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Oscar Wilde Quotes

About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Life: 1854 - 1900

Country: ireland flag Ireland

Profession: Writer; Poet;

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 - November 30, 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. As the result of a famous trial, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labour after being convicted of the offence of gross indecency.

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Quotations

I can resist everything except temptation.

~ Oscar Wilde

Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.

~ Oscar Wilde

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

~ Oscar Wilde

I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.

~ Oscar Wilde

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

~ Oscar Wilde

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

~ Oscar Wilde

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

~ Oscar Wilde

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

~ Oscar Wilde

My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality.

~ Oscar Wilde

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.

~ Oscar Wilde

- The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


In this world there are only two tragedies: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

~ Oscar Wilde

I love acting. It is so muchmore real than life.

~ Oscar Wilde
laughing

The basis of action is lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.

~ Oscar Wilde

The play was a great success but the audience was a disaster.

~ Oscar Wilde

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

~ Oscar Wilde

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

~ Oscar Wilde

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

~ Oscar Wilde

All authority is quite degrading.

~ Oscar Wilde

By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.

~ Oscar Wilde

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.

~ Oscar Wilde

The best way to make children good is to make them happy.

~ Oscar Wilde

It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

~ Oscar Wilde

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

~ Oscar Wilde

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.

~ Oscar Wilde

Education is an admirable thing, but nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

~ Oscar Wilde

A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

~ Oscar Wilde

Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.

~ Oscar Wilde

Extravagance is the luxury of the poor; penury is the luxury of the rich.

~ Oscar Wilde

I can believe anything provided it is incredible.

~ Oscar Wilde

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

~ Oscar Wilde

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.

~ Oscar Wilde
laughing

Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.

~ Oscar Wilde

. . . when bad Americans die, they go to America.

~ Oscar Wilde

To give an accurate description of what never happened is the proper occupation of the historian.

~ Oscar Wilde

When one has never heard a man's name in the course of one's life, it speaks volumes for him; he must be quite respectable.

~ Oscar Wilde

One can always recognize women who trust their husbands. They look so thoroughly unhappy.

~ Oscar Wilde

The value of an idea has nothing to do with the success of the man who expresses it.

~ Oscar Wilde

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and really being good all the time. That would be hypocracy.

~ Oscar Wilde

There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has the right to blame us.

~ Oscar Wilde

To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.

~ Oscar Wilde

I do not approve of anything which tampers with natural ignorance.

~ Oscar Wilde

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.

~ Oscar Wilde

The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.

~ Oscar Wilde

Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

~ Oscar Wilde

The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

~ Oscar Wilde

- Lady Windemere's Fan

It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one, behind one's back, that are absolutely and entirely true.

~ Oscar Wilde

And beauty is a form of genius -- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.

~ Oscar Wilde

- The Picture of Dorian Gray (ch. 2)

Plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are. They are always so occupied with being jealous of other women's husbands.

~ Oscar Wilde

Journalism is unreadable, and literature is unread.

~ Oscar Wilde

There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.

~ Oscar Wilde

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.

~ Oscar Wilde
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