Famous Quotes of Poet Oscar Wilde

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The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilised being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea," Pall Mall Gazette (London, February 28, 1885).)
I walked, with other souls in pain,

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author. The Ballad of Reading Gaol (l. 19). . . Oxford Book of Narrative Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1983) Oxford University Press.)
You should study the Peerage, Gerald. It is the one book a young man about town should know thoroughly, and it is the best thing in fiction the English have ever done.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.)
Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 2.)
While one should always study the method of a great artist, one should never imitate his manner. The manner of an artist is essentially individual, the method of an artist is absolutely universal. The first is personality, which no one should copy; the second is perfection, which all should aim at.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Dramatic Review (London, Feb. 20, 1886).)
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).)
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2 (1891). Wilde had used almost the same words in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 5 (1891).)
Pardon me, you are not engaged to any one. When you do become engaged to some one, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Bracknell to Gwendolyn, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1.)
The Americans are certainly hero-worshippers, and always take their heroes from the criminal classes.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Letter, April 19, 1882.)
On the whole, the great success of marriage in the States is due partly to the fact that no American man is ever idle, and partly to the fact that no American wife is considered responsible for the quality of her husband's dinners.

(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Man," Court and Society Review (London, April 13, 1887). In the same article, Wilde called marriage one of America's most popular institutions: "The American man marries early, and the American woman marries often; and they get on extremely well together.")