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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We become lovers when we see Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet makes us students. The blood of Duncan is upon our hands, with Timon we rage against the world, and when Lear wanders out upon the heath the terror of madness touches us. Ours is the white sinlessness of Desdemona, and ours, also, the sin of Iago.
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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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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An entirely new factor has appeared in the social development of the country, and this factor is the Irish-American, and his influence. To mature its powers, to concentrate its action, to learn the secret of its own strength and of England's weakness, the Celtic intellect has had to cross the Atlantic. At home it had but learned the pathetic weakness of nationality; in a strange land it realised what indomitable forces nationality possesses. What captivity was to the Jews, exile has been to the Irish: America and American influence have educated them.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Pall Mall Gazette (London, April 13, 1889). Excerpt from a review of J.A. Froude, The Two Chiefs of Dunboy: Or an Irish Romance of the Last Century.
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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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