199 Oscar Wilde Famous Quotes You Should Know

199 Oscar Wilde Famous Quotes You Should Know

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, commonly known as Oscar Wilde, was an Irish playwright, poet, author, and literary figure in Victorian England. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 16, 1854, and died in Paris, France, on November 30, 1900, at a young age (46 years).

Wilde’s fame primarily relies on his three notable masterpieces, include “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (novel), “Lady Windermere’s Fan” (comic), and “The Importance of Being Earnest” (comic). However, many famous quotes or saying of Oscar Wilde illustrate the various aspects of living.

Here, we have written down the 200 top famous quotes or sayings of Oscar Wilde that you should read at least once in your life.

Famous Quotations By Oscar Wilde

  1. “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde
  2. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde
  3. “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde
  4. “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
  5. “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.” – Oscar Wilde
  6. “A good friend will always stab you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde
  7. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
  8. “Selfishness is not living as one wish to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde
  9. “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde
  10. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde
  11. “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde
  12. “There are two ways to dislike poetry: One is to dislike it; the other is to read Pope.” – Oscar Wilde
  13. “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde
  14. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  15. “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” – Oscar Wilde
  16. “A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of Fiction.” – Oscar Wilde
  17. “Wisdom is to have dreams big enough not to lose sight when we pursue them.” – Oscar Wilde
  18. “I can never travel without my diary; one should always have something sensational to read on the train.” – Oscar Wilde
  19. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Oscar Wilde
  20. “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”– Oscar Wilde
  21. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde
  22. “I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde
  23. “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” – Oscar Wilde
  24. “I am not young enough to know everything.” – Oscar Wilde
  25. “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.” – Oscar Wilde
  26. “Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
  27. “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” – Oscar Wilde
  28. “The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out.” – Oscar Wilde
  29. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  30. “The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde
  31. “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.” – Oscar Wilde
  32. “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” – Oscar Wilde
  33. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
  34. “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” – Oscar Wilde
  35. “The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.” – Oscar Wilde
  36. “You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.” – Oscar Wilde
  37. “A flower blossoms for its own joy.” – Oscar Wilde
  38. “It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.” – Oscar Wilde
  39. “The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.” – Oscar Wilde
  40. “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
  41. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
  42. “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” – Oscar Wilde
  43. “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.” – Oscar Wilde
  44. “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
  45. “To define is to limit.” – Oscar Wilde
  46. “No good deed goes unpunished.” – Oscar Wilde
  47. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  48. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” – Oscar Wilde
  49. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde
  50. “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
  51. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
  52. “Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde
  53. “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” – Oscar Wilde
  54. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde
  55. “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” – Oscar Wilde
  56. “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” – Oscar Wilde
  57. “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” – Oscar Wilde
  58. “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
  59. “Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!” – Oscar Wilde
  60. “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde
  61. “Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.” – Oscar Wilde
  62. “I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.” – Oscar Wilde
  63. “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde
  64. “The heart was made to be broken.” – Oscar Wilde
  65. “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde
  66. “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” – Oscar Wilde
  67. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde
  68. “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” – Oscar Wilde
  69. “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” – Oscar Wilde
  70. “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” – Oscar Wilde
  71. “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde
  72. “I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.” – Oscar Wilde
  73. “Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know.” – Oscar Wilde
  74. “We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.” – Oscar Wilde
  75. “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.” – Oscar Wilde
  76. “People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it’s impossible to count them accurately.” – Oscar Wilde
  77. “Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.” – Oscar Wilde
  78. “One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.” – Oscar Wilde
  79. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  80. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise” – Oscar Wilde
  81. “The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the Young know everything.” – Oscar Wilde
  82. “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde
  83. ” An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” – Oscar Wilde
  84. “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”– Oscar Wilde
  85. “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.” – Oscar Wilde
  86. “To be popular one must be a mediocrity.” – Oscar Wilde
  87. “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde
  88. “Never love anybody that treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
  89. “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” – Oscar Wilde
  90. “No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” – Oscar Wilde
  91. “One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.” – Oscar Wilde
