Oscar Wilde Quotes

Life! Life! Don't let us go to life for our fulfilment or our experience. It is a thing narrowed by circumstances, incoherent in its utterance, and without that fine correspondence of form and spirit which is the only thing that can satisfy the artistic and critical temperament. It makes us pay too high a price for its wares, and we purchase the meanest of its secrets at a cost that is monstrous and infinite.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
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Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19 (1891).
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I don't like Switzerland; it has produced nothing but theologians and waiters.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted in H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde, ch. 9 (1976). Said during his exile in Europe.
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Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. first published in The Fortnightly Review (Feb. 1891). The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1895).
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Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
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Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891).
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"The Love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect.... It is in this century misunderstood ... and on account of it I am placed where I am now.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted in H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde, ch. 6 (1976). Wilde made this statement during his first trial for "indecent acts," Regina v. Wilde and Taylor (April 30, 1895). "I am the Love that dare not speak its name," was the concluding line of the poem Two Loves, contributed by Lord Alfred Douglas to the undergraduate magazine The Chameleon.
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I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Value of Art in Modern Life (1884).
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Each of the professions means a prejudice. The necessity for a career forces every one to take sides. We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
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What a fuss people make about fidelity! Why, even in love it is purely a question for physiology. It has nothing to do with our own will. Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot: that is all one can say.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 2 (1891).
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