Top 50: My favourite Oscar Wilde quotes ever

In case you didn’t know, this dude is one of the best classic writers to have ever existed and I love him and his art so much, that I decided to do an article about him.

How did I get this idea?

I was reading “The Picture Of Dorian Gray” (for which a review is on the way), the only novel he wrote, as he was best known for his short stories and poetry. However, despite being his only novel, it was (and still is) an extremely great work of art (but we’ll talk about it later).

The idea of writing this article came to me as I discovered that there were so many sensible things that his characters were stating, that it made me feel as if I was talking with a therapist about my own sensible theories about life, and about the other people around me.

But now that I made you be curious about Oscar Wilde’s genius, let’s see what are his greatest 50 quotes!

Oscar Wilde fan art


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

2. “Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more.”

3. “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”

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

5. “I can resist everything except temptation.”

( Me too, dude… Me too…)

6. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

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

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

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.”

( Take the following banned books for example: “Animal Farm”, “Brave New World”, “Lolita”, or “All Quiet on the Western Front”.)

11. “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.”

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

(And I can’t emphasize this enough!!!)

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

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

15. “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”

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

17. “You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”~~ From “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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

19. “I am not young enough to know everything.”

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

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

22. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”

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

24. “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.”~~ Extract from the Preface of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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

( And I realise more and more that this guy was extremely modest– please note the sarcasm.)

26. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

( What a funny wordplay! I can’t help but agreeing, though.)

27. “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.”

28. “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”

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

30. “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”~~From “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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

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

33. “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

34. “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”~~ From “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

35. “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.”

( Ha-ha! So we had this “thing” even in the 1880’s, ladies! We take the traditions further.)

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

( I know whatcha saying, old man…)

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

38. “Who, being loved, is poor?

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

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

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

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

43. “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.”

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

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

46. “What of Art?
-It is a malady.
-An Illusion.
-The fashionable substitute for Belief.
–You are a sceptic.
-Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
–What are you?
-To define is to limit.”~~ From “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

47. “Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword.”

48. “I like men who have a future and women who have a past.”

49. “The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.”

50. “Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”


(I couldn’t help it, but I hope you won’t mind it.)

51. “A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”

52. “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.”

53. “How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?!”

( I’ve been asking myself that for some time, too.)

54. “Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both end up disappointed.”

55. “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”

56. “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.”

57. “There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.”

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

59. “Every woman is a rebel.”

60. “Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”

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

And so, what was initially going to be a list of 50 quotes, turned into a list of 61. I just hope you liked this list and that it is, in some way, useful to you. 😊

By the next time, I’d like you to tell me which quote/quotes you liked the most and if any of them made you just sit down and reflect a little bit. 🙃

LOL (Lots Of Love), ♡Patry

Published by patryswritings

I am a reader, a writer and a dreamer. I like to believe that I am really good at the first and last thing. However, I don't think that I am the best person to say how good I am at writing. Which is why I'm looking everywhere for feedback. :)

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