
Meta Knight: But you lived by hatred. And hatred is what eNeMeE (Nightmare) loves.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Episode 19/17

Nah. I'd say it's more a case of a straightforward, honest guy being twisted into a monster by the pressures of society. You know, the old become-the-very-thing-you're-trying-to-fight deal.

    Comic Books 

I'm afraid that the Joker may be right about me. Sometimes I.... question the rationality of my actions. And I'm afraid that when I walk through those asylum gates... when I walk into Arkham and the doors close behind me... It'll be just like coming home.

Who could have foreseen this in their wildest imaginings? Of all the Green Lanterns, of all the protectors of the universe... it is their brightest who turns rogue.
Sinestro, Green Lantern #49

The meek shall inherit sweet fuck-all. That's what I learned from them sadistic little shits, the Jesuits.
Lincoln Red Crow, Scalped


No, John. You are the demons.
Unknown Radio Voice, Doom: Repercussions of Evil

    Film — Live-action 

You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that. But you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... horror has a face. And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.
Col. Walter E. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

You have allowed this dark lord to twist your mind until now you have become the very thing you swore to destroy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Revenge is like a poison. It can — it can take you over. Before you know it, turn us into something ugly.
Aunt May, Spider-Man 3


You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.
Paul, The Bible (New International Version), Romans 2:1

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
— Closing line of Animal Farm by George Orwell

'Fool that I am,' said he, 'that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to revenge myself.'

Maybe he was a good man once. But you fight any war long enough and in the end it's going to be hard to remember who you are. He's had too much blood. And maybe too much sand. I'd say he's become everything he set out to defeat.
Richard about Tarik, Oblivion

Justice." Thoros smiled wanly. "I remember justice. It had a pleasant taste. Justice was what we were about when Beric led us, or so we told ourselves. We were King's men, knights, and heroes . . . but some knights are dark and full of terror, my lady. War makes monsters of us all.

"Are you saying you are monsters?

"I am saying we are human."
Thoros of Myr, A Feast for Crows

    Live-action TV 

You're here because John Mostow stole three years of your life. Every day and every night for three years you lived and breathed the horror show that was in his head, and I'm sorry. Imagining everything that he imagined. Sinking deeper and deeper into the ugliness like you taught us to do. When you finally caught him, it didn't just go away. And the violence... it stayed alive inside you. 'Til it had to come out.
The X-Files "Grotesque"

And what about my team? How many more times will they be able to look into the abyss? How many more times before they won’t ever recover the pieces of themselves that this job takes?
—Part of Hotch's voiceover in the final scene, Criminal Minds, "...And Back" (season four finale)

9th Doctor: The Daleks have failed. Now finish what I started and make your race extinct. Rid the universe of your filth! WHY DON'T YOU JUST DIE?!!
Dalek: ...You would make a good Dalek.


All my enemies are becoming my teachers
—"Truth", Alexander

I was born of the womb of a poisonous spell
Beaten and broken and chased from the land
But I rise up above it, high up above it and see
I was hung from the tree made of tongues of the weak
The branches, the bones of the liars, the thieves
Rise up above it, high up above it and see
Pray to your God, open your heart
Whatever you do, don't be afraid of the dark
Cover your eyes, the devil's inside
One night of the hunter
One day I will get revenge
One night to remember
One day it'll all just end, oh
Blessed by a bitch from a bastard's seed
Pleasure to meet you, prepare to bleed
Rise, I'll rise, I'll rise
Skinned her alive, ripped her apart
Scattered her ashes, buried her heart
Rise up above it, high up above it and see

Grab the bull by the horns the old adage goes
Nobody tells you where to go from there
Seems like fate's pulling you
Decisions have to be made
The best path is the hardest earned
Back and forth the struggle consumes us all
Trying to keep a level head
In the most unsettling of times
Today I'll become the bull.

So far forever now alone, a greater punishment on me has been imposed
A killer falling from the light, I'll miss my family, I'll never be alright

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

I'm about to do it your way
I will make your world unsafe
I never thought you'd get this far
It's insane

In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
—"My Back Pages", Bob Dylan

I wanna go home.
Take off this uniform
And leave the show.
But I'm waiting in this cell
Because I have to know
Have I been guilty all this time?

If you stare into the dark, the dark will stare back
—"Bangers and Mash", Radiohead

I rambled with the worst of them, fell in love with a harlequin
Saw the darkest hearts of men
And I saw myself staring back again
—"Bartholomew", The Silent Comedy

    Video Games 

As long as there is hatred, anyone can become a demon.
Oersted aka Odio, Live A Live

I have become the beast.
Cole MacGrath, inFamous 2

Men have this idea that we can fight with dignity, that there's a proper way to kill someone. It's absurd, it's an aesthetic: we need it to endure the bloody horror of murder. You must destroy that idea: show 'em what a terrible, messy thing it is to kill a man, and then show 'em that you relish in it. Shoot to wound then execute the wounded, burn 'em, take them in close combat; destroy their pre-conceptions of what a man is and you'll become their personal monster. When they fear you, you become stronger, you become better, but let's never forget that it's a display, it's a posture, like a lion's roar or a gorilla thumping at his chest. If you lose yourself in the display, if you succumb to the horror, then you become the monster. You become reduced, not more than a man, but less... And that can be fatal.
The Jackal, Far Cry 2

Miller: Cipher sent us to hell - but we're going even deeper - take back everything that we've lost!
Big Boss: Kaz... I'm already a demon...

Be careful out there Liara. Don't turn into the thing you're hunting.
Commander Shepard to Liara T'Soni during her hunt for the Shadow Broker, Mass Effect 2

What have you become, when even nightmares fear you?
Nessa, to the Player Character, Path of Exile

There is blood on my hands, how long till it lies on my heart?
Denam Pavel, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

If I kill the monster, do I become the monster? OH, I HOPE SO!

    Web Animation 

What was that Nietzsche said? 'He who fights drummers should see to it that in the process he does not become a drummer.' Or was it monsters? I dunno, same thing really.
Gordon Freeman, Freemans Mind

    Web Video 

[nasally voice] HA HA!! I have arisen! Now it is I who is the dumper of books!
Noah Antwiler on Massacre at Central High

    real life 

Systems in conflict become more similar over time.
Herman Kahn, Thinking About the Unthinkable

Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause.
Chris Hedges

As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
Christopher Dawson

You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once—there has to be a limit.
Edward Said

This is the horror. In reaction to the foul and insidious prejudice one begins to act like a fascist.
Roger Mitton, The Cost of Casual Racism

    Western Animation 
We're going about this the wrong way, all of us! After countless centuries of fighting ... the Autobots are a step away from what we were when all this started. And us—the Decepticons have become something worse than any of us could have imagined.
Drift, Transformers Spotlight: Drift