Quotes by George Bernard Shaw

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George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. more

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My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.

Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?
Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.
Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.
To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching Man to regard himself as an experiment in the realization of God, to regard his hands as God's hand, his brain as God's brain, his purpose as God's purpose. He must regard God as a helpless Longing, which longed him into existence by its desperate need for an executive organ.
A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.
Our necessities are few, but our wants are endless.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare.
Beauty is all very well at first sight; but whoever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
The ordinary man is an anarchist. He wants to do as he likes. He may want his neighbor to be governed, but he himself doesn't want to be governed. He is mortally afraid of government officials and policemen.
Youth is such a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
When it comes to the point, really bad men are just as rare as really good ones.
Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself thinking once or twice a week.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity: no really self-respecting woman would take advantage of it.
There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.
It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.
Man is the only animal of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid of.
Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity, and beauty as conspicuously as the want of it represents illness, weakness, disgrace, meanness, and ugliness.
I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way: by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.
Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous
The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the 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.
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
My religion? Well, my dear, I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.
What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.
The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.
Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.
The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it.
Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
Life at its noblest leaves mere happiness far behind; and indeed cannot endure it. Happiness is not the object of life: life has no object: it is an end in itself; and courage consists in the readiness to sacrifice happiness for an intenser quality of life.
Men are not governed by justice, but by law or persuasion. When they refuse to be governed by law or persuasion, they have to be governed by force or fraud, or both.
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.
That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms.
Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not an example.
What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.
Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent.
In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez, and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed. Amen. Amen.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
We sing in a church, why can we not dance there?
The early Christian rules of life were not made to last, because the early Christians did not believe that the world itself was going to last.
Don't order any black things. Rejoice in his memory; and be radiant: leave grief to the children. Wear violet and purple. Be patient with the poor people who will snivel: they don't know; and they think they will live for ever, which makes death a division instead of a bond.
Great art is never produced for its own sake. It is too difficult to be worth the effort.
If you value a man's regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper -- and despise it.
Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world.
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
The only way for a woman to provide for herself decently is for her to be good to some man that can afford to be good to her.
When I was a young man I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. I didn't want to be a failure, so I did ten times more work.
The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.
You must not suppose, because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living.
It is all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date.