Oscar Wilde Quotes

A collection of quotes from Oscar Wilde, in no particular order. As one of the most interesting individuals of the 19th century, Oscar Wilde had a unique take on existence and life.

We include quotes from his works as well as his personal life.

be yourself quote

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

-Oscar Wilde

life

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

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde genius

“I have nothing to declare except my genius.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde life quote

“I don’t want to earn my living, I want to live.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde love

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.

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde books

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

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

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

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde on selfishness

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde fashion

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

-Oscar Wilde

no good deed goes unpunished

“No good deed goes unpunished.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde happiness

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

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde on success

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

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde icarus quote

“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“Some cause happiness wherever they go and others whenever they go.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde beautiful woman

“It’s a beautiful woman’s fate to be the subject of conversation where ever she goes”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

They get up early, because they have so much to do, and go to bed early, because they have so little to think about. 

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

work is the curse of the drinking classes

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde mistake

“Oh! it is absurd to have a hard-and-fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

oscar wilde on money

“There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“I’m a man of simple tastes. I’m always satisfied with the best.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“The ugly and stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde argument quote

“Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde personality

But then one regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“It was not intended as a compliment. It was a confession. Now that I have made it, something seems to have gone out of me. Perhaps one should never put one’s worship into words.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde love quote

“The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“It is so easy to convince others; it is so difficult to convince oneself.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“I didn’t say I liked it. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde youth quotes

“But youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde mistake

“In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished, nor the good rewarded. Success was given to the strong, failure thrust upon the weak. That was all.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde mistake

“Imagination is a quality that was given to man compensate him from what’s not. The sense of humor was given to console him from what is.

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde quotes on family

“I can’t help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

oscar wilde truth quotes

“Just because a man has died for it, does not make it true.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde journalism quotes

“By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“To get back one’s youth one has merely to repeat one’s follies.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde life quotes

“Life cheats us with shadows.
We ask it for pleasure.
It gives it to us with bitterness
and disappointment in its train.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde love quote

“Love is not fashionable anymore; the poets have killed it.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde hope quotes

“Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is a hope.”

-Oscar Wilde

oscar wilde mistake

“To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people – that is all!”

-Oscar Wilde

“We always misunderstood ourselves, and rarely understood others”

-Oscar Wilde

“Would you be in any way offended if I said that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection?”

-Oscar Wilde

“Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness.”

-Oscar Wilde

“An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“When a man is old enough to do wrong he should be old enough to do right also.”

-Oscar Wilde

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

-Oscar Wilde

“Literature always anticipates life. It doesn’t copy it but moulds it to it’s purpose.”

-Oscar Wilde

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

-Oscar Wilde

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”

-Oscar Wilde

“You will always love, and you will always be loved.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“If people are dishonest once, they will be dishonest a second time. And honest people should keep away from them.”

-Oscar Wilde

“All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon.”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“I am a born antinomian. I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes.”

-Oscar Wilde

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