The word is mightier than the sword. ~Ahiqar
The dash of a Pen is more grievous than the counterbuff of a Lance. ~George Whetstone, An Heptameron of Civil Discourses, 1582
Many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1609 [II, 2, Rosencrantz]
It is an old saying, A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword: and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever. ~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621 [“Leviter volant, graviter vulnerant.” Bernardus.
Scholars are Men of Peace, they bear no Arms, but their Tongues are sharper than Actius’ Razor; their Pens carry farther, and give a louder Report than Thunder: I had rather stand the Shock of a Basilisk, than the Fury of a merciless Pen. ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1643
Go on then in doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword; shew that reformation is more practicable by operating on the mind than on the body of man… ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Paine, 1792
The pen is mightier than the sword. ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu, or The Conspiracy, 1839
The pen is a formidable weapon, but a man can kill himself with it a great deal more easily than he can other people. ~George D. Prentice, Prenticeana, 1859
What unwrit histories wrapped in darkness lay
Till shovelling Schliemann bared them to the day!
Your Richelieu says, and says it well, my lord,
The pen is (sometimes) mightier than the sword;
Great is the goosequill, say we all; Amen!
Sometimes the spade is mightier than the pen;
It shows where Babel’s terraced walls were raised,
The slabs that cracked when Nimrod’s palace blazed,
Unearths Mycenæ, rediscovers Troy, —
Calmly he listens, that immortal boy.
A new Prometheus tips our wands with fire,
A mightier Orpheus strains the whispering wire,
Whose lightning thrills the lazy winds outrun
And holds the hours as Joshua stayed the sun, —
So swift, in truth, we hardly find a place
For those dim fictions known as time and space…
~Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894), “The School-Boy,” 1878
The pen-holder is mightier than the pen. ~James Lendall Basford, Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882
The PENSION is mightier than the sword. ~Puck, 1887
A goose quill is mightier than a lion’s paw. ~Proverbs, William Hardcastle Browne, 1900
As when, to CENSURE PLAYS UNFIT, upon the STAGE they make a HIT,
Or at ELECTIONS SEAL the FATE of an OBNOXIOUS CANDIDATE.
No wonder, CHILD, we prize the HEN, whose EGG is mightier than the PEN.
~Oliver Herford, “The Hen,” 1901
The pun is mightier than the sword. ~“The Trick of Being Funny,” The Editor, 1908
“The tongue is mightier than the blade.” EURIPIDES. ~Robert Graves, Claudius the God and his wife Messalina, 1935
The typewriter is so much more to be reckoned with than the sword. ~Lee Thayer, Persons Unknown, 1941
I would say the broadcaster holds the shotgun in his hand when he’s communicating, mainly because he is a part of the audience more than he is a communicator. That is his first strength. Next, he has the force — the power of the wires strung over the whole world. Then, he has the tools of persuasion. His cameras and microphones are mightier than the pen. He can bend the straw, and all he needs to do it is Truth. With truth, force, and persuasion he can save this country. ~Dick Gregory, c. 1963
The mike is mightier than the pen or the sword. ~Dick Gregory, 1960s
The pen is mightier than the pencil. ~Student at Brookside School, Long Island, completing the first part of the proverb as given by Candid Camera, 1966, CBS
An editor is a man to whom the wastebasket is mightier than the pen. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968
The pen is mightier than the sword, and the typewriter is mightier than both. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968
Right on, brother hippies, the [℘ℰn!$] is mightier than the sword! ~The Progressive, 1971
The pen is mightier than the sword. The [℘ℰn!$] is mightier than the pen. ~Robert Nye, Falstaff, 1976
Now the PIN is mightier than the pen. Say goodbye to signing your credit card slip on the dotted line. Instead, we will be asked to tap out a personal identification number to authenticate the card, in an effort to beat high street fraud. ~BBC News, 2003 [a little altered
But pens and brushes are merely tools you employ in the inking process. Any line the inker draws is a combination of what the tool can produce and what is inside the head of the artist. If you want to draw a fat line, you will find a way to do it no matter what instrument you use. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the brain is mightier than the pen. ~Klaus Janson, “Pens,” The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics, 2003
The heart is mightier than the pen. ~Claudia Mills, Write This Down, 2016
Pen Mightier than Sword Quotations
Original post date: 2016 Jul 18
1st major revision: 2020 Feb 22