Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894). Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966).
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  • ''The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves.... Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. (repr. 1895). "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).
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  • ''Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic—a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
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  • ''It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But ... it is better to be good than to be ugly.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 17 (1891).
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  • ''One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young," Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894).
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  • ''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.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891, repr. 1895).
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  • ''As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891).
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  • ''Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young," Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894).
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  • ''Conscience makes egotists of us all.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 8 (1891).
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  • ''It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894).
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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

A Vision

Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
With no green weight of laurels round his head,
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
And wearied with man's never-ceasing moan
For sins no bleating victim can atone,
And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.
Girt was he in a garment black and red,
And at his feet I marked a broken stone
Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees.
Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame,
I cried to Beatrice, 'Who are these? '
And she made answer, knowing well each name,
'AEschylos first, the second ...

Read the full of A Vision

San Miniato

SEE, I have climbed the mountain side
Up to this holy house of God,
Where once that Angel-Painter trod
Who saw the heavens opened wide,

And throned upon the crescent moon
The Virginal white Queen of Grace,--
Mary! could I but see thy face
Death could not come at all too soon.

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