Oscar Wilde Quotes

Most popular Oscar Wilde Quotes

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

children parenting profound

All art is immoral.

art

All art is quite useless.
— Oscar Wilde

art

Who, being loved, is poor?
— Oscar Wilde

love

Youth is the Lord of Life.

youth

Everything popular is wrong.
— Oscar Wilde
The final mystery is oneself.
— Oscar Wilde
Nothing succeeds like excess.
— Oscar Wilde

excess

A kiss may ruin a human life.

kiss

The secret of life is an art.
— Oscar Wilde
All great ideas are dangerous.

ideas

There is no sin except stupidity.

sin stupidity

Alas, I am dying beyond my means.
— Oscar Wilde

credit

Only the shallow know themselves.
— Oscar Wilde
He hasn't a single redeeming vice.

vice

True friends stab you in the front.
— Oscar Wilde

betrayal friendship

Charity creates a multitude of sins.
— Oscar Wilde

charity

Those whom the gods love grow young.
— Oscar Wilde
One's style is one's signature always.

style

Biography lends to death a new terror.
— Oscar Wilde

biography

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
— Oscar Wilde
California is an Italy without its art.

California

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
— Oscar Wilde

illusion

Ambition is the last refuge of failure.
— Oscar Wilde

ambition

Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.
— Oscar Wilde
Why was I born with such contemporaries?
— Oscar Wilde
It is always the unreadable that occurs.
— Oscar Wilde
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

patriotism

Science is the record of dead religions.
— Oscar Wilde

science

When good Americans die they go to Paris.
— Oscar Wilde

America

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
— Oscar Wilde

work

Nothing kills love like an overdose of it.
— Oscar Wilde
I can resist everything except temptation.

temptation

Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.

sorrow

No man is rich enough to buy back his past.
— Oscar Wilde

reputation

The very essence of romance is uncertainty.

romance uncertainty

Women are made to be loved, not understood.
— Oscar Wilde

women

I have nothing to declare except my genius.
— Oscar Wilde

witty

Men become old, but they never become good.
— Oscar Wilde

men

Circumstances should never alter principles!

principles

Women as a sex are sphinxes without secrets.
— Oscar Wilde

women

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
— Oscar Wilde

poetry

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
— Oscar Wilde
Dullness is the coming of age of seriousness.
A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
— Oscar Wilde

poets

In married life three is company and two none.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.
— Oscar Wilde

quotations

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
— Oscar Wilde
I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.
— Oscar Wilde

food

The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
— Oscar Wilde

America

A poet can survive everything but the misprint.
— Oscar Wilde
This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
— Oscar Wilde
Religion is a fashionable substitute for Belief.
— Oscar Wilde

religion

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

mankind the world

God and other artists are always a little obscure.
— Oscar Wilde

art

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
— Oscar Wilde
I can believe anything, provided it is incredible.
— Oscar Wilde
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
— Oscar Wilde

experience

A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
— Oscar Wilde

fashion

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
— Oscar Wilde

experience

Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex.
— Oscar Wilde
Celibacy is the most unusual of all the perversions.
— Oscar Wilde
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
— Oscar Wilde

Consistency

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
— Oscar Wilde

saint sin

In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press.
— Oscar Wilde

journalism

It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
— Oscar Wilde

fashion

Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.
— Oscar Wilde

asking questions

Mediocrity always detests ability, and loathes genius.

mediocrity

Questions are never indiscreet.  Answers sometimes are.

asking questions

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
— Oscar Wilde

self-acceptance

There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.
— Oscar Wilde
Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime.
— Oscar Wilde

crime hunger

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
— Oscar Wilde

writers

After all, the only proper intoxication is conversation.
— Oscar Wilde

conversation

A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
— Oscar Wilde

enemies

Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much.
— Oscar Wilde

enemies forgiveness

Memory ... is the diary that we all carry about with us.

