Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''Political life at Washington is like political life in a suburban vestry.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Invasion," Court and Society Review (March 1887).
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  • ''If a man needs an elaborate tombstone in order to remain in the memory of his country, it is clear that his living at all was an act of absolute superfluity.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. public letter, read Jan. 15, 1885, at Funeral and Mourning Reform meeting, Leicester, England.
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  • ''I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 4 (1895). Wilde also wrote, "Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions."M"The Remarkable Rocket," published in The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888).
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  • ''Youth! There is nothing like youth. The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life. The old are in Life's lumber-room. But youth is the Lord of Life. Youth has a kingdom waiting for it. Every one is born a king, and most people die in exile.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.
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  • ''The Americans are certainly hero-worshippers, and always take their heroes from the criminal classes.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Letter, April 19, 1882.
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  • ''Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2 (1891). Wilde had used almost the same words in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 5 (1891).
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  • ''In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "The American Invasion," Court and Society Review (London, March 23, 1887).
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  • ''After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Caroline, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2.
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  • ''The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 1.
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  • ''On the whole, the great success of marriage in the States is due partly to the fact that no American man is ever idle, and partly to the fact that no American wife is considered responsible for the quality of her husband's dinners.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Man," Court and Society Review (London, April 13, 1887). In the same article, Wilde called marriage one of America's most popular institutions: "The American man marries early, and the American woman marries often; and they get on extremely well together."
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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

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.