Oscar Wilde Quotes

It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894).
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There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannises over the body. There is the despot who tyrannises over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannises over the soul and body alike. The first is called the Prince. The second is called the Pope. The third is called the People.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891, repr. 1895).
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Bad artists always admire each other's work. They call it being large-minded and free from prejudice. But a truly great artist cannot conceive of life being shown, or beauty fashioned, under any conditions other than those he has selected.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
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They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one's face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 8 (1891).
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A truth ceases to be true when more than one person believes in it.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young," Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894). Shortly afterwards, under cross-examination by Edward Carson, Q.C., during Wilde's prosecution of the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel (Regina v. Queensberry, April 3, 1895), Wilde explained this aphorism: "That would be my metaphysical definition of truth; something so personal that the same truth could never be appreciated by two minds."
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Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891, repr. 1895).
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What is mind but motion in the intellectual sphere?
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, Intentions (1891).
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The longer I live the more keenly I feel that whatever was good enough for our fathers is not good enough for us.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891).
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The condition of perfection is idleness: the aim of perfection is youth.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, Chameleon (London, December 1894).
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Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, February 1891, repr. 1895).
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