memory

One can always be kind to people one cares nothing about.
— Oscar Wilde

kindness

A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

enemies

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage wife

The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
— Oscar Wilde
Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
— Oscar Wilde
The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.
— Oscar Wilde
When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
— Oscar Wilde
The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.
— Oscar Wilde

emotion

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.
— Oscar Wilde

excess moderation

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
— Oscar Wilde

temptation

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
— Oscar Wilde

interesting

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
— Oscar Wilde
Caricature is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius.

mediocrity

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
— Oscar Wilde

beauty

One should always play fair when one has the winning cards.
— Oscar Wilde
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
— Oscar Wilde
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
— Oscar Wilde

art

Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.
— Oscar Wilde

work

Mr Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.
— Oscar Wilde
Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.

mediocrity

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
— Oscar Wilde

arguments funny

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
— Oscar Wilde

friendship

One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.
— Oscar Wilde
Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
— Oscar Wilde

teaching

A consultant is an ordinary man away from home giving advice.
— Oscar Wilde

consultants

To get back ones youth one has merely to repeat ones follies.
— Oscar Wilde

youth

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.
— Oscar Wilde
A simile committing suicide is always a depressing spectacle.

simile

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.
— Oscar Wilde

gambling

The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.
— Oscar Wilde

audiences

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
— Oscar Wilde

waiting

They knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing.
— Oscar Wilde
It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
— Oscar Wilde

money

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.
— Oscar Wilde

genius

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.
— Oscar Wilde

life

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
— Oscar Wilde
Artists, like the Greek gods, are only revealed to one another.
— Oscar Wilde
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
— Oscar Wilde

taste

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
— Oscar Wilde
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
— Oscar Wilde
The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.
— Oscar Wilde

creativity imagination

History is gossip but scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.
— Oscar Wilde

gossip

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
— Oscar Wilde

progress

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

aspiration attitude

Details are of no importance in life, but in art details are vital.

art

Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there.
— Oscar Wilde

rural country

I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.
— Oscar Wilde
Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.
— Oscar Wilde

women

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

Youth smiles without any reason.  It is one of its chiefest charms.

youth

Hear no evil, speak no evil- And you'll never be invited to a party.
— Oscar Wilde

gossip

Anybody can be good in the country.  There are no temptations there.

rural country

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
— Oscar Wilde

gentleman manners

When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
— Oscar Wilde

happiness

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.
— Oscar Wilde

earnestness

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.

old age tragedy

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
— Oscar Wilde

genius talent talent & genius

One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
— Oscar Wilde

mistakes

Experience, the name men give to their mistakes.  I never commit any.

experience mistakes

Now and then it is a joy to have one's table red with wine and roses.
— Oscar Wilde
Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.
— Oscar Wilde

success

Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.

duty

An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.
— Oscar Wilde
The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.
— Oscar Wilde

socialism wisdom

No man should have a secret from his wife—she invariably finds it out.
— Oscar Wilde

wife

The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.
— Oscar Wilde
Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.
— Oscar Wilde

pessimism

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

art individuality

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
— Oscar Wilde

conversation small talk

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.
— Oscar Wilde

style

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
— Oscar Wilde

genius the public

There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies.
— Oscar Wilde
Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.
— Oscar Wilde

arguments

Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.
— Oscar Wilde

impossible

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
— Oscar Wilde

ideas

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
— Oscar Wilde

face

Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.

ignorance

A man's face is his autobiography.  A woman's face is her work of fiction.

face men and women

The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.
— Oscar Wilde

fiction

An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.
— Oscar Wilde

ideas revolution

The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.
— Oscar Wilde

art

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
— Oscar Wilde

artists critics

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.
— Oscar Wilde
A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

cynics

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection.
— Oscar Wilde

art

Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.
— Oscar Wilde
To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life.
— Oscar Wilde
No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.
— Oscar Wilde

women

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.
— Oscar Wilde

mankind

There are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage.
— Oscar Wilde

temptation

One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.
— Oscar Wilde

judging the past

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.
— Oscar Wilde

beauty

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
— Oscar Wilde

life

When people talk to me about the weather, I always feel they mean something else.
— Oscar Wilde

determination small talk weather

Philosophy may teach us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of our neighbors.
— Oscar Wilde
All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled.  It is the secret of their attraction.

