Oscar Wilde Quotes – Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Oscar Wilde was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, poet and critic, and a celebrity in late 19th century London. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. His father was a successful surgeon and his mother a writer and literary hostess.
Wilde was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. While at Oxford, Wilde became involved in the aesthetic movement.
After he graduated, he moved to London to pursue a literary career. His output was diverse. A first volume of his poetry was published in 1881 but as well as composing verse, he contributed to publications such as the ‘Pall Mall Gazette’, wrote fairy stories and published a novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ (1891).
His greatest talent was for writing plays, and he produced a string of extremely popular comedies including ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ (1892), ‘An Ideal Husband (1895)’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (1895). ‘Salomé’ was performed in Paris in 1896. Drama and tragedy marred Wilde’s private life. He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and they had two sons, but in 1891 Wilde began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed ‘Bosie’. In April 1895, Wilde sued Bosie’s father, the Marquis of Queensberry, for libel, after the Marquis has accused him of being homosexual.
Wilde lost and, after details of his private life were revealed during the trial, was arrested and tried for gross indecency. He was sentenced to two years of hard labour. While in prison he composed a long letter to Douglas, posthumously published under the title ‘De Profundis’ . His wife took their children to Switzerland and adopted the name ‘Holland’. Wilde was released with his health irrevocably damaged and his reputation ruined. He spent the rest of his life in Europe, publishing ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ in 1898. He died in Paris on 30 November 1900. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. You can never be overdressed or overeducated. I don’t want to go to heaven.
Oscar Wilde Quotes
None of my friends are there. I am so clever that sometimes
I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.
A good friend will always stab you in the front.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.
Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary. I can resist anything except temptation.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future – Oscar Wilde
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.
I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.
We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin.
If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
The Americans are certainly hero-worshippers, and always take their heroes from the criminal classes.
If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously.
If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
No man is rich enough to buy back his past.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is fatal.
Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.
There is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad.
The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.
An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.
Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are.
If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Between men and women there is no friendship possible.
There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. It is better to be beautiful than to be good.
But. it is better to be good than to be ugly.
To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.
Well done is better than well said – Benjamin Franklin
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