70 The Shawshank Redemption Quotes to Ignite Hope

Learn about friendship, freedom, and hope from these The Shawshank Redemption quotes.

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American movie based on Stephen Hawking’s novel published in 1982. It tells the story of Andy Dufresne, who is wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover and sentenced to two life sentences.

Andy may have lost his freedom and loved ones, but there is one powerful thing that remained inside him—hope. Even with the harsh treatment and abuse that he experienced inside the prison, he never stopped dreaming of achieving a life of freedom.

The Shawshank Redemption is an inspirational story that will teach you a lot. With the wise words of the characters, you can surely learn and change your life for the better. So, don’t miss out on reading the top 70 quotes from The Shawshank Redemption below.

Let’s get started.

And make sure to check out these Forrest Gump quotes and The Green Mile quotes.

Best The Shawshank Redemption Quotes

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1. “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really, get busy living or get busy dying.” – Andy Dufresne

2. “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” – Andy Dufresne

3. “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” – Brooks Hatlen

4. “Whatever mistakes I made, I paid for them and then some.” – Andy Dufresne

5. “Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It’s got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.” – Andy Dufresne

6. “Writing about yourself seems to be a lot like sticking a branch into clear river water and rolling up the muddy bottom.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

7. “They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

8. “Dear Warden, you were right. Salvation lies within.” – Andy Dufresne

9. “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

10. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed a terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense into him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you can go and stamp your form, Sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a sh*t.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

11. “Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First, you hate ’em. Then, you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

12. “A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

13. “Every man’s got a breaking point.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

14. “You need it, so you don’t forget. Forget that there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside that’s yours, that they can’t touch.” – Andy Dufresne

15. “Zihuatanejo, it’s a little place in Mexico on the Pacific Ocean. Do you know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life—a warm place with no memory.” – Andy Dufresne

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes by Andy Dufresne

16. “It’s my life. Don’t you understand? It’s my life!” – Andy Dufresne

17. “That’s the one thing they can’t confiscate, not ever. That’s the beauty of it. Haven’t you ever felt that way about music, Red?” – Andy Dufresne

18. “If you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further.” – Andy Dufresne

19. “It’s funny. On the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.” – Andy Dufresne

20. “I don’t waste time on losers, Tommy.” – Andy Dufresne

21. “She was beautiful. God, I loved her. I just didn’t know how to show it. That’s all. I killed her, Red. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I drove her away. And that’s why she died, because of me.” – Andy Dufresne

22. “My wife used to say I’m a hard man to know, like a closed book. Complained about it all the time.” – Andy Dufresne

23. “I’m a rockhound. At least I was in my old life. I’d like to be again, on a limited scale.” – Andy Dufresne

24. “I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That’s only my opinion.” – Andy Dufresne

25. “There’s a big hayfield up near Buxton, one in particular. It’s got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It’s like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It’s where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under the oak, and I asked, and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out, find that spot. At the base of that wall, you’ll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield. Piece of black, volcanic glass. There’s something buried under it I want you to have.” – Andy Dufresne

26. “What you hear isn’t even half of it. He’s got scams you haven’t even dreamed of. Kickbacks on his kickbacks. There’s a river of dirty money running through this place.” – Andy Dufresne

27. “My God, Warden! How could you be so obtuse!” – Andy Dufresne

28. “What’s that going to earn you? Two-and-a-half, three percent a year? We can do a lot better than that. So tell me, Mr. Dekins. Where do you want to send your kids? Harvard? Yale?” – Andy Dufresne

Also read: Pulp Fiction Quotes, Taxi Driver Quotes

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes by Ellis “Red” Redding

29. “Same old sh*t, different day.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

30. “I remember thinking it would take a man 600 years to tunnel through the wall with it. Andy did it in less than 20.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

31. “In prison, a man will do almost anything to keep his mind occupied.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

32. “We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink beer.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

33. “What was right with him, he’d only give you a little at a time. What was wrong with him, he kept bottled up inside.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

34. “I don’t have to listen to rumors about a man when I can judge him for myself.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

35. “I wish I could tell you Andy fought the good fight. I wish I could tell you that, but prison is no fairy tale world.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

36. “Yes, sir. Absolutely. I’ve learned my lesson. I can honestly say I’m a changed man. I’m no longer a danger to society. That’s God’s honest truth. No doubt about it.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

37. “It goes back to what I said about Andy wearing his freedom like an invisibility coat, about how he never really developed a prison mentality. His eyes never got that dull look.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

38. “Andy was the part of me they could never lock up, the part of me that will rejoice when the gates finally open for me and I walk out in my cheap suit with my $20 of mad money in my pocket. That part of me will rejoice no matter how old and broken and scared the rest of me is.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

39. “There’s a harsh truth to face. No way I’m gonna make it on the outside. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole, so maybe they’d send me back. Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it, knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won’t have to be afraid all the time. Only one thing stops me: a promise I made to Andy.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

40. “Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes, pressure and time. That and a big damn poster.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

41. “I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say I liked Andy from the start.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

42. “I like to think the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was how the hell that Andy Dufrense got the best of him.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

43. “I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t wanna know. I would like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man at Shawshank felt free.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

Also read: Saving Private Ryan Quotes, 12 Angry Men Quotes

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes About Hope

44. “Hope is a dangerous thing. Drive a man insane.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

45. “I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think that’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

46. “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Andy Dufresne

Emotional The Shawshank Redemption Quotes That Will Make You Sad

47. “I don’t like it here. I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’ve decided not to stay. I doubt they’ll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.” – Brooks Hatlen

48. “Sometimes it makes me sad though, Andy being gone.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

49. Ellis “Red” Redding: “Rehabilitated. Let’s see now. You know, come to think of it, I have no idea what that means.”

1967 Parole Hearings Man: “Well, it means you’re ready to rejoin society as—.”

Ellis “Red” Redding: “I know what you think it means. Me, I think it’s a made-up word, a politician’s word. A word so young fellas like you can wear a suit and tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?”

