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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by George Bernard Shaw. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born in Dublin, Shaw moved to London in 1876, where he struggled to establish himself as a writer and novelist, and embarked on a rigorous process of self-education. By the mid-1880s he had become a respected theatre and music critic. Following a political awakening, he joined the gradualist Fabian Society and became its most prominent pamphleteer. Shaw had been writing plays for years before his first public success, Arms and the Man in 1894. Influenced by Henrik Ibsen, he sought to introduce a new realism into English-language drama, using his plays as vehicles to disseminate his political, social and religious ideas. By the early twentieth century his reputation as a dramatist was secured with a series of critical and popular successes that included Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma and Caesar and Cleopatra.

Shaw's expressed views were often contentious; he promoted eugenics and alphabet reform, and opposed vaccination and organised religion. He courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War as equally culpable, and although not a republican, castigated British policy on Ireland in the postwar period. These stances had no lasting effect on his standing or productivity as a dramatist; the inter-war years saw a series of often ambitious plays, which achieved varying degrees of popular success. In 1938 he provided the screenplay for a filmed version of Pygmalion for which he received an Academy Award. His appetite for politics and controversy remained undiminished; by the late 1920s he had largely renounced Fabian Society gradualism and often wrote and spoke favourably of dictatorships of the right and left—he expressed admiration for both Mussolini and Stalin. In the final decade of his life he made fewer public statements, but continued to write prolifically until shortly before his death, aged ninety-four, having refused all state honours, including the Order of Merit in 1946.

Since Shaw's death scholarly and critical opinion about his works has varied, but he has regularly been rated among British dramatists as second only to Shakespeare; analysts recognise his extensive influence on generations of English-language playwrights. The word Shavian has entered the language as encapsulating Shaw's ideas and his means of expressing them.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

--George Bernard Shaw

The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound.

--George Bernard Shaw

We sing in a church, why can we not dance there?

--George Bernard Shaw

The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood.

--George Bernard Shaw

Decency is indecency's conspiracy of silence.

--George Bernard Shaw

Decency cannot be discussed without indecency!

--George Bernard Shaw

The roulette table pays nobody except him that keeps it. Nevertheless a passion for gaming is common, though a passion for keeping roulette tables is unknown.

--George Bernard Shaw

In art, as in politics, there is no such thing as gratitude.

--George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy-the being used for the purpose recognized as a mighty one.

--George Bernard Shaw

Love is the gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.

--George Bernard Shaw

Youth is such a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

--George Bernard Shaw

Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

--George Bernard Shaw

A man's interest in the world is only an overflow from his interest in himself.

--George Bernard Shaw

When people shake their heads because we are living in a restless age, ask them how they would like to live in a stationary one, and do without change.

--George Bernard Shaw

Do not try to live forever, you will not succeed.

--George Bernard Shaw

People exaggerate the value of things they haven't got: everybody worships truth and unselfishness because they have no experience with them.

--George Bernard Shaw

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. 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.

--George Bernard Shaw

Most people go to their grave with their music inside them.

--George Bernard Shaw

Science, never solves a problem without creating ten more.

--George Bernard Shaw

Independence? That's middle-class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

--George Bernard Shaw

Only fools repeat the same things over and over, expecting to obtain different results.

--George Bernard Shaw

Hinduism is so elastic and subtle that the most profound Methodist and crudest Idolator are equally at home with it.

--George Bernard Shaw

A good intention is like the seed of a tree whose fruit we do not know.

--George Bernard Shaw

Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.

--George Bernard Shaw

This planet is obviously being used as an insane asylum by other planets.

--George Bernard Shaw

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books nobody reads.

--George Bernard Shaw

In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice.

--George Bernard Shaw

Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

--George Bernard Shaw

You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'

--George Bernard Shaw

He who has never hoped, can never despair.

--George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.

--George Bernard Shaw

I have nothing to offer you but my strength for your defence, my honesty for your surety, my ability and industry for your livelihood, and my authority and position for your dignity. That is all it becomes a man to offer a woman.

--George Bernard Shaw

Hell is full of musical amateurs.

--George Bernard Shaw

There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.

--George Bernard Shaw

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity.

--George Bernard Shaw

Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating ten more.

--George Bernard Shaw

Animals are my friends, and I don't eat my friends.

--George Bernard Shaw

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport. When a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

--George Bernard Shaw

Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again everytime a child is born.

--George Bernard Shaw

It is easy -- terribly easy -- to shake a man's faith in himself. To take advantage of that, to break a man's spirit is devil's work.

--George Bernard Shaw

When you read a biography remember that the truth is never fit for publication.

--George Bernard Shaw

Most of the money given by rich people in 'charity' is made up of conscience money, 'ransom,' political bribery, and bids for titles.... One buys moral credit by signing a cheque, which is easier than turning a prayer wheel.

--George Bernard Shaw

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

--George Bernard Shaw

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

--George Bernard Shaw

I'm not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead- ahead of myself as well as you.

