Best Hannibal Lecter Quotes From Silence Of The Lambs That Will Make You Shiver

Hannibal Lecter is the main antagonist and fictional character written by Thomas Harris in his psychological thriller novel. He is a renowned forensic psychiatrist and a serial killer who eats his victim’s body parts, hence a cannibal.

Appearing as the main character in a lot of films, Hannibal Lecter gained a lot of popularity in the classic movie, “the silence of the lambs”. The role of Hannibal Lecter was played by the very versatile actor, Anthony Hopkins and he received several awards for it as well.

In the silence of the lambs, Hannibal is shown helping an FBI agent name Clarice, catch a serial killer.

1. “The most stable elements, Clarice, appear in the middle of the periodic table, roughly between iron and silver. Between iron and silver. I think that is appropriate for you.” -Hannibal Lecter

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Hannibal was fond of Clarice and it was evident from his various lines. While many times, Clarice had this fear that he might harm him, Hannibal had no such plans because if he did, he would have easily done that.

He believed her to be somehow useful in this world and even helped her at times, to understand herself better.

2. “What do you look at while you’re making up your mind? Ours is not a reflective culture, we do not raise our eyes to the hills. Most of the time, we decide the critical things while looking at the linoleum floor of an institutional corridor or whispering hurriedly in a waiting room with blatting television nonsense.” -Hannibal Lecter

Being a psychiatrist and deciphering how a human brain works were Hannibal’s main jobs. He often made these smart observations about people that left them in awe of his knowledge and also scared them.

In these lines, he says that we do not reflect much on our daily life; we all are so engrossed in what goes around us that we decide the most important things while just doing the very mundane tasks; we hardly have any time to stop and reflect.

3. “When The Fox Hears the Rabbit Scream, He Comes A-Runnin’, But Not to Help!” -Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter was a predator who loved to feed on human flesh. Apart from that, he was also a renowned psychiatrist to whom people came, asking for help. Hence, he could easily exploit their vulnerabilities.

He says these lines with a menacing expression suggesting that he is the fox who will hunt down the rabbit when it comes to it.

4. “All Good Things to Those Who Wait!” -Hannibal Lecter

Someone bored and rotting in his cell for eight long years, Hannibal Lecter was quite happy when Clarice came to him asking for his help. For a change, he had a case to work on and a mad person to crack. So, he liked to play around much. He tried to stretch and twist the case as long as he could so he could have company, and also, he enjoyed watching Claricesuffer with the case.

Hence, he said to her to keep her cool and be patient as good things come to those who know how to wait.

5. “Have You Ever Seen Blood in The Moonlight, Will? It Appears Quite Black.” -Hannibal Lecter

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One of the most disturbing lines said by Hannibal Lecter while he was talking to the FBI agent in the red dragon was this.

Hannibal was a dangerous man who had killed many people, and it was by this line we knew how comfortable he was with himself and his true nature. He did not hide who he was and took great pride in that. The fact that he knows about the color of blood in the moonlight, shows how creepy and scary the whole situation is.

6.”Well, Clarice, Have the Lambs Stopped Screaming?” -Hannibal Lecter

One of the many encounters between Clarice and Hannibal was when he asked her if the lambs had stopped screaming, a way to ask if she was finally at peace.

In one of the moments, Clarice tells Hannibal that she usually suffers from a nightmare where she feels like there is someone that is killing the lambs and they are screaming; she is trying hard to protect them but cannot.

Screaming of the lambs has a deeper meaning to it where Clarice feels like an innocent is being punished or tortured, and she could not save them. That’s why she was working so hard to save Catherine.

7. “I do wish we could chat longer, but… I have an old friend for dinner. Bye.” -Hannibal Lecter

In the last scenes of the movie, we see that Hannibal Lecter has somehow escaped prison, and he called Clarice; when she asks about his whereabouts, he replies, saying that he has to meet an old friend.

The above line was terrifying, considering Hannibal Lecter was a cannibal, and he killed people, and it just shows that he hasn’t changed his ways.

8. “Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn’t born a criminal, Clarice. He was made through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying.” -Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter was a very renowned psychiatrist and since he was also a serial killing cannibal, he could tell how a serial killer’s mind works. Hence Clarice seeks his help to understand the workings of a killer’s mind.

Hannibal had a theory that Billy was not a born killer but was rather made into one with years of abuse and neglect.

9. “I’ve been in this room for eight years now, Clarice, and I know they’ll never let me out, not while I’m alive. What I want is a view where I can see a tree or even water. I want to be in a federal institution far away from Doctor Chiltern. I’ll help you catch him, Clarice.” -Hannibal Lecter

At the start of the movie, when Clarice came to Hannibal for help to catch the killer, she said to him that they would give him freedom, to entice him, but Hannibal knew better.

He knew that they would never let him out, so he asked for what he could have, a more free and open area, and thus he agreed to help her catch the killer if those conditions were met.

10. “Billy is not a real transsexual. There are three major centers for transsexual surgery… I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy had applied for sex reassignment at one or all of them and been rejected… Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual.” -Hannibal Lecter

In this scene, while trying to understand Billy, Clarice says that Billy might be a transsexual because he liked to dress up as a woman, but Hannibal pointed out otherwise.

He told her that Billy is a person who hates himself so much that he wants to change his identity, and that must have led him to apply for one of the sex change operations.

