Oscar Wilde Quotes | His Famous, Witty Words on Love and Life
Oscar Wilde was not a person that would accept to go unnoticed. The works of this Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet made a lasting impression and the way he treated the topics of identity, love, and society would later influence many of the 20th century’s great writers.
Loving his humor and his discovering nature, we have collected these famous quotes by him. These witty words by Oscar Wilde have a range of subjects so broad that they manage to interest us even today, in our 21st century everyday lives. We’re sure you’ll agree and, sometimes, laugh.
Witty Oscar Wilde Quotes
- Everything in moderation, including moderation.
- To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
- You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.
- Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.
- There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.
- Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.
- Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
- We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.
- I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.
- To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
- You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
- The heart was made to be broken.
- Punctuality is the thief of time.
- Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
- Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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.
- Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
- A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
- Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
- Who, being loved, is poor?
- 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?
- The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
- Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.
- Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.
- Nowadays 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.
- Life is too short to learn German.
- Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.
- Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
- All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.
- I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
- We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
- There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
- Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
- A good friend will always stab you in the front.
- Indeed I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do.
- Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
- A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
- Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.
- Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
- To define is to limit.
- A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
- I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.
- A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.
- A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
- I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
- The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
- Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
- When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
- The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.
- I can resist anything except temptation.
- If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
- Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
- Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
- With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?
- Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.
- It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
- I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
- I am not young enough to know everything.
- I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.
- Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.
- I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.
- We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
- The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
- Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.
- There is no sin except stupidity.
- An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
- Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
Smart Oscar Wilde Quotes
- I don’t say we all ought to misbehave. But we ought to look as if we could.
- The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.
- Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.
- One should always be in love. That’s the reason one should never marry.
- A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
- Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
- Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
- Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. It is a meaningless word, too. The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.
- Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.
- She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.
- I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.
Inspirational Oscar Wilde Quotes
- What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
- The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.
- I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
- Everything popular is wrong.
- I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!
- No man is rich enough to buy back his past.
- You like every one; that is to say, you are indifferent to every one.
- Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
- Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
- It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible….
- When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
- Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
- Misfortunes one can endure–they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one’s own faults–ah!–there is the sting of life.
- Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.
Long Oscar Wilde Quotes
- Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
- If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment.
If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life but what I call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know, you will never become anything, and that is your reward.
- Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
- Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
- Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly — that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion — these are the two things that govern us.
- Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet, I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.
Oscar Wilde Quotes on Images
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