photo of Oscar WildePhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

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

Wikipedia Summary for Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for gross indecency for consensual homosexual acts in "one of the first celebrity trials", imprisonment, and early death from meningitis at age 46.

Wilde's parents were Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. A young Wilde learned to speak fluent French and German. At university, Wilde read Greats; he demonstrated himself to be an exceptional classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became associated with the emerging philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles.

As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.

At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde prosecuted the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, and never returned to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life.

photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

And all men kill the thing they love, By all 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.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

There is not a single colour hidden away in the chalice of a flower, or the curve of a shell, to which, by some subtle sympathy with the very soul of things, my nature does not answer.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

One of the chief faults of modern dress is that it is composed of far too many articles of clothing, most of which are the wrong substance.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing.

--Oscar Wilde
rainbow

Divorces are made in heaven.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I like people who are young, bright, happy, careless and original. I do not like them sensible, and I do not like them old.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is human's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Disobedience is man's original virtue.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The english country gentleman galloping after a fox--the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

It was better to be good-looking than to be good.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you'll never get through it without your friends.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Remember that the fool in the eyes of the gods and the fool in the eyes of man are very different.

--Oscar Wilde

Longer Version:

Remember that the fool in the eyes of the gods and the fool in the eyes of man are very different. One who is entirely ignorant of the modes of Art in its revolution or the moods of thought in its progress, of the pomp of the Latin line or the richer music of the vowelled Greeks, of Tuscan sculpture or Elizabethan song may yet be full of the very sweetest wisdom. The real fool, such as the gods mock or mar, is he who does not know himself. I was such a one too long. You have been such a one too long. Be so no more. Do not be afraid. The supreme vice is shallowness. Everything that is realised is right.


photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The method by which the fool arrives at his folly was as dear to him as the ultimate wisdom of the wise.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Dullness is always an irresistible temptation for brilliancy, and stupidity is the permanent Bestia Trionfans that calls wisdom from its cave.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the attractiveness of other.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The truth about the life of a man is not what he does, but the legend which he creates around himself.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Curious thing, plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are!

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Out of doors one becomes abstract and impersonal. One's individuality absolutely leaves one.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Individualism has really the higher aim. Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The essence of art is to produce the modern idea under an antique form.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

A kiss may ruin a human life.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The sphere of art and the sphere of ethics are absolutely distinct and separate.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is a hope.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and when once the storm of youth is past, Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death the silent pilot comes at last.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

And no hand can gather up the fallen withered petals of the rose of youth.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

In a very ugly and sensible age, the arts borrow, not from life, but from each other.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

We lose our chances, we lose our figures, we even lose our characters; but we must never lose our tempers. That is our duty to our neighbor...but sometimes we mislay it, don't we?

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produced a false impression.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

It is very vulgar to talk about one's own business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then only at dinner parties.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde

Longer Version:

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.


photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Hearts live by being wounded.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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.

--Oscar Wilde

Longer Version:

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.


photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I think it's very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I don't say we all ought to misbehave. But we ought to look as if we could.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

It is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Duty is what one expects from others.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

We are never more true to ourselves than when we are inconsistent.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Romantic literature is in effect imaginative lying.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

No work of art ever puts forward views. Views belong to people who are not artists.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

A book or poem which has no pity in it had better not be written.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Ethics, like natural selection, make existence possible. Aesthetics, like sensual selection, make life lovely and wonderful, fill it with new forms, and give it progress, and variety and change.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless.

--Oscar Wilde

Longer Version:

What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colorless. By its curiosity Sin increases the experience of the race. Through its intensified assertion of individualism it saves us from monotony of type. In its rejection of the current notions about morality, it is one with the higher ethics.


photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Progress is the realization of utopia.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

If I could get back my youth, I'd do anything in the world except get up early, take exercise or be respectable.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I did not know it was such pain to die; I thought that life had taken all the agonies to itself.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

If Dorian wishes it, of course you must stay. Dorian's whims are laws to everybody, except himself.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

What is abnormal in Life stands in normal relations to Art. It is the only thing in Life that stands in normal relations to Art.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that we should live.

--Oscar Wilde

Longer Version:

Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that one should live. If any love is shown us we should recognize that we are quite unworthy of it. Nobody is worthy to be loved... or if that phrase is a bitter one to bear, let us say that everyone is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is. Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling..


photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I am dazed with a dull sense of pain. I had fed on hope, and now anguish, grown hungry, feeds her fill on me as though she had been starved of her proper appetite.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Don't be led astray into the paths of virtue.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

None of us men do look what we really are. Demmed good thing, too.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

One's days were too brief to take the burden of another's errors on one's shoulders. Each man lived his own life and paid his own price for living it.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul brain and power.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The weather still continues charming.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Ours is certainly the dullest and most prosaic century possible.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

What consoles one nowadays is not repentance but pleasure. Repentance is quite out of date.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

A woman's life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man's life progresses.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The curves of your lips rewrite history.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The fact is, that civilization requires slaves. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Some red star had come too close to the earth.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

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

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Perhaps in nearly every joy, as certainly in every pleasure, cruelty has its place.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

These sudden conversions do not please me.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Every single work of art is the fulfillment of a prophecy; for every work of art is the conversion of an idea into an image.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Better the rule of One, whom all obey, than to let clamorous demagogues betray our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I wrote when I did not know life;
now that I know life, I have no more to say.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say at the age of eighteen.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

If you want to be a doormat you have to lay yourself down first.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Things are in their essence what we choose to make them. A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

The worst vice of the fanatic is his sincerity.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Fashion: by which what is really fantastic becomes for a moment the universal.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I didn't say I liked it. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

I was dominated, soul, brain, and power by you. You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot answer.

--Oscar Wilde
photo of author Oscar Wilde with quote

There never has been an artistic age, or an artistic people, since the beginning of the world. The artist has always been, and will always be, an exquisite exception.

--Oscar Wilde

We wish you a perfect day!