Oscar Wilde - Quotes

There are 227 quotes by Oscar Wilde at 95quotes.com. Find your favorite quotations and top quotes by Oscar Wilde from this hand-picked collection about love, life, time, art, death, marriage, women, romance, beauty, friendship. Feel free to share these quotes and sayings on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr & Twitter or any of your favorite social networking sites.

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ---->>>

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

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

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally. ---->>>

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

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

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

Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.

Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.

Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance.

Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance.

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one. ---->>>

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying. ---->>>

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. ---->>>

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

True friends stab you in the front.

True friends stab you in the front.

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. ---->>>

I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.

I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. ---->>>

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. ---->>>

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation. ---->>>

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ---->>>

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism. ---->>>

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

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

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. ---->>>

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. ---->>>

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be. ---->>>

The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.

The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. ---->>>

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. ---->>>

Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.

Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. ---->>>

The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world. ---->>>

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. ---->>>

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. ---->>>

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ---->>>

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. ---->>>

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. ---->>>

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating - people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing. ---->>>

I have nothing to declare except my genuis. ---->>>

No man is rich enough to buy back his past. ---->>>

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

There is no sin except stupidity. ---->>>

I am not young enough to know everything. ---->>>

I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect. ---->>>

Why was I born with such contemporaries? ---->>>

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. ---->>>

Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. ---->>>

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. ---->>>

I can resist everything except temptation.

I can resist everything except temptation.

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life. ---->>>

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong. ---->>>

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But... it is better to be good than to be ugly.

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But... it is better to be good than to be ugly.

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

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

An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him. ---->>>

Nothing is so aggravating than calmness. ---->>>

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives. ---->>>

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.

Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.

Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. ---->>>

Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both. ---->>>

There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better.

There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better.

Who, being loved, is poor?

Who, being loved, is poor?

Hatred is blind, as well as love. ---->>>

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards. ---->>>

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

There is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad. ---->>>

There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.

There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess. ---->>>

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. ---->>>

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection. ---->>>

The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray. ---->>>

Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are. ---->>>

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit.

Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat. ---->>>

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. ---->>>

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

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people. ---->>>

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.

While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance. ---->>>

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. ---->>>

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly. ---->>>

If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk.

If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk.

There's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about. ---->>>

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow. ---->>>

She is a peacock in everything but beauty.

She is a peacock in everything but beauty.

Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed. ---->>>

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. ---->>>

Everything popular is wrong. ---->>>

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

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. ---->>>

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. ---->>>

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane. ---->>>

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her. ---->>>

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. ---->>>

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same. ---->>>

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life. ---->>>

I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. ---->>>

There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up. ---->>>

If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.

If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.

Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life. ---->>>

The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.

The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.

I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.

I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. ---->>>

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly. ---->>>

When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her. ---->>>

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities. ---->>>

Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes. ---->>>

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works. ---->>>

One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead. ---->>>

One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged. ---->>>

America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up. ---->>>

All art is quite useless. ---->>>

Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm. ---->>>

It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.

It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.

Only the shallow know themselves. ---->>>

There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else. ---->>>

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

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic. ---->>>

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. ---->>>

I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability. ---->>>

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing. ---->>>

The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable. ---->>>

It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned. ---->>>

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. ---->>>

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected. ---->>>

Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable. ---->>>

The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you. ---->>>

How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.

How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.

In modern life nothing produces such an effect as a good platitude. It makes the whole world kin. ---->>>

In married life three is company and two none. ---->>>

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. ---->>>

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. ---->>>

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. ---->>>

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. ---->>>

In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience. ---->>>

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. ---->>>

The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves. ---->>>

When good Americans die they go to Paris. ---->>>

I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.

I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love. ---->>>

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating. ---->>>

A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies. ---->>>

Alas, I am dying beyond my means. ---->>>

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everyone in good society holds exactly the same opinion.

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everyone in good society holds exactly the same opinion.

The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means. ---->>>

There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose. ---->>>

Those whom the gods love grow young. ---->>>

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds. ---->>>

Charity creates a multitude of sins. ---->>>

Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away. ---->>>

Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there. ---->>>

Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty. ---->>>

The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it. ---->>>

It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art. ---->>>

It is always the unreadable that occurs. ---->>>

Biography lends to death a new terror. ---->>>

There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies. ---->>>

What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying. ---->>>

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. ---->>>

London is too full of fogs and serious people. Whether the fogs produce the serious people, or whether the serious people produce the fogs, I don't know. ---->>>

A critic should be taught to criticise a work of art without making any reference to the personality of the author. ---->>>

Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. ---->>>

Art should never try to be popular. The public should try to make itself artistic. ---->>>

I have never given adoration to any body except myself. ---->>>

I think it is perfectly natural for any artist to admire intensely and love a young man. It is an incident in the life of almost every artist. ---->>>

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. ---->>>

Let us have no machine-made ornament at all; it is all bad and worthless and ugly. ---->>>

The function of the artist is to invent, not to chronicle. ---->>>

The spirit of an age may be best expressed in the abstract ideal arts, for the spirit itself is abstract and ideal. ---->>>

Writing bores me so. ---->>>

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital. ---->>>

Art never harms itself by keeping aloof from the social problems of the day: rather, by so doing, it more completely realises for us that which we desire. ---->>>

Bad people are, from the point of view of art, fascinating studies. They represent colour, variety and strangeness. Good people exasperate one's reason; bad people stir one's imagination.

