Oscar Wilde Quotes & Wallpapers

Oscar Wilde
Total Quotes: 3464


Jack: Actually, I was found. Lady Bracknell: Found? Jack: Uh, yes, I was in... a handbag. Lady Bracknell: A handbag? Jack: Yes, it was... [makes gestures] Jack: an ordinary handbag. Oscar Wilde
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I want to make Romeo jealous! I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. Oscar Wilde
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I have always been of opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do. Oscar Wilde
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The Love that dare not speak its name' in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the 'Love that dare not speak its name,' and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it. Oscar Wilde
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What a fuss people make about fidelity!' exclaimed Lord Henry. '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. Oscar Wilde
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It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. (Algernon in The Importance of Being Ernest) Oscar Wilde
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I wish you would tell me your secret. To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. Oscar Wilde
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tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play- I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend. Oscar Wilde
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I really don't see what is so romantic about proposing. One may be accepted - one usually is, I believe - and then the excitement is ended. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. Oscar Wilde
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Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities Oscar Wilde
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Friendship...is not something you learn in school,but if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship you really haven't learned anything. Oscar Wilde
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Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at. My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also. Oscar Wilde
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It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place Oscar Wilde
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She has form,' he said to himself, as he walked away through the grove - 'that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good. Oscar Wilde
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LORD ILLINGWORTH What do you think she'd do if I kissed her? MRS ALLONBY Either marry you, or strike you across the face with her glove. What would you do if she struck you across the face with her glove? LORD ILLINGWORTH Fall in love with her, probably. Oscar Wilde
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I don't know how to talk. Oh! talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact. Oscar Wilde
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All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralising. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment. Oscar Wilde
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You are a sceptic.' 'Never! Scepticism is the beginning of faith.' 'What are you?' 'To define is to limit. Oscar Wilde
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My dear Arthur, I never talk scandal. I only talk gossip. What is the difference between scandal and gossip? Oh! Gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality. Oscar Wilde
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Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence. Oscar Wilde
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The people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect - simply a confession of failure. Oscar Wilde
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LADY BRACKNELL Algernon is an extremely, I may almost say an ostentatiously, eligible young man. He has nothing, but he looks everything. What more can one desire? Oscar Wilde
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What a silly thing love is!' said the student as he walked away. 'It is not half as useful as logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to philosophy and study metaphysics.' So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read. Oscar Wilde
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Down the long and silent street, The dawn, with silver-sandaled feet, Crept like a frightened girl. Oscar Wilde
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Death is a great price to pay for a red rose', cried the Nightingale, 'and Life is very dear to all. ' It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent oft he hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man? Oscar Wilde
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I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself. Oscar Wilde
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Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic. Oscar Wilde
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There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. Oscar Wilde
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Even you are not rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your past. No man is Oscar Wilde
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MRS ALLONBY Is she such a mystery? LORD ILLINGWORTH She is more than a mystery - she is a mood. MRS ALLONBY Moods don't last. LORD ILLINGWORTH It is their chief charm. Oscar Wilde
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MRS ALLONBY I adore them. The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk. HESTER I think the stupid people talk a great deal. MRS ALLONBY Ah, I never listen! Oscar Wilde
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There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. Oscar Wilde
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The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. Oscar Wilde
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We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. Oscar Wilde
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Vivere e la cosa piu rara nel mondo. Molta gente esiste: ecco tutto. Oscar Wilde
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MISS PRISM Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary that we all carry about with us. Oscar Wilde
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The art is nothing without the gift. But the gift is nothing without work. Oscar Wilde
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We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. Oscar Wilde
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Beauty is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight,or springtime, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you...Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed...Ah! realise your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar...Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing...The world belongs to you for a season...how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last. The common hillflowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty, becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to...Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth. Oscar Wilde
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I did not think I should be ever loved: do you indeed Love me so much as now you say you do? Ask of the sea-bird if it loves the sea, Ask of the roses if they love the rain, Ask of the little lark, that will not sing Till day break, if it loves to see the day: And yet, these are but empty images, Mere shadows of my love, which is a fire So great that all the waters of the main Can not avail to quench it. Oscar Wilde
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To be popular one must be a mediocrity.' 'Not with Women,' said the duchess, shaking her head; 'and women rule the world. I assure you we can't bear mediocrities. We women, as someone says, love with our ears, just as you men love with your eyes, if you ever love at all.' 'It seems to me that we never do anything else,' murmered Dorian. Oscar Wilde
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Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that everybody is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is. Oscar Wilde
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Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be-in other ages, perhaps. Oscar Wilde
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What are American dry-goods? asked the duchess, raising her large hands in wonder and accentuating the verb. American novels, answered Lord Henry. Oscar Wilde
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A method of procuring sensations? Do you think then, that a man who has once committed a murder could possibly do the same crime again? Don't tell me that.' says Dorian. 'Oh! anything becomes a pleasure if one does it too often,' says Lord Henry Oscar Wilde
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Man is complete in himself. When they go into the world, the world will disagree with them. That is inevitable. The world hates Individualism. But that is not to trouble them. They are to be calm and self-centred. If a man takes their cloak, they are to give him their coat, just to show that material things are of no importance. If people abuse them, they are not to answer back. What does it signify? The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection. Oscar Wilde
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Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly-that is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde
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He wants to enslave you.' 'I shudder at the thought of being free. Oscar Wilde
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People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. Oscar Wilde
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I believe I am to have enough to live on for about eighteen months at any rate, so that if I may not write beautiful books, I may at least read beautiful books; and what joy can be greater? Oscar Wilde
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Miss Prism: Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days. Cecily: Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much. Miss Prism: The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means. Oscar Wilde
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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
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Romance lives by repetition, and repetition converts an appetite into an art. Besides, 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 in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible Oscar Wilde
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JACK Your duty as a gentleman calls you back. ALGERNON My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree. Oscar Wilde
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Oh I can't explain. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. Oscar Wilde
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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
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Neither at things, nor at people should one look. Only in mirrors should one look, for mirrors do but show us masks. Oscar Wilde
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Everyone quoted it, it was full of so many words that they could not understand. Oscar Wilde
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What the artist is always looking for is the mode of existence in which soul and body are one and indivisible: in which the outward is expressive of the inward: in which form reveals. Oscar Wilde
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Every single human being should be the fulfilment of a prophecy: for every human being should be the realisation of some ideal, either in the mind of God or in the mind of man. Oscar Wilde
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Para la mayoria de nosotros la verdadera vida es la vida que no llevamos. Oscar Wilde
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When I was young I thought money was the most important thing in life, now that I'm old - I know it is! Oscar Wilde
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Any place you love is the world to you', explained the pensive Catherine Wheel, who had been attached to an old deal box in early life, and prided herself on her broken heart; 'but love is not fashionable any more, the poets have killed it. They wrote so much about that nobody believed them, and I am not surprised. True love suffers, and is silent. I remember myself once- But it is no matter now. Romance is a thing of the past. Oscar Wilde
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Then I am sorry I did not stay away longer I like being missed. Oscar Wilde
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Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. Oscar Wilde
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You know I have loved him always. But we are very poor. Who, being loved, is poor? Oh, no one. I hate my riches. They are a burden... Oscar Wilde
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Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. Oscar Wilde
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there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely - or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. Oscar Wilde
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It is very wrong to kill any one[.]' 'Oh, I hate the cheap severity of abstract ethics! Oscar Wilde
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Lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance - And must I lose a soul's inheritance? Oscar Wilde
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