Top 100 Brilliant Oscar Wilde Quotes

Best Oscar Wilde Quotes
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Wikipedia

Top 100 Famous Oscar Wilde Quotes

  1. One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.Oscar Wilde Quotes 1

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

  3. The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

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

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

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

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

  8. The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

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

  10. Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.Oscar Wilde Quotes 2

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

  12. 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.

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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

  19. Women are made to be loved, not understood.

  20. If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.Oscar Wilde Quotes 3

  21. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

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

  23. Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

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

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

  26. I can resist everything except temptation.

  27. Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.

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

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  29. Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.

  30. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

  36. True friends stab you in the front.

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

  38. 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.

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

  40. The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.Oscar Wilde Quotes 5

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

  46. 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.

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

  48. A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

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

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  50. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.Oscar Wilde Quotes 6

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

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

  53. 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.

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

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

  56. 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.

  57. Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.

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

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

  60. Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

  61. Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.Oscar Wilde Quotes 7

  62. Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

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

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

  65. In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

  66. Woman begins by resisting a man’s advances and ends by blocking his retreat.

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

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

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

  70. 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.Oscar Wilde Quotes 8

  71. 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.

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

  73. I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

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

  75. There is no sin except stupidity.

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

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

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

  79. Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

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

  81. 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.Oscar Wilde Quotes 9

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

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

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

  86. A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

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

  88. 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.

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

  90. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.Oscar Wilde Quotes 10

  91. To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

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

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

  94. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

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

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

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

  98. 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.

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

  100. Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.Oscar Wilde Quotes 11

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