Bad people are, from the point of view of art, fascinating studies. They represent colour, variety and strangeness. Good people exasperate one's reason; bad people stir one's imagination.

Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods. Beauty is the symbol of symbols. Beauty reveals everything, because it expresses nothing. When it shows us itself, it shows us the whole fiery-coloured world.

Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods. Beauty is the symbol of symbols. Beauty reveals everything, because it expresses nothing. When it shows us itself, it shows us the whole fiery-coloured world.

Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.

Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.

I have a dining room done in different shades of white, with white cushions embroidered in yellow silk: the effect is absolutely delightful and the room beautiful. ---->>>

I would have a workshop attached to every school, and one hour a day given up to the teaching of simple decorative arts. It would be a golden hour to the children. ---->>>

If a work of art is rich and vital and complete, those who have artistic instincts will see its beauty, and those to whom ethics appeal more strongly than aesthetics will see its moral lesson. It will fill the cowardly with terror, and the unclean will see in it their own shame. ---->>>

In designing the scenery and costumes for any of Shakespeare's plays, the first thing the artist has to settle is the best date for the drama. This should be determined by the general spirit of the play more than by any actual historical references which may occur in it.

In designing the scenery and costumes for any of Shakespeare's plays, the first thing the artist has to settle is the best date for the drama. This should be determined by the general spirit of the play more than by any actual historical references which may occur in it.

In England, an inventor is regarded almost as a crazy man, and in too many instances, invention ends in disappointment and poverty. In America, an inventor is honoured, help is forthcoming, and the exercise of ingenuity, the application of science to the work of man, is there the shortest road to wealth.

In England, an inventor is regarded almost as a crazy man, and in too many instances, invention ends in disappointment and poverty. In America, an inventor is honoured, help is forthcoming, and the exercise of ingenuity, the application of science to the work of man, is there the shortest road to wealth.

In its primary aspect, a painting has no more spiritual message than an exquisite fragment of Venetian glass. The channels by which all noble and imaginative work in painting should touch the soul are not those of the truths of lives. ---->>>

In judging of a beautiful statue, the aesthetic faculty is absolutely and completely gratified by the splendid curves of those marble lips that are dumb to our complaint, the noble modelling of those limbs that are powerless to help us. ---->>>

Literature must rest always on a principle, and temporal considerations are no principle at all. For, to the poet, all times and places are one; the stuff he deals with is eternal and eternally the same: no theme is inept, no past or present preferable. ---->>>

No better way is there to learn to love Nature than to understand Art. It dignifies every flower of the field. And, the boy who sees the thing of beauty which a bird on the wing becomes when transferred to wood or canvas will probably not throw the customary stone.

No better way is there to learn to love Nature than to understand Art. It dignifies every flower of the field. And, the boy who sees the thing of beauty which a bird on the wing becomes when transferred to wood or canvas will probably not throw the customary stone.

Nothing, indeed, is more dangerous to the young artist than any conception of ideal beauty: he is constantly led by it either into weak prettiness or lifeless abstraction: whereas to touch the ideal at all, you must not strip it of vitality.

Nothing, indeed, is more dangerous to the young artist than any conception of ideal beauty: he is constantly led by it either into weak prettiness or lifeless abstraction: whereas to touch the ideal at all, you must not strip it of vitality.

Romantic art deals with the exception and with the individual. Good people, belonging as they do to the normal, and so, commonplace type, are artistically uninteresting.

Romantic art deals with the exception and with the individual. Good people, belonging as they do to the normal, and so, commonplace type, are artistically uninteresting.

Technique is really personality. That is the reason why the artist cannot teach it, why the pupil cannot learn it, and why the aesthetic critic can understand it. ---->>>

The mark of all good art is not that the thing done is done exactly or finely, for machinery may do as much, but that it is worked out with the head and the workman's heart. ---->>>

There should be a law that no ordinary newspaper should be allowed to write about art. The harm they do by their foolish and random writing it would be impossible to overestimate - not to the artist, but to the public, blinding them to all but harming the artist not at all. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Irish
Born: October 16, 1854
Birthplace:
Die: November 30, 1900
Occupation: Dramatist
Website:

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death (wikipedia)