Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''It is only the superficial qualities that last. Man's deeper nature is soon found out.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Cecily, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 3, Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894). Also appears in Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young.
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  • ''A kiss may ruin a human life.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Arbuthnot, in A Woman of No Importance, act 4.
  • ''I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a business engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Cecily, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2.
  • ''Vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, act 3 (1976). Wilde uttered similar words himself in responding to criticisms of his house as "vulgar," when he said, "Vulgarity is the conduct of others." Quoted in H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde, ch. 3.
  • ''The sick do not ask if the hand that smoothes their pillow is pure, nor the dying care if the lips that touch their brow have known the kiss of sin.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Arbuthnot, in A Woman of No Importance, act 4.
  • ''All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright and poet. The Importance of Being Earnest, act I (1895).
  • ''I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't talk politics.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, act 1.
  • ''Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the two sexes.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Cheveley, in An Ideal Husband, act 3.
  • ''Mr. Whistler always spelt art, and we believe still spells it, with a capital "I."''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "The New President," Pall Mall Gazette (London, January 26, 1889).
  • ''A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. De Profundis (1905). A letter to Lord Alfred Douglas following Wilde's trial and imprisonment, written in prison.

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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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