Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 15 (1891).
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  • ''One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Rose-Leaf and Apple-Leaf: Envoi.
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  • ''It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Vivian, in The Decay of Lying, Intentions (1891).
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  • ''Bad art is a great deal worse than no art at all.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "House Decoration," lecture, 1882, published in Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991).
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  • ''Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Grey, ch. 1 (1891).
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  • ''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.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in the The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).
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  • ''Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry to Dorian Gray, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19 (1891).
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  • ''Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 1.
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  • ''Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry Wotton, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891). A similar wording was used in Lady Windermere's Fan. See Wilde on cynics.
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  • ''Do you really think, Arthur, that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 2. To Lord Goring; on the same theme, Wilde wrote, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 2: "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."
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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

(In memoriam
C. T. W.
Sometime trooper of the Royal Horse Guards
obiit H.M. prison, Reading, Berkshire
July 7, 1896)

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who ...

Read the full of The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

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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