Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''He thinks like a Tory, and talks like a Radical, and that's so important nowadays.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Erlynne, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 2.
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  • ''I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Ernest, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891). He continued, "which, however, is, no doubt, the true explanation of their popularity, as the English public always feels perfectly at its ease when a mediocrity is talking to it." In reply, Gilbert disagreed with Ernest's view of autobiography: "In literature mere egotism is delightful."
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  • ''Civilisation is not by any means an easy thing to attain to. There are only two ways by which man can reach it. One is by being cultured, the other by being corrupt.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19 (1891).
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  • ''The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Nineteenth Century (London, May 1885).
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  • ''No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Portrait of Mr. W.H., ch. 1, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (July 1889).
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  • ''All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Erskine, in The Portrait of Mr. W.H., ch. 1, First published in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (July 1889).
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  • ''Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).
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  • ''Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "The Relation of Dress to Art," Pall Mall Gazette (London, Feb. 28, 1885).
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  • ''A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). Erskine, in The Portrait of Mr. W.H., ch. 1, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (July 1889).
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  • ''The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 2 (1891).
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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

Rome Unvisited

I.
THE corn has turned from grey to red,
Since first my spirit wandered forth
From the drear cities of the north,
And to Italia's mountains fled.

And here I set my face towards home,
For all my pilgrimage is done,
Although, methinks, yon blood-red sun

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