103 Inspiring Oscar Wilde Quotes

It is said that human beings die twice. Once when they stop breathing, and second when people who loved them take their name for the last time. By that definition, Oscar Wilde is an immortal man. The stories he told, and his unique perspective of life, made him a living legend.

To this day, Oscar Wilde quotes still find their way into films, shows, successful marketing campaigns, and even pop culture references. Read on as we take you through some of the best he has written.

Refreshing Oscar Wilde Quotes

1.”Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

2.”To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

3.”Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

4.”To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

5.”I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

6.”We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

7.”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.”

8.”If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

9.”It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

10.”The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

11.”The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

12.”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.”

13.”Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet, what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?”

14.”You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”

15.”Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”

16.”Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

17.”A good friend will always stab you in the front.”

18.”Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”

19.”You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”

A Picture of Oscar Wilde

20.”I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”

21.”Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

22.”Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”

23.”I am not young enough to know everything.”

24.”Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

25.”A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”

26.”Hearts are made to be broken.”

27.”You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

28.”The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”

29.”Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”

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30.”Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

31.”Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these, there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”

32.”I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”

33.”I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Oscar Wilde

34.”With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be perfectly happy?”

35.”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.”

36.”Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

37.”To define is to limit.”

38.”I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

39.”Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

40.”Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

41.”I can resist anything except temptation.”

42.”A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

43.”All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

44.”The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”

45.”To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

46.”It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

47.”There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

48.”I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”

A Portrait of Oscar

49.”Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

50.”Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

51.”Who, being loved, is poor?”

52.”Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.”

53.”I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”

54.”Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

55.”Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

56.”When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

57.”I have nothing to declare except my genius.”

58.”We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”

59.”Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”

60.”A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”

61.”Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

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62.”Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.”

63.”Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.”

64.”America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”

65.”The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”

66.”Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”

67.”An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”

68.”I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”

69.”There is no sin except stupidity.”

70.”Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.”

71.”Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We, women, have a more subtle instinct about these things. What (women) like is to be a man’s last romance.”

72.”There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”

73.”Paradoxically though it may seem, it is nonetheless true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”

74.”Indeed, I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do.”

75.”Life is too short to learn German.”

76.”The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out.”

77.”One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.”

78.”I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.”

79.”Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.”

80.”The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”

81.”Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.”

82.”I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.”

83.”It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory and still to love it.”

84.”The basis of optimism is sheer terror.”

85.”There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”

86.”You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”

87.”They’ve promised that dreams can come true – but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.”

88.”Yes, death. 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 to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death’s house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is.”

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89.”In this world, there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. (Mr. Dumby, Act III)”

90.”The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.”

91.”Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won’t be invited to cocktail parties.”

92.”I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”

93.”She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. 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 dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.”

94.”The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.”

95.”I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.”

96.”This wallpaper is dreadful; one of us will have to go.”

97.”A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.”

98.”One should always be in love. That’s the reason one should never marry.”

99.”There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”

100.”He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.”

101.”I knew nothing but shadows, and I thought them to be real.”

102.”Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.”

103.”I don’t say we all ought to misbehave. But we ought to look as if we could”

Oscar Wilde – Sincere and Intimate Quotes about Women and Life

Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, Oscar Wilde became one of the most popular playwrights in London in the early 1890s. Oscar Wilde is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.


For Wilde, art was a form of individualism in its truest essence. He believed imagination and illusion are the most integral elements of every art piece. His opinion of the objects around him made him an icon that is respected till this day. If you want to read more about personalities that were larger than life like Wilde himself, stay on the lookout. We’re going to post more articles like these very soon!

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