Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, Intentions (1891).
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  • ''One should never make one's debut with a scandal. One should reserve that to give an interest to one's old age.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 8 (1891).
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  • ''To make men Socialists is nothing, but to make Socialism human is a great thing.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. review of Chants of Labour: A Song-Book of the People, ed. Edward Carpenter, Pall Mall Gazette (London, Feb. 15, 1889).
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  • ''Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. The nineteenth century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, published in Intentions (1891).
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  • ''The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. review of Chuang Tsu: Mystic, Moralist and Social Reformer, Speaker (London, Feb. 8, 1890), trans. by Herbert A. Giles.
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  • ''Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, Intentions (1891).
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  • ''I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gwendolen, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 3.
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  • ''The exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Review of Laurence Binyon, Manmohan Ghose, Stephen Phillips and Arthur Cripps, Primavera: Poems, Pall Mall Gazette (London, May 24, 1890).
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  • ''Wordsworth went to the Lakes, but he was never a lake poet. He found in stones the sermons he had already hidden there.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, Intentions (1891). The words recall Shakespeare, As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, l. 15-17: "And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
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  • ''Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gwendolen, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1.
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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

Amor Intellectualis

OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown
From antique reeds to common folk unknown:
And often launched our bark upon that sea
Which the nine Muses hold in empery,
And ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam,
Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home
Till we had freighted well our argosy.
Of which despoilèd treasures these remain,
Sordello's passion, and the honied line
Of young Endymion, ...

Read the full of Amor Intellectualis

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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