Oscar Wilde Quotes

The Ideal Man should talk to us as if we were goddesses, and treat us as if we were children. He should refuse all our serious requests, and gratify every one of our whims. He should encourage us to have caprices, and forbid us to have missions. He should always say much more than he means, and always mean much more than he says.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Allonby, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2.
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Who is that man over there? I don't know him. What is he doing? Is he a conspirator? Have you searched him? Give him till tomorrow to confess, then hang him!—hang him!
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Czar, in Vera, or the Nihilists, act 2. Prince Paul replies, "Sire, you are anticipating history. This is Count Petouchof, your new Ambassador to Berlin."
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Gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Cecil Graham, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 3.
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If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Darlington, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 1.
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They are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Allonby, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2.
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She is absolutely inadmissible into society. Many a woman has a past, but I am told that she has at least a dozen, and that they all fit.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Duchess of Berwick, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 1 (1893). Referring to Mrs. Erlynne.
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My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Cecil Graham, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 2.
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Examinations, sir, are pure humbug from beginning to end. If a man is a gentleman, he knows quite enough, and if he is not a gentleman, whatever he knows is bad for him.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Fermor, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 3 (1891). Lord Illingworth makes the same declaration in A Woman of No Importance (act 3), first performed three years after the publication of Dorian Gray.
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Life, Lady Stutfield, is simply a mauvais quart d'heure made up of exquisite moments.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Allonby, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2 (1893).
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A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1895). The Fortnightly Review (Feb. 1891).
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