50. “I have bad dreams like I’m falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes, it takes me a while to remember where I am.” – Brooks Hatlen

51. “I do believe those first two years were the worst for him, and I also believe that if things had gone on that way, this place would have got the best of him.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

52. Andy Dufresne: “Thirty years. Jesus, when you say it like that—.”

Ellis “Red” Redding: “You wonder where it went.”

53. “He always fought back, and as a result, he did his time in solitary. But don’t think solitary was the hardship for Andy that it was for some men.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

Also read: Dead Poets Society Quotes

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes to Better Understand the Characters

54. “His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

55. “There’s a con like me in every prison in America, I guess. I’m the guy who can get it for you. Cigarettes, a bag of reefer if you’re partial, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your kid’s high school graduation. Damn near anything within reason. Yes, sir, I’m a regular Sears & Roebuck.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

56. “By the year Kennedy was shot, Andy had transformed a broom closet smelling of turpentine into the best prison library in New England.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

57. “You strike me as a particularly icy and remorseless man, Mr. Dufresne. It chills my blood just to look at you. By the power vested in me by the state of Maine, I hereby order you to serve two life sentences, back to back. One for each of your victims. So be it.” – Judge

58. “I must admit, I didn’t think much of Andy the first time I laid eyes on him. Looked like a stiff breeze would blow him over. That was my first impression of the man.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

59. “Not long after the warden deprived us of his company, I got a postcard in the mail. It was blank, but the postmark said Fort Hancock, Texas. Fort Hancock, right on the border. That’s where Andy crossed. When I picture him heading south in his own car with the top down, it always makes me laugh. Andy Dufresne, the man who crawled through a river of sh*t and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne headed for the Pacific.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

60. “So, I’m backing out the door, right, and I got the TV, like this. It was a big old thing. I couldn’t see sh*t. Suddenly, I hear this voice, ‘Police, kid! Hands in the air.’ You know, I was standing there, holdin’ on to that TV, so finally, the voice says, ‘You hear what I said, boy?’ And I say, ‘Yes, sir, I sure did. But if I drop this f*cking thing, you got me on the destruction of property too.” – Tommy Williams

Funny The Shawshank Redemption Quotes to Get a Break From the Serious Plot

61. “It’s a miracle. Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind!” – Warden Samuel Norton

62. “He had enough rocks to keep him busy ’till rapture.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

63. “I’m not gonna count to three. I’m not even gonna count to one. You will shut the f*ck up, or I’ll sing you a lullaby!” – Captain Byron Hadley

64. District Attorney: “You recall Lieutenant Mincher’s testimony? He and his men dragged that river for three days, and nary a gun was found. So no comparison can be made between your gun and the bullets taken from the bloodstained corpses of the victims. That’s also rather convenient, isn’t it, Mr. Dufresne?”

Andy Dufresne: “Since I am innocent of this crime, sir, I find it decidedly inconvenient the gun was never found.”

65. “I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here, you’ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your *ss belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.” – Warden Samuel Norton

66. Andy Dufresne: “All right, but you should know that sudden serious brain injury causes the victim to bite down hard. In fact, I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victims’ jaws open with a crowbar.”

Bogs Diamond: “Where do you get this sh*t?”

Andy Dufresne: “I read it. You know how to read, you ignorant f*ck?”

67. “We trust this will fill your needs. We now consider the matter closed. Please stop sending us letters.” – Library District

The Shawshank Redemption Quotes for Those Curious About Prison Life

68. “Most new fish come close to madness the first night. Somebody always breaks down crying. The only question is, who’s it going to be? It’s as good a thing to bet on as any, I guess. I had my money on Andy Dufresne.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

69. “That was the longest night of my life.” – Ellis “Red” Redding

70. “You eat when we say you eat! You sh*t when we say you sh*t! You piss when we say you piss!” – Captain Byron Hadley

How Do You Keep Your Hope Alive in the Lowest Points of Your Life?

Hope doesn’t mean that we think that everything will turn out the way we want it to be. Like Andy and Red, it is a concept that can motivate us to take the first step and move forward from the most challenging chapters of our life.

We might think that a better future is impossible and out of reach in the moments we struggle the most. But, as hopeless as we may feel, we must push ourselves to think with optimism during these challenging times. Without holding on to the fire of hope, our souls will never know how to live fully again.

The Shawshank Redemption did an excellent job of giving hope and light, even in the lowest points of our lives. Always remember never to give up and keep fighting for what you want.

Which The Shawshank Redemption quote is your favorite? Do you have more to add to the collection? Share your thoughts below!