Captain Ahab
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Quotes for
Captain Ahab (Character)
from "Moby Dick" (1998)

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2010: Moby Dick (2010) (V)
Captain Ahab: I'd strike the sun if it insulted me!

Captain Ahab: And may God hunt us all if we do not hunt Moby Dick to the death!

Captain Ahab: He took my leg. I don't intend to give him my ass.

Seahawk Pilot: Congratulations, you nuked a school of squid.
Captain Ahab: Where there are squid, there are whales.

Dr. Michelle Herman: Why would a whale act like this?
Captain Ahab: Why do babies die in their sleep?

Dr. Michelle Herman: You give this whale too much credit.
Captain Ahab: Oh he's not a whale, he's the devil himself!

Captain Ahab: Have you forgotten what it was like to sit out there on that sea ice and watch your arm go gangrenous while we were waiting to be rescued?
Capt. John 'Boomer' Enderby: I haven't forgotten.
Captain Ahab: The months of surgery, the years of rehabilitation. Wondering why this happened to you. Asking yourself what kind of a God could allow such a thing? And then coming to the conclusion that he was either malicious or indifferent. And then realizing... you dont know which is worse. Such a thing cannot be allowed to live.
Capt. John 'Boomer' Enderby: I think Moby Dick took more from you than from me. Killing him won't bring back my arm and it won't bring back your leg. It won't bring any of it back. But whether you succeed or fail, how many people need to die?
Captain Ahab: All of them. This whole act has been decreed. It was rehearsed by us a billion years before the oceans even rolled. Nothing I can do about it. I am the fates, Lieutenant, and I act under orders.

Captain Ahab: They say a drowning thing will go down and rise up again twice before going down forever. Moby Dick has already been down twice.
Dr. Michelle Herman: So have you.

Captain Ahab: He tasks me! That whale, he tasks me!

Captain Ahab: For hates sake, I spit my last breath at you!


Moby Dick (1956)
Starbuck, first mate: To be enraged with a dumb brute that acted out of blind instinct is blasphemous.
Captain Ahab: Speak not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. Look ye, Starbuck, all visible objects are but as pasteboard masks. Some inscrutable yet reasoning thing puts forth the molding of their features. The white whale tasks me; he heaps me. Yet he is but a mask. 'Tis the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate; the malignant thing that has plagued mankind since time began; the thing that maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright but letting us live on, with half a heart and half a lung.

Captain Ahab: By heavens man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and fate is the handspike.

Starbuck, first mate: It's late; you should turn in.
Captain Ahab: Sleep? That bed is a coffin, and those are winding sheets. I do not sleep, I die.

Captain Ahab: From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale.

Captain Ahab: Captain Gardner, I seek the white whale, your own son's murderer. I am losing time... Goodbye, and fare thee well, I say. God help you, Captain Gardiner.
Captain Gardiner: God forgive you, Captain Ahab.

Captain Ahab: I'll follow him around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition's flames before I give him up.

Captain Ahab: Blacksmith, I set ye a task. Take these harpoons and lances. Melt them down. Forge me new weapons that will strike deep and hold fast. But do not douse them in water; they must have a proper baptism. What say ye, all ye men? Will you give as much blood as shall be needed to temper the steel?

Captain Ahab: I don't give reasons. I give orders!

Captain Ahab: Birds... the birds... *He rises*!


"Moby Dick" (1998)
Captain Ahab: Aye, harpoons do like stuck in him like so many corkscrews. Aye, his spout is big, like Nantucket wheat. Aye, by death and devils, the white whale is Moby-Dick, if Moby-Dick you see!
Starbuck: Captain Ahab, was it not Moby-Dick that cut off thy leg?
Captain Ahab: Aye, Mr. Starbuck. Aye, my hearties all. It was Moby-Dick that dismantled me, that reaped off my leg like a mower a blade of grass and left me with this dead stump I stand on. For forever and a day I shall chase that white whale.

Captain Ahab: Why the long face, Mr. Starbuck? Have you no game for Moby-Dick?
Starbuck: Aye, I have game for his crooked jaw. I have game for the jaws of death, if that's part of the business we came for. Sir, I am here to hunt whale, not my commander's vengeance. How many barrels of oil will your vengeance yeild, I ask you?
Captain Ahab: If money be the measure of everything we do, let me tell ye my vengeance will fetch a great premium here!
Starbuck: What do you wish of me, Captain Ahab?
Captain Ahab: Help me to strike a fin. Surely no impossible task for you, the best lancer of all Nantucket. Surely you, of all this crew, will not hold back.

