Roald Dahl: 13 brilliantly brave Matilda quotes to live your life by

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These powerful quotes from Roald Dahl’s Matilda are guaranteed to light a fire in your belly.

In 1988, Roald Dahl gave us Matilda. And, in doing so, he changed our lives forever.

Why? Well, because the brilliant little Matilda Wormwood is definitely the hero of her own story. When she finds herself bullied and belittled by her family and the evil Miss Trunchbull, she refuses to give in or let them shape her character, choosing instead to seek solace in the local library.

The books she devours night after night teach her the value of love and kindness – traits we see in her as she cheers on Bruce Bogtrotter, rescues her fellow classmates from the Trunchbull’s over-the-top punishments, and hatches a plan to save Miss Honey from her tyrannical and abusive aunt.

Most importantly, however, we see that Matilda may be small, but she is mighty. There’s a power hidden away inside of her, which she can tap into whenever she wants to roar against the lions of injustice – and, through her own tiny acts of rebellion, she brings about change.

No wonder, then, that she’s become synonymous with the word ‘bravery’ over the years.

Here, we look back over the Matilda quotes which inspired us to have courage, to be kind, and to be the heroes of our own stories.

  • Matilda quotes

    On power

    “A sense of power was brewing in those eyes of hers.”

  • Never do things by halves

    On projects

    “Never do things by halves. Go the whole hog.”

  • Matilda quotes confidence

    On hard work

    “She felt fairly confident that with a great deal of practice and effort, she would succeed in the end.”

  • Matilda quotes determination

    On perseverance

    “It’s going to be tough, but I’m determined to do it.”

  • Matilda quotes bravery

    On toughness

    “We may be small, but we’re quite tough.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On strength

    “It is not easy for somebody as small as that to score points against an all-powerful grown up.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On heroism

    “It was her turn now to become a heroine.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On determination

    “Even so, she was determined to have a go.”

  • Matilda bravery quotes

    On friendship

    “Matilda liked her because she was gutsy and adventurous. She liked Matilda for exactly the same reasons.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On taking charge

    “It was her turn now to become a heroine if only she could come up with a brilliant plot.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On standing up to bullies

    “At this moment she felt ready to take on anybody.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On fear

    “A strange feeling of confidence and serenity swept over her and all of a sudden she found that she was frightened by nobody in the world.”

  • Matilda quotes on bravery

    On goals

    “She longed to do something truly heroic.”

Images: Roald Dahl, provided by The Official Roald Dahl Website

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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