  92. “Everything popular is wrong.” – Oscar Wilde
  93. “When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.”  – Oscar Wilde
  94. “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde
  95. “They’ve promised that dreams can come true – but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.” – Oscar Wilde
  96. “The artist is the creator of beautiful things.” – Oscar Wilde
  97. “With Freedom Books Flowers and the Moon who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde
  98. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  99. “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” – Oscar Wilde
  100. “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
  101. “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” – Oscar Wilde
  102. “I can resist anything except temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
  103. “He wanted to be where no one would know who he was. He wanted to escape from himself.” – Oscar Wilde
  104. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” – Oscar Wilde
  105. “Who, being loved, is poor?” – Oscar Wilde
  106. “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.” – Oscar Wilde
  107. “I have nothing to declare except my genius.” – Oscar Wilde
  108. “To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.” – Oscar Wilde
  109. “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”   – Oscar Wilde
  110. “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”  – Oscar Wilde
  111. “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – Oscar Wilde
  112. “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – Oscar Wilde
  113. “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde
  114. “Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong.” – Oscar Wilde
  115. “I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.” – Oscar Wilde
  116. “To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.” – Oscar Wilde
  117. “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” – Oscar Wilde
  118. “Man is many things, but he is not rational.” – Oscar Wilde
  119. “Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.” – Oscar Wilde
  120. “A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.” – Oscar Wilde
  121. “If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life.” – Oscar Wilde
  122. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  123. “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.” – Oscar Wilde
  124. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  125. “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” – Oscar Wilde
  126. “There is no sin except stupidity.” – Oscar Wilde
  127. “The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.” – Oscar Wilde
  128. “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” – Oscar Wilde
  129. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  130. “Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.” – Oscar Wilde
  131. “Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” – Oscar Wilde
  132. “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” – Oscar Wilde
  133. “Life is a nightmare that prevents one from sleeping.” – Oscar Wilde
  134. “I knew nothing but shadows and I thought them to be real.” – Oscar Wilde
  135. “Indeed, I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do.” – Oscar Wilde
  136. “Alas, I’m dying beyond my means.” – Oscar Wilde
  137. “Ultimately, all the bond of companionship whether in friendship or in friendship is conversation.” – Oscar Wilde
  138. “Everyone may not be good, but there’s always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde
  139. “Music is the art which is the most nigh to tear and memory.” – Oscar Wilde
  140. “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” – Oscar Wilde
  141. “True friends stab you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde
  142. “What of Art? -It is a malady. – Love? -An Illusion. – Religion? -The fashionable substitute for Belief. – You are a sceptic. -Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith. – What are you? -To define is to limit.” – Oscar Wilde
  143. “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” – Oscar Wilde
  144. “A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.” – Oscar Wilde
  145. “Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.” – Oscar Wilde
  146. “A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” – Oscar Wilde
  147. “A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” – Oscar Wilde
  148. “Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing.” – Oscar Wilde
  149. “One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.” – Oscar Wilde
  150. “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.” – Oscar Wilde
  151. “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” – Oscar Wilde
  152. “The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.” – Oscar Wilde
  153. “There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.” – Oscar Wilde
  154. “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!” – Oscar Wilde
  155. “Those whom the gods love grows young.” – Oscar Wilde
  156. “In married life three is company and two none.” – Oscar Wilde
  157. “When a man has once loved a woman, he will do anything for her except continue to love her.” – Oscar Wilde
  158. “The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.” – Oscar Wilde
  159. “How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.” – Oscar Wilde
  160. “There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.” – Oscar Wilde
  161. “Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.” – Oscar Wilde
  162. “There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.” – Oscar Wilde
  163. “I can resist everything except temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
  164.  “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
  165. “Talent borrows, genius steals!” – Oscar Wilde
  166. “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.” – Oscar Wilde
  167. “No good deeds goes unpunished.” – Oscar Wilde
  168. “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” – Oscar Wilde
  169. “Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple and simple thing is the right thing.” – Oscar Wilde
  170. “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
  171. “I beg your pardon I didn’t recognize you – I’ve changed a lot.” – Oscar Wilde
  172. “A passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.” – Oscar Wilde
  173. “The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.” – Oscar Wilde
  174. “Every woman is a rebel.” – Oscar Wilde
  175. “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde
  176. “For one moment our lives met, our souls touched.” – Oscar Wilde
  177. “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.” – Oscar Wilde
  178. “When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.” – Oscar Wilde
  179. “And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” – Oscar Wilde 
  180.  “I like talking to a brick wall- it’s the only thing in the world that never contradicts me!” – Oscar Wilde
  181. “She is very clever, too clever for a woman. She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness.” – Oscar Wilde
  182. “A woman will flirt with anybody in the world as long as other people are looking on.” – Oscar Wilde
  183. “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.” – Oscar Wilde
  184. “It is perfectly monstrous? he said, