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From Arts to Love: Oscar Wilde Quotes

Oscar Wilde was born Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland.

He grew up in Dublin and studied at Trinity Collegebefore moving to Oxford to pursue his studies at Magdalen College, Oxford. Not only was Oscar Wilde famous for his intelligence, wit and literary style, but he became also became known and famous for his personal life. He died at the age of 46 on the 30th of November 1900.

Top 5 Facts about Oscar Wilde

  • Oscar Wilde wrote various plays, short stories but only one novel – The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Oscar Wilde gave lectures in the United States and Canada
  • He married Constance Lloyd on May 29, 1884.
  • Wilde was imprisoned between 1895 to 1897
  • He moved to France in 1897 where he died of meningitis

Oscar Wilde Quotes & Wits

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.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Experience Quotes from Oscar Wilde

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

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.

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.

I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

I delight in men over seventy. They always offer one the devotion of a lifetime.

Nowadays, all the married men live like bachelors, and all the bachelors like married men.

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die

I don’t like compliments, and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean

He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.

Action is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

I do not approve of anything which tampers with natural ignorance

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

Married men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not

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

Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.

To get into the best society nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

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

Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.

No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true.

The more one analyses people, the more all reasons for analysis disappear. Sooner or later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature.

The world has been made by fools that men should live in it

The value of an idea has nothing to do with the success of the man who expresses it

The only way a woman can ever reform her husband is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life

Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.

The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result.

I don’t want money. It is only people who pay their bills who want that, and I never pay mine.

The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one’s own perfection, to make one’s every dream a reality.

Oscar Wilde Quotes on Art & The Artist

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.

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

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.

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

For an artist to marry his model is as fatal as for a gourmet to marry his cook: the one gets no sittings, and the other gets no dinners.

The secret of life is in art.

The mere mechanical technique of acting can be taught, but the spirit that is to give life to lifeless forms must be born in a man. No dramatic college can teach its pupils to think or to feel. It is Nature who makes our artists for us, though it may be Art who taught them their right mode of expression.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors

Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life

Selected Quotes on Beauty By Oscar Wilde

There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathize with the color, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life’s sores the better.

Hear no evil, speak no evil – and you’ll never be invited to a party

It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.

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

Nobody of any real culture, for instance, ever talks nowadays about the beauty of sunset. Sunsets are quite old fashioned. To admire them is a distinct sign of provincialism of temperament. Upon the other hand they go on.

Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic – a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.

The State is to make what is useful. The individual is to make what is beautiful.

Oscar Wilde Quotes About Death

My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s

For he who lives more lives than one – More deaths than one must die

The Governor was strong upon/ The Regulations Act:/ The Doctor said that Death was but/ A scientific fact:/ And twice a day the Chaplain called,/ And left a little tract.

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

And the wild regrets and the bloody sweats None knew so well as I: That he who lives more lives than one, More deaths than one shall die.

And now, I am dying beyond my means. [Sipping champagne on his deathbed]

He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed

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 to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

Oscar Wilde Quotes about WomenThe strength of women

The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.

The husbands of very beautiful women belong to the criminal classes.

The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.

Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.

One should never trust a woman who tells her real age. If she tells that, she’ll tell anything.

When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her.

Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a mans last romance.

London is full of women who trust their husbands. One can always recognize them. They look so thoroughly unhappy.

35 is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.

Thirty five is a very attractive age; London society is full of women who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years.

Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification

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

She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.

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

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

You know what a woman’s curiosity is

Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones.

Don’t give a woman advice: one should never give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening

Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.

Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.

A woman will flirt with anybody in the world as long as other people are looking on

Oscar Wilde Quotes on Marriage

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.

Marriage is the one subject on which all women agree and all men disagree

Men marry because they are tired, women because they are curious; both are disappointed.

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.

Twenty years of romance makes a woman look like a ruin; but twenty years of marriage make her something like a public building

I was disappointed in Niagara – most people must be disappointed in Niagara. Every American bride is taken there, and the sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life.

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

What nonsense people talk about happy marriages! A man can be happy with any woman so long as he doesn’t love her

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

In married life three is company and two none.

Selected Quotes on Love by Oscar Wilde

By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.

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!

Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible. The Picture of Dorian Gray

The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to lifethat nothing else can bring.

They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever.

The man had killed the thing he loved, And so he had to die

Shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. The loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude.

I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

People who love only once in their lives are. . . shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.

What a fuss people make about fidelity! Why, even in love it is purely a question for physiology. It has nothing to do with our own will. Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot: that is all one can say.

Here is the first passionate love-letter I have ever written in my life. Strange, that my first passionate love-letter should have been addressed to a dead girl. Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent people we call the dead?

Top Oscar Wilde Quotes & Wits About Life

He to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives.

I live in fear of not being misunderstood

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

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

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

Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.

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

Life is too important to be taken seriously.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.Oscar Wilde To Live Quotes

Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.

Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

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

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

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

We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

The man who says he has exhausted life generally means that life has exhausted him.

A kiss may ruin a human life.

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

The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.

One’s real life is often the life that one does not lead

The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly deceived

Good taste is the excuse I’ve always given for leading such a bad life

Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.

To become a spectator of one’s own life is to escape the suffering of life.

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

The great events of life often leave one unmoved; they pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion.

And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed

What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise

He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realise.

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go

All trials are trials for one’s life, just as all sentences are sentences of death.

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

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

Put your talent into your work, but your genius into your life

The great things in life are what they seem to be. And for that reason, strange as it may sound to you, often are very difficult to interpret (understand). Great passion are for the great of souls. Great events can only be seen by people who are on a level with them. We think we can have our visions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing visions have to paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine.

The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life.

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

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.

Life, Lady Stutfield, is simply a mauvais quart d’heure made up of exquisite moments.

It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher.

Anybody can write a three-volume novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature.

To elope is cowardly; it is running away from danger; and danger has become so rare in modern life

There is only one real tragedy in a woman’s life. The fact that her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.

It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.

We quaff the cup of life with eager haste without draining it, instead of which it only overflows the brim / objects press around us, filling the mind with the throng of desires that wait upon them, so that we have no room for the thoughts of death.

Youth! There is nothing like youth. The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life. The old are in Life’s lumber-room. But youth is the Lord of Life. Youth has a kingdom waiting for it. Every one is born a king, and most people die in exile.

I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming pe

Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. The nineteenth century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac.

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

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