charm

The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
— Oscar Wilde

democracy

Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women like to be a man's last romance.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women romance

If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.
— Oscar Wilde

sympathy

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

immorality

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
— Oscar Wilde
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
— Oscar Wilde
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.
— Oscar Wilde

morals

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
— Oscar Wilde

parents women

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

sincerity

Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue.
Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

motives

Young men want to be faithful, and are not. Old men want to be faithless, and cannot.
— Oscar Wilde

infidelity

The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing at all.
— Oscar Wilde

decision-making

How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.
— Oscar Wilde

society

A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.

self-control sorrow

We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.

America England

It is absurd to divide people into good or bad.  People are either charming or tedious.

boring people charm

Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
— Oscar Wilde

government

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
— Oscar Wilde

fashion

Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
— Oscar Wilde

religion

It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.

advice

Cynicism is merely the art of seeing things as they are instead of as they ought to be.

cynicism

Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.
— Oscar Wilde

father

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.
— Oscar Wilde

journalism

An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship.
— Oscar Wilde
Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
— Oscar Wilde
If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk.
— Oscar Wilde
When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

What we have to do, what at any rate is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of lying.

lying

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.
— Oscar Wilde
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

art portraits

As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.
— Oscar Wilde

age

Every great man nowadays has his disciple, and it is usually Judas who writes the biography.

biography

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want.
— Oscar Wilde

gratitude

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everyone in good society holds exactly the same opinion.
— Oscar Wilde

arguments

What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying.
— Oscar Wilde

lying

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
— Oscar Wilde

books

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But ... it is better to be good than to be ugly.
— Oscar Wilde
Ultimately, the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or friendship, is conversation.
— Oscar Wilde

conversation friendship marriage

I don't want money. It is only people who pay their bills who want that, and I never pay mine.
— Oscar Wilde

money

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
— Oscar Wilde

love

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
— Oscar Wilde
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
— Oscar Wilde

friendship laughter

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
— Oscar Wilde

art artists

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
— Oscar Wilde
As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.
— Oscar Wilde

women

In modern life nothing produces such an effect as a good platitude. It makes the whole world kin.
— Oscar Wilde
The best one can say of modern creative art is that it is just a little less vulgar than reality.
— Oscar Wilde
Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.
— Oscar Wilde

romance

Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away.
— Oscar Wilde
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
— Oscar Wilde
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
— Oscar Wilde

America

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
— Oscar Wilde
The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it ... I can resist everything but temptation.
— Oscar Wilde

temptation

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

selfishness

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
— Oscar Wilde
To get into the best society nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people.
— Oscar Wilde
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

advice

There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.
— Oscar Wilde

human nature

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
— Oscar Wilde

desire

I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.

advice

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.
— Oscar Wilde
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
— Oscar Wilde

human nature lying

The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life.  The old are in Life's lumber-room.  Youth is the Lord of Life.

youth & age

It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
— Oscar Wilde
The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it.
— Oscar Wilde

sales

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
— Oscar Wilde

gossip

There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
— Oscar Wilde

blame

Women are never disarmed by compliments.  Men always are.  That is the difference between the two sexes.

compliments men and women

The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.

infidelity love

The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.
— Oscar Wilde

interesting

She has a curious love of green, which in individual is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament.
— Oscar Wilde
While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.
— Oscar Wilde
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.
— Oscar Wilde

America

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
— Oscar Wilde
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
— Oscar Wilde

books morals

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
— Oscar Wilde

journalism literature

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.
— Oscar Wilde

funny journalism

There is a luxury in self-reproach.  When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us.

blame

One can live for years sometimes without living at all, and then all life comes crowding into one single hour.

