Oscar Wilde Quotes

No work of art ever puts forward views. Views belong to people who are not artists.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted during Regina (Wilde) v. Queensberry (April 3, 1895). In answer to Edward Carson, Q.C., during Wilde's prosecution of the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel.
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The State is to make what is useful. The individual is to make what is beautiful.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. 1895. "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).
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No, Ernest, don't talk about action.... It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
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A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 15 (1891).
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While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted in Dramatic Review (London, May 23, 1885).
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Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilisation.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. (repr. 1895). "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," Fortnightly Review (London, February 1891).
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That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilised form of autobiography.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
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I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 (1891).
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Self-denial is the shining sore on the leprous body of Christianity.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted in Frank Harris, Oscar Wilde, ch. 24 (1918).
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One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. (repr. 1895). The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, February 1891).
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