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George Bernard Shaw Quotes

About George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

Life: 1856 - 1950

Country: gb flag England

Profession: Writer;

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856-2 November 1950) was a world-renowned author. Born in Dublin, he moved to London when he turned twenty and lived in England for the rest of his long life. Shaw's first success was as a music and literary critic, but he was drawn to drama and authored more than sixty plays during his career. Typically his work is leavened by a delightful vein of comedy, but nearly all of it bears earnest messages Shaw hoped his audiences would embrace.

 

View Afrikaans quotes by this author.

Quotations

This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

~ George Bernard Shaw

- attributed as from a "speech at Brighton"

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

~ George Bernard Shaw

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

~ George Bernard Shaw

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.

~ George Bernard Shaw

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

~ George Bernard Shaw

I often quote myself; it adds spice to my converstation.

~ George Bernard Shaw

My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

~ George Bernard Shaw

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

~ George Bernard Shaw

You don't learn to hold your own in the world by standing on guard, but by attacking and getting well hammered yourself.

~ George Bernard Shaw

I do not want actors and actresses to understand my plays. that is not necessary. If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I can guarantee the results.

~ George Bernard Shaw

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

~ George Bernard Shaw

- "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1

Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Assassination: the extreme form of censorship.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare.

~ George Bernard Shaw

All my life, affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.

~ George Bernard Shaw

In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.

~ George Bernard Shaw

... government that "substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few."

~ George Bernard Shaw

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.

~ George Bernard Shaw

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.

~ George Bernard Shaw

When I was young I observed that nine out of every ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.

~ George Bernard Shaw

If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat.

~ George Bernard Shaw

I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.

~ George Bernard Shaw

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.

~ George Bernard Shaw

My father must have had some elementary education for he could read and write and keep accounts inaccurately.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.

~ George Bernard Shaw

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience!

~ George Bernard Shaw

We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Always let your flattery be seen through for what really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.

~ George Bernard Shaw

The secret of forgiving everything is to understand nothing.

~ George Bernard Shaw

When we know what God is, we shall be gods ourselves.

~ George Bernard Shaw

The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

~ George Bernard Shaw

The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.

~ George Bernard Shaw

A lifetime of happiness? No man could bear it: it would be hell on earth.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.

~ George Bernard Shaw

To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.

~ George Bernard Shaw

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.

~ George Bernard Shaw

The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone, the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is to a cockatoo.

~ George Bernard Shaw

The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a great refuge from home life.

~ George Bernard Shaw

We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again every time a child is born.

~ George Bernard Shaw

I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one.

(to Winston Churchill)

Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.
- Winston Churchill, in reply

~ George Bernard Shaw

As long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Forgive him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian and believes that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.

~ George Bernard Shaw

- Julius Caesar

A man's interest in the world is only an overflow from his interest in himself.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Hamlet's experience simply could not have happened to a plumber.

~ George Bernard Shaw

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