life

The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been.  It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.

intellect

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
— Oscar Wilde

money

I see when men love women, they give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
— Oscar Wilde
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
— Oscar Wilde
I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.
— Oscar Wilde
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.
— Oscar Wilde

age women

I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.
— Oscar Wilde

principles

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.  To be natural is to be obvious, and to be obvious is to be inartistic.

poetry

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
— Oscar Wilde

English people

Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.

marriage men and women

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.

color

There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.
— Oscar Wilde

marriage

Pleasure is nature's test, her sign of approval.  When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
— Oscar Wilde

pleasure

Thirty-five is a very attractive age. Society 4 women who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years.
— Oscar Wilde
Clergyman and people who use phrases without wisdom sometimes talk of suffering as a mystery. It is really a revelation.

suffering

Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

There is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad. There is no sin except stupidity.
— Oscar Wilde
Taking sides is the beginning of sincerity, and earnestness follows shortly afterwards, and the human being becomes a bore.

boring people earnestness

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

be yourself

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
— Oscar Wilde
How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

A dreamer is man who can find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
— Oscar Wilde
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
— Oscar Wilde

man the animal reason

In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
— Oscar Wilde

America

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.
— Oscar Wilde

witty

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

education

To believe is very dull.  To doubt is intensely engrossing.  To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die.

doubt

Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success.
— Oscar Wilde

friendship success

When a love comes to an end, weaklings cry, efficient ones instantly find another love, and the wise already have one in reserve.
— Oscar Wilde
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
— Oscar Wilde

dreams

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
— Oscar Wilde
As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
— Oscar Wilde

war

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.

misfortune self-destructiveness shortcomings

I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
— Oscar Wilde

reason

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating—people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
— Oscar Wilde
Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
— Oscar Wilde

the self

When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others.  That is what the world calls a romance.

deceit romance

There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else.
— Oscar Wilde

money

Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
— Oscar Wilde

common sense mistakes

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

optimism

Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
— Oscar Wilde

family

It is a great mistake for men to give up paying compliments, for when they give up saying what is charming, they give up thinking what is charming.
— Oscar Wilde

charm manners

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.

utopia

One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

mankind man the animal

Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.

mistakes regret

It is only fair to state, with regard to modern journalists, that they always apologize to one in private for what they have written against one in public.
— Oscar Wilde

journalism

There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch of the ignorance of the community.
— Oscar Wilde

journalism

In Art, the public accept what has been, because they cannot alter it, not because they appreciate it. They swallow their classics whole, and never taste them.

classics

Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them.

Activism discontent

In this world there are only two tragedies.  One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.  The last is much the worst; the last is a real tragedy!

tragedy

Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. Women have a more subtle instinct about things. What they like is to be a man's last romance.
— Oscar Wilde

love men and women

It is only about things that do not interest one that one can give a really unbiased opinion, which is no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is always valueless.
— Oscar Wilde

experts opinions

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
— Oscar Wilde

theater

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.
— Oscar Wilde

food for thought temptation

There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

blame

It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can realize our perfection; through Art and Art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.
— Oscar Wilde
When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
— Oscar Wilde

men and women

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
— Oscar Wilde

enemies relationships

There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathize with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better.
— Oscar Wilde
Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type.  Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.

selfishness variety

Just as the orator marks his good things by a dramatic pause, or by raising and lowering his voice, or by gesture, so the writer marks his epigrams with italics, setting the little gem, so to speak, like a jeweler.

punctuation

My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.

men women

Fashion rests upon folly.  Art rests upon law.  Fashion is ephemeral.  Art is eternal.  Indeed what is a fashion really?  A fashion is merely a form of ugliness so absolutely unbearable that we have to alter it every six months!

fashion

Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man.  Real riches cannot.  In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you.  And so, try to so shape your life that external things will not harm you.

wealth

Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing. To morals belong the lower and less intellectual spheres.
— Oscar Wilde

art