Quotes by Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 November 30, 1900) was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and short story writer. One of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day, known for his barbed and clever wit, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned after being convicted in a famous trial of "gross indecency" for homosexual acts. more

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All trials are trials for one's life, just as all sentences are sentences of death.

Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity.
The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.
The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves from all let this be heard some does it with a bitter look some with a flattering word the coward does it with a kiss the brave man with the sword.
Twenty years of romance make a woman look like a ruin, but twenty years of marriage make her something like a public building.
My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
Of course the music is a great difficulty. You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, and if one plays bad music people don't talk.
The way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope. When the Verities become acrobats we can judge them.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
The condition of perfection is idleness: the aim of perfection is youth.
The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is.
Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon that little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky.
A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.
Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
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. By carefully chronicling the current events of contemporary life, it shows us of what very little importance such events really are. By invariably discussing the unnecessary, it makes us understand what things are requisite for culture, and what are not.
It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes.
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.
The value of an idea has nothing whatever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.
They are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one's clean linen in public.
Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old fashioned quite suddenly.
I am dying beyond my means.
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.
The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.
It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful.
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are, if he did he would cease to be an artist.
People sometimes inquire what form of government is most suitable for an artist to live under. To this question there is only one answer. The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all.
Vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
Vulgarity is the conduct of other people, just as falsehoods are the truths of other people.
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.
If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading at all.
Pray don't talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.
She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness.
This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back in again.
Youth! There is nothing like youth. The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life. The old are in Life's lumber-room. But youth is the Lord of Life. Youth has a kingdom waiting for it. Every one is born a king, and most people die in exile.
There are only two types of people in the world. Those who make people happy wherever they go and those who make others happy whenever they go.
The man who says he has exhausted life generally means that life has exhausted him.
They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one's face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins.
The Ideal Man should talk to us as if we were goddesses, and treat us as if we were children. He should refuse all our serious requests, and gratify every one of our whims. He should encourage us to have caprices, and forbid us to have missions. He should always say much more than he means, and always mean much more than he says.
The fact is, you have fallen lately, Cecily, into a bad habit of thinking for yourself. You should give it up. It is not quite womanly... men don't like it.
Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.
There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies.
Life would be dull without them.
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.
Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic.
I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't talk politics.
In America, the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.