11. “Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real.” -Hannibal Lecter

Almost everyone in life has those incidents which leave their marks on us, whether physically or mentally, and that affects our whole self, how we conduct ourselves, how we react to a situation, and so much more, and they are a constant reminder to us that the thing which we left behind and suffered from, was very much real.

12. “First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?” -Hannibal Lecter

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In one of the meetings when Clarice comes to visit Hannibal Lecter to ask for his advice on how to catch this criminal, Hannibal gives her some basic tips and tricks, which might be useful in catching him.

Clarice makes all the usual assumptions that he does this to satisfy his needs and anger, but Hannibal helps her dig deeper into his psyche.

13. “Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness except greed.” -Hannibal Lecter

One of the best lines of Hannibal Lecter. He was a person who understood the workings of the human brain quite well and imparted words of wisdom quite often.

In the scenes, he said the above lines indicating that greed can be a stronger driving force that can drive a man to madness.

14. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” -Hannibal Lecter

During the first meeting between Clarice and Hannibal Lecter when she came to ask him for his help to catch the killer, Hannibal first turned her down and dissected her history, but when she provoked him by saying that he should look into himself before pointing toward others, he told her about this incident when he ate a person’s liver.

It just shows how merciless, cold, and dangerous person he is.

15. “Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn’t it?” -Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter was a smart man, perhaps even too smart for himself, and he realizes this. It was his over-ambitious nature that took over his smartness that led him to be caught in the first place.

The movie did quite well at the box office and received a lot of praise from the audience as well as the critics. It received several academy awards, and Anthony Hopkins received a lot of praise for his role as Hannibal Lecter. Even after so many years of its release, it remains a favorite of many people and a good movie to watch for those who are looking for a good psychological thriller.

16. “I Must Confess To You, I’m Giving Very Serious Thought … To Eating Your Wife!”-Hannibal Lecter

Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi made himself into a fairly undesirable target when he dug too far into Lecter’s activities in Italy. Pazzi chose to take advantage of a bounty offered by millionaire Mason Verger, a man who had been horribly scarred by Lecter and was now seeking retribution, rather than turn him in to the FBI.

Lecter made the decision to approach Pazzi after beginning to recognise his plan. To the horror of the Florence residents below, he said this before knocking him out, putting him to a gurney, disembowelling him, and throwing him out a window.

17. “If I Tell You, I’m Afraid You Won’t Even Try It.”- Hannibal Lecter

This quotation is from the Red Dragon prequel to Silence. Audiences hear in the first act that Lecter killed an orchestra player as a result of his ineptitude, which the board of directors seemed to have overlooked. He extends an invitation to them for supper on what they perceive to be a romantic evening at his house.

When one of them inquires about what Hannibal put in the amuse-bouche, Hannibal responds with this quote, which is at once darkly humorous and disturbing. Hannibal enjoyed the moment as they sat there unaware that they were devouring their own musician.

18. “I Never Feel Guilty Eating Anything.”- Hannibal Lecter

The Hannibal Lecter portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen offered a fresh perspective on the framework established by Anthony Hopkins. We get to see a more civilised Hannibal because this one we see before he has been imprisoned.

Additionally, Mikkelsen gave the character a more “fallen angel” perspective and improved his elegance and appeal. Due to Mikkelsen’s peculiar good looks, spectators were fascinated by the fact that Mikkelsen’s Hannibal obviously doesn’t live a life of regrets and enjoys extravagance.

19. “Well Clarice, Have The Lambs Stopped Screaming?”- Hannibal Lecter

The Silence of the Lambs clearly caught audiences off guard when it was released. Both the classy and the spooky sides of Hannibal were brought to life by Hopkins.

His conversations with Clarice in the film are frequently tense and scary. He frequently uses metaphors when speaking, and Clarice is left with riddles to solve. He’s quite frightening because he can read her and understand her.

20. “Cruelty Is A Gift Humanity Has Given Itself.”- Hannibal Lecter

On the TV programme, Hannibal is likewise prone to using metaphors and riddles when speaking. It can be challenging to understand some of the conversation from the episode because it is so laced with allusions and metaphors. Hannibal has a very high level of intelligence, which is evident from his interactions with Will Graham, who he has found to be an equal.

In this passage, Hannibal discusses how animals were our predecessors and gave us feelings, but it is humans who have mastered cruelty. This is a very frightening moment because it is clear that Hannibal is intrigued by the idea of cruelty and the horrors that people do to one another.

21. “Discourtesy Is Unspeakably Ugly To Me.”- Hannibal Lecter

Even though Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal and a serial killer, he adheres to a set of moral principles. He detests impoliteness and rudeness, and he puts those who exhibit these qualities to death.

Hannibal gets furious when Clarice visits him at the Baltimore State Hospital and a man spills his body fluids on her. Much though Hannibal is so courteous, in a sense, he is also so diabolical, thus the fact that he does have a peculiar code of ethics makes him even scarier.

22. “Without Death, We’d Be At A Loss. It’s The Prospect Of Death That Drives Us To Greatness.”- Hannibal Lecter

The subject of death frequently comes up in conversations with Will Graham in Hannibal. The idea of death in its various manifestations, both in actuality and in philosophy, fascinates Lecter. This quotation might sound innocent when spoken by someone else, but when it comes from Lecter, it sounds evil.

It’s evident that Hannibal is motivated by death in some way, and his idea of what makes him special is perverted. The fact that Hannibal occasionally exhibits empathy while yet being a ruthless killer is one factor that makes him so inhumane.

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