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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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.
  • ''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).
  • ''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.
  • ''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).
  • ''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."
  • ''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

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

Santa Decca

THE Gods are dead: no longer do we bring
To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive-leaves!
Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves,
And in the noon the careless shepherds sing,
For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning
By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er:
Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more;
Great Pan is dead, and Mary's Son is King.

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