Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 3 (1891).
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  • ''When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Comment to reporters on the murder in Dublin of the new Irish chief secretary, Lord Frederick Cavendish, by Fenian nationalists, May 1882. Quoted in Richard Ellman, Oscar Wilde, ch. 7 (1987).
  • ''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.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, published in Intentions (1891).
  • ''I seem to have heard that observation before.... It has all the vitality of error and all the tediousness of an old friend.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
  • ''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.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891). The same words were spoken by Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.
  • ''Twenty years of romance makes a woman look like a ruin; but twenty years of marriage makes her look like a public building.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. From A Woman of No Importance (1893). Quoted in The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde, ed. Alvin Redman (1952).
  • ''Most of our modern portrait painters are doomed to absolute oblivion. They never paint what they see. They paint what the public sees, and the public never sees anything.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, published in Intentions (1891).
  • ''To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
  • ''There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891).
  • ''His style is chaos illumined by flashes of lightning. As a writer he has mastered everything except language.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Vivian, in "The Decay of Lying," Intentions (1891). Of author George Meredith.

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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

Her Voice

THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,--
It shall be, I said, for eternity
...

Read the full of Her Voice

Quantum Mutata

THERE was a time in Europe long ago
When no man died for freedom anywhere,
But England's lion leaping from its lair
Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
While England could a great Republic show.
Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
The Pontiff in his painted portico
Trembled before our stern ambassadors.

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