--George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

--George Bernard Shaw

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.

--George Bernard Shaw

Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why. ' I dream of things that never were, and say, 'Why not?'

--George Bernard Shaw

In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it.

--George Bernard Shaw

The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination.

--George Bernard Shaw

People get tired of everything, and of nothing sooner than of what they most like.

--George Bernard Shaw

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody can read.

--George Bernard Shaw

Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.

--George Bernard Shaw

Hell is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.

--George Bernard Shaw

No man fully capable of his own language ever masters another.

--George Bernard Shaw

Revelations: A curious record of the visions of a drug addict.

--George Bernard Shaw

Boasting about modesty is typical of the English.

--George Bernard Shaw

A conquered nation is like a man with cancer: he can think of nothing else.

--George Bernard Shaw

The worst cliques are those which consist of one man.

--George Bernard Shaw

A man's own self is the last person to believe in him, and is harder to cheat than the rest of the world.

--George Bernard Shaw

My opportunities were still there, nay, they multiplied tenfold; but the strength and youth to cope with them began to fail, and to need eking out with the shifty cunning of experience.

--George Bernard Shaw

I was convinced that Ceylon is the cradle of the human race because everybody there looks an original. All other nations are obviously mass produced.

--George Bernard Shaw

We have in England a curious belief in first-rate people, meaning all the people we do not know; and this consoles us for the undeniable second-rateness of the people we do know.

--George Bernard Shaw

Decency is indecency's conspiracy of silence.

--George Bernard Shaw

There is always danger for those who are afraid.

--George Bernard Shaw

Truth telling is not compatible with the defence of the realm.

--George Bernard Shaw

Just as I cannot remember any time when I could not read and write, I cannot remember any time when I did not exercise my imagination in daydreams about women.

--George Bernard Shaw

No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.

--George Bernard Shaw

A book is like a child: it is easier to bring it into the world than to control it when it is launched there.

--George Bernard Shaw

The road to ignorance is paved with good editors.

--George Bernard Shaw

We educate one another; and we cannot do this if half of us consider the other half not good enough to talk to.

--George Bernard Shaw

When a prisoner sees the door of his dungeon open, he dashes for it without stopping to think where he shall get his dinner outside.

--George Bernard Shaw

The trouble with the media is that it seems unable to distinguish between the end of the world and a bicycle accident.

--George Bernard Shaw

Nobody could stand an eternity of Heaven.

--George Bernard Shaw

What is wrong with the prosaic Englishman is what is wrong with the prosaic men of all countries: stupidity.

--George Bernard Shaw

There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find Englishmen doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle.

--George Bernard Shaw

What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.

--George Bernard Shaw

Vitality is a woman is a blind fury of creation.

--George Bernard Shaw

If women were particular about men's characters, they would never get married at all.

--George Bernard Shaw

In gambling the many must lose in order that the few may win.

--George Bernard Shaw

A man's behaviour may be quite harmless and even beneficial, when he ismorally behaving like a scoundrel. And he may do great harm when he is morally acting on the highest principles.

--George Bernard Shaw

Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.

--George Bernard Shaw

Our ideals, like the gods of old, are constantly demanding human sacrifices.

--George Bernard Shaw

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

--George Bernard Shaw

Imprisonment, as it exists today, is a worse crime than any of those committed by its victims.

--George Bernard Shaw

I can't talk religion to a man with bodily hunger in his eyes.

--George Bernard Shaw

If you demand my authorities for this and that, I must reply that only those who have never hunted up the authorities as I have believe that there is any authority who is not contradicted flatly by some other authority.

--George Bernard Shaw

It is the inefficiency and sham of ... our schools ... that save us from being dashed on the rocks of false doctrine instead of drifting down the midstream of mere ignorance.

--George Bernard Shaw

Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.

--George Bernard Shaw

Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.

--George Bernard Shaw

There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment's notice to reveal the Will of God on every possible subject.

--George Bernard Shaw

If you do not say a thing in an irritating way, you may as well not say it at all because people will not trouble themselves about anything that does not trouble them.

--George Bernard Shaw

The Jews generally give value. They make you pay; but they deliver the goods. In my experience the men who want something for nothing are invariably Christians.

--George Bernard Shaw

Some persons, by hating vice too much, come to love men too little. Hatred is self-punishment. Hatred is the cowards revenge for being intimidated.

--George Bernard Shaw

Hate is the revenge of a coward intimidated.

--George Bernard Shaw

Though all society is founded on intolerance, all improvement is founded on tolerance.

--George Bernard Shaw

I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.

--George Bernard Shaw

Only Lawyers and mental defectives are automatically exempt for jury duty.

--George Bernard Shaw

Worst of all, there is no sign of any relaxation of antisemitism. Logically it has nothing to do with Fascism. But the human race is imitative rather than logical; and as Fascism spreads antisemitism spreads.

--George Bernard Shaw

Martyrdom is the only path to immortality that requires no talent whatsoever.

--George Bernard Shaw

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