Oscar Wilde Love Quotes and Sayings
1. Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.
#2 Oscar Wilde’s A Critic in Pall Mall: Mr. Pater’s Appreciations
2. … where there is no exaggeration there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding.
#3 The Plays of Oscar Wilde
3. Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves.
#4 Facebook, 04 May 2014
4. Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.
#5 Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, December 1894
5. To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
#6 The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde, 1952, Alvin Redman
6. 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 warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.
#7-8 A Woman of No Importance
7. Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity … women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man’s last romance.
8. Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely if ever do they forgive them. (Mrs. Arbuthnot, Act IV)
#9 The Sphinx Without a Secret
9. … women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.
#10-13 The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays: Lady Windermere’s Fan
10. My life-my whole life-take it, and do with it what you will. I love you-love you as I have never loved any living thing. From the moment I met you I loved you, loved you blindly, adoringly, madly! You didn’t know it then-you know it now.
11. For one moment our lives met – our souls touched.
12. There’s nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It’s a thing no married man knows anything about.
13. I lost one illusion last night. I thought I had no heart. I find I have, and a heart doesn’t suit me…
#14 The Happy Prince and Other Tales: The Nightingale and the Rose, 1888,
14. Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.
#15 De Profundis
15. When you really want love you will find it waiting for you.
Except from Wikipedia: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.
Sayings by Oscar Wilde
#1-2 Lady Windermere’s Fan
1. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. (Lord Darlington, Act III)
2. A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Lord Darlington, Act III, answering the question, what is a cynic?)
#3-4 The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891
3. Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
4. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
#5 The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895 (Download free eBook to read)
5. All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his. (Algernon, Act I)
#6-8 The Critic as Artist, 1891, Read Online
6. Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
7. Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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.
8. Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
#9 The Decay of Lying: An Observation, 1889
9. If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
#10 Quoted in Dean Nelson, 1 September 2009, God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World
10. The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out.
#11-15 The Picture of Dorian Gray, July 1890
11. 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. (Chapter 2)
12. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed. (Chapter 4)
13. To be good is to be in harmony with oneself. Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others. (Chapter 6)
14. There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating — people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing. (Chapter 7)
15. It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them. (Chapter 9)
#16-17 The Picture of Dorian Gray
16. There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. (Chapter 8)
17. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that’s what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. (Chapter 2)
#18-24 The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891, Read online
18. Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
19. Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.
20. … man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is.
21. Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has, is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.
22. The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever.
23. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
24. 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.
#25 Quoted in “Oscar Wilde, an idler’s impression”, Edgar Saltus, 1917
25. I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
#26 The Canterville Ghost, 1887
26. 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 tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
#27 Conversation with André Gide in Algiers, quoted in letter by Gide to his mother, 30 January 1895
27. I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
#28 Letter from Paris, May 1900
28. People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it’s impossible to count them accurately.
#29 Said about Absinthe. Quoted in “Letters to the Sphinx from Oscar Wilde: With Reminiscences of the Author”, Ada Leverson
29. After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second glass you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.
#30 Vera; or, The Nihilists, 1880
30. I cannot understand your nature. If my nature had been made to suit your comprehension rather than my own requirements, I am afraid I would have made a very poor figure in the world.
#31-32 A Few Maxims For The Instruction Of The Over-Educated, 17 November 1894, See full list
31. Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
32. Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.
#33 Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, December 1894, See full list
33. Pleasure is the only thing one should live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
34. The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.
#35 The Plays of Oscar Wilde, Page 191
35. It’s a great mistake on her part. When men give up saying what is charming, they give up thinking what is charming.
#36 The Picture of Dorian Gray
36. When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.
#37 Lady Windermere’s Fan
37. It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
#38-39 De Profundis
38. …as long as I am free from all resentment, hardness and scorn, I would be able to face the life with much more calm and confidence than I would were my body in purple and fine linen, and the soul within me sick with hate.
39. There is much more before me. I have hills far steeper to climb, valleys much darker to pass through. And I have to get it all out of myself. Neither religion, morality, nor reason can help me at all.
Unsourced Oscar Wilde Quotes
1. If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.
2. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
3. I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.