Starbuck: Time and tide flow wide, sir. Moby-Dick has the whole round watery world to swim in.
Captain Ahab: I know his latitudes. I know his driftings, every sea-shelled ground and volcano bay.
Starbuck: Here lies Nantucket, where our wives and children will be waiting, carrying wee babes up the hill to catch first glimpse of these sails. Your wife and son will be among them, captain, and we must not disappoint them. I am no crusader after perils. My course is set to return safely home with a full hold. 'Tis the object of our endeavour.
Captain Ahab: Mr. Starbuck, until this be done, my boy's face is to me as the palm of my hand, an unfeatured blank.

Starbuck: Sir, I must request that you put your foreign boys to work. Them sitting idle is affecting the morale. Did you not hear me, Captain?
Captain Ahab: They are not here as shipkeepers, Mr. Starbuck, or for any other purpose. They are here to find and slay the white whale.

Captain Ahab: So you crossed his wake again?
Capt. Boomer: Aye. Twice.
Captain Ahab: But you could not fast him?
Capt. Boomer: Why would I want him? Isn't one limb enough? My wants a profitable home. No thank you, sir. No more white whales for me. He's best left alone.
Captain Ahab: Aye, but he'll be hunted nonetheless! What's best left alone, Captain, isn't always least to fight. When did you last see him?
Capt. Boomer: Upon my soul, sir, your blood's at boiling point!
Captain Ahab: Which way was he headed?
Capt. Boomer: Good God! East, I think!
Captain Ahab: East! Mr. Starbuck, prepare to set sail! We've wasted enough to time. Good day to you, Captain!
Capt. Boomer: What the devil is wrong with him? Has he lost his senses?
Starbuck: My apologies, Captain Boomer. No offense meant, I'm sure, sir. 'Tis the pain in his stump.
Capt. Boomer: The man's mad!

Starbuck: What about the boy, sir?
Captain Ahab: Boy? What boy?
Starbuck: Pip, sir. He's lost at sea.
Captain Ahab: The tamborine boy? What the devil was he doing in your boat, Mr. Starbuck?
Starbuck: He stowed away, sir, where he wasn't supposed to be. He's a kind-hearted, jolly little boy, sir. I'm afraid we've lost him.
Queequeg: Me go find Pip! If Pip be dead, it be bad magic!

Captain Ahab: Where was he, Captain? Not dead, was he? Not killed?
Capt. Gardiner: My boy! I lost a whale boat! My own son was on that boat! For God's sake, help me find him!
Captain Ahab: No ... no ... do not ask me.
Capt. Gardiner: I know you, Ahab! You must help me! Let me charter your ship, sir, and I'll pay you handsomely! You must! You must and you shall do this for me, Ahab.
Captain Ahab: The whale, Captain Gardiner! Where was he when you last laid eyes on him?
Capt. Gardiner: I'll not go till you say aye to me, Ahab. I know you have a child of your own, safe in Nantucket.

Queequeg: Queequeg be sailor no more.
Captain Ahab: What is this, harpooner?
Queequeg: You be bad magic!
Captain Ahab: Away from me!
Queequeg: Queequeg harpoon for you no more!


"Futurama: The Day the Earth Stood Stupid (#3.7)" (2001)
Captain Ahab: A gold dubloon for the first man who first spies the white whale!
[the Giant Brain rocks the boat]
Queequeg: Big whale over there!
Captain Ahab: Arr, I saw it first.

Fry: Hey, Brainley! Think fast!
[throws bucket of whitewash at Brain]
Chief Giant Brain: I always think fast.
[is hit by bucket and covered in whitewash]
Chief Giant Brain: Ow!
Captain Ahab: The whale! He be white now!

Captain Ahab: A gold dubloon for the first man who spots the white whale!
[the Giant Brain, painted white, rocks the boat]
Queequeg: Big whale over there!
Captain Ahab: Arr, I saw it first.


Moby Dick (1978)
Captain Ahab: I am the Fates' lieutenant. I act under orders.

Captain Ahab: What do you think I am ,the hunchback skipper of a coasting smack.
Captain Ahab: All of life is but a pasteboard mask.