Famous Quotes By Oscar Wilde That are Too Good to Be Missed

Famous Oscar Wilde Quotes
Oscar Wilde was one of the most outstanding literary geniuses to have walked the earth. This post features some absolutely awe-inspiring and famous quotes by the legendary writer.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
"Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword."
Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 - November 30, 1900) was an Irish writer. A poet and playwright, Wilde is known for his extremely dramatic portrayals of human conditions. In the late 19th century, he became the most popular playwright in London.
Even today, his plays, poems, and short stories continue to inspire the world. We, at Buzzle, have made a small compilation of some of his most famous quotes, which give us a chance to peep into the mind of a genius that was Oscar Wilde.
Famous Quotes by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde quote
"The only good thing to do with good advice is to pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself."
(from An Ideal Husband)
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
(from Lady Windermere's Fan)
"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."
(from The Importance of Being Earnest)
"Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all."
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
"Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace."
(from The Canterville Ghost)
Oscar Wilde quote
"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."
(from The Nightingale and the Rose)
"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."
(from Lady Windermere's Fan)
"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."
(from An Ideal Husband)
"I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them."
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."
(from An Ideal Husband)
"And thus we rust Life's iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:
But God's eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone."
(from The Ballad Of Reading Gaol)
Oscar Wilde quote
"Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different."
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing."
(from The Soul of Man Under Socialism, and Selected Critical Prose)
"Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?"
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means."
(from The Importance of Being Earnest)
"The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death."
(from Salome)
Oscar Wilde quote
"It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it."
(from An Ideal Husband)
"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."
(from The Critic as Artist)
"The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."
(from The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde)
"The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror."
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
"Misfortunes one can endure--they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults--ah!--there is the sting of life."
(from Lady Windermere's Fan)
Oscar Wilde quote
"When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."
(from An Ideal Husband)
"I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. It was the most premature definition ever given. Man is many things, but he is not rational."
(from The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings)
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
Oscar Wilde quote
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
"Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."
"I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability."
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."
Oscar Wilde quote
"No good deed goes unpunished."
"Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping."
"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction."
"I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects."
"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
"Indeed I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do."
Oscar Wilde quote
"Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer."
"Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life."
"Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What (women) like is to be a man's last romance."
"One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything."
"The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out."
Oscar Wilde quote
"One should always be in love. That's the reason one should never marry."
"Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not."
"Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative."
"Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is [hu]man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion."
"They've promised that dreams can come true - but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too."
Oscar Wilde quote
"Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others."
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world."
"The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read."
"Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies."
"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."
"If you cannot write well, you cannot think well; if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you."
Oscar Wilde created numerous awe-inspiring literary works, before he died of cerebral meningitis in 1900. He now rests in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The epitaph on his tomb is a verse from his own work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and reads,
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.