The Official Web Site of Oscar Wilde
The Official Web Site of Oscar Wilde The Official Web Site of Oscar Wilde
The Official Web Site of Oscar Wilde
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QUOTES

Men

"No man is rich enough to buy back his past."

"Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account."

"Men become old, but they never become good."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"I delight in men over seventy, they always offer one the devotion of a lifetime. "
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"How many men there are in modern life who would like to see their past burning to white ashes before them!"
-- “An Ideal Husband”

"A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"Nowadays all the married men live like bachelors and all the bachelors live like married men."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

"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."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

Women

"One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"Men know life too early. Women know life too late. That is the difference between men and women."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood."
-- “The Sphinx Without a Secret”

"It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they are usually punished for it!"
-- “An Ideal Husband”

"I don't think there is a woman in the world who would not be a little flattered if one made love to her. It is that which makes women so irresistibly adorable."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"My dear young lady, there was a great deal of truth, I dare say, in what you said, and you looked very pretty while you said it, which is much more important."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"Women give to men the very gold of their lives. But they invariably want it back in such very small change."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

"I am sick of women who love one. Women who hate one are much more interesting."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

"I prefer women with a past. They're always so damned amusing to talk to."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

People

"People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately."
-- Letter from Paris, dated May 1900

"The more one analyses people, the more all reasons for analysis disappear. Sooner of later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature."
-- “The Decay of Lying”

"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing."
-- “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

"Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification."
-- “Lord Arthur Savile's Crime”

"It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

Life

"Life is much too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it."
-- Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act I

"The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"Life is never fair...And perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not."
-- “An Ideal Husband”

"You must not find symbols in everything you see. It makes life impossible."
-- “Salome”

"We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell."
-- “The Duchess of Padua”

"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."
-- “Lord Arthur Savile's Crime”

Love

"Nothing spoils a romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman - or the want of it in the man."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance."
-- “An Ideal Husband”

"A kiss may ruin a human life."
-- “A Woman of No Importance”

"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

"Young men want to be faithful and are not; old men want to be faithless and cannot."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

"Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect - simply a confession of failures."
-- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
 
© Oscar Wilde