George Bernard Shaw Quotes
Most popular George Bernard Shaw Quotes
Life is a flame that is always burning itself out; but it catches fire again every time a child is born.
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
Success covers many blunders.
The Family is a petty despotism.
Skepticism is the beginning of faith.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
Success covers a multitude of blunders.
He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
There is only one universal passion: fear.
The slave of fear: the worst of slaveries.
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
Woman reduces us all to a common denominator.
I was a freethinker before I knew how to think.
Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.
Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics.
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.
A perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
Home is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse.
The churches must learn humility as well as teach it.
A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
If parents would only realize how they bore their children.
Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.
Effectiveness of assertion is the alpha and omega of style.
We should have had socialism already but for the socialists.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
No man fully capable of his own language ever masters another.
Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
Freedom means responsibility. That is why most people dread it.
We learn from history that we don't learn anything from history.
What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned.
Virtue consists not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it.
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
Man can climb to the highest summits; but he cannot dwell there long.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.
No man is a pure specialist without being in the strict sense an idiot.
The price of ability does not depend on merit, but on supply and demand.
Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.
I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.
It was from Handel that I learned that style consists in force of assertion.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.
No question is so difficult to answer as one in which the answer is obvious.
Striving and struggling is the worst way you could set about doing anything.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.
Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating ten more.
The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.
Martyrdom...is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.
My way of joking is telling the truth; that is the funniest joke in the world.
Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful.
A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor.
It is courage, courage, courage that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor.
If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.
You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
Gambling promises the poor what Property performs for the rich—something for nothing.
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.
We must be thoroughly democratic and patronise everybody without distinction of class.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
That is what all poets do: they talk to themselves out loud; and the world overhears them.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
Why should we take advice on sex from the Pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't.
Absolute honesty is as absurd an abstraction as an absolute temperature or an absolute value.
People are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'
Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
Better keep yourself clean and bright: you are the window through which you must see the world.
He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.
Our home life as we understand it is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.
The whole world is strewn with snares, traps, gins and pitfalls for the capture of men by women.
Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.
The photographer is like the cod which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.
Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.
Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
A man who has no office to go to—I don't care who he is—is a trial of which you can have no conception.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
Changeable women are more enduring than monotonous ones. They are sometimes murdered but seldom deserted.
Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.
Mendoza: I am a brigand: I live by robbing the rich. Tanner: I am a gentleman: I live by robbing the poor.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.
When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport: when the tiger wants to kill him, he calls it ferocity.
O Lord! I don't know which is the worst of the country, the walking or the sitting at home with nothing to do.
My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.
Life is a disease; and the only difference between one man and another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.
I created nothing; I invented nothing; I imagined nothing; I perverted nothing; I simply discovered drama in real life.
Nothing soothes me more after a long and maddening course of pianoforte recitals than to sit and have my teeth drilled.
My own education operated by a succession of eye-openers each involving the repudiation of some previously held belief.
Parentage is a very important profession; but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.
You don't learn to hold your own in the world by standing on guard, but by attacking, and getting well hammered yourself.
To the person with a toothache, even if the world is tottering, there is nothing more important than a visit to a dentist.
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.
Do not love your neighbor as yourself. If you are on good terms with yourself, it is an impertinence; if on bad, an injury.
No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.
You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.
The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
It is an extremely difficult thing to put on the stage anything which runs contrary to the opinions of a large body of people.
The test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel. Anybody can behave well when things are going smoothly.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
Let no one suppose that the words doctor and patient can disguise from the parties the fact that they are employer and employee.
There are those who see the world as it is and ask, 'Why?' and there are those who see the world as it could be, and ask, 'Why not?'
Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.
Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
When we want to read of the deeds that are done for love, whither do we turn? To the murder column; and there we are rarely disappointed.
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
Money is indeed the most important thing in the world and all sound and successful personal and national morality should have this fact for its basis.
Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice.
The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.
The haughty American nation ... makes the Negro clean its boots and then proves the moral and physical inferiority of the Negro by the fact that he is a bootblack.
The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
To withhold deserved praise lest it should make its object conceited is as dishonest as to withhold payment of a just debt lest your creditor should spend the money badly.
A man's work is a day's work, neither more nor less, and the man who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose, and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
When men and women pick one another up for just a bit of fun, they find they've picked up more than they bargained for, because men and women have a top story as well as a ground floor, and you can't have the one without the other.
Human affection...is the one great curse of mankind, the principal obstruction to its progress. Take myself, for instance; all my life affection has been showered on me, and everything that I have done I have had to do in spite of it.
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.
I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.
When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
It is a noteworthy fact that kicking and beating have played so considerable a part in the habits which necessity has imposed on mankind in past ages that the only way of preventing civilized men from beating and kicking their wives is to organize games in which they can kick and beat balls.
All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.