Quotations From OSCAR WILDE


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  • The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilised being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea," Pall Mall Gazette (London, February 28, 1885).
  • I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, act 1.
  • A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. De Profundis (1905). A letter to Lord Alfred Douglas following Wilde's trial and imprisonment, written in prison.

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  • Mr. Whistler always spelt art, and we believe still spells it, with a capital "I."
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "The New President," Pall Mall Gazette (London, January 26, 1889).

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  • Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the two sexes.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Cheveley, in An Ideal Husband, act 3.

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  • I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't talk politics.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, act 1.

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  • Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
  • There is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. (repr. 1895). The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).
  • A kiss may ruin a human life.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Mrs. Arbuthnot, in A Woman of No Importance, act 4.

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  • It is only the superficial qualities that last. Man's deeper nature is soon found out.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Cecily, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 3, Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894). Also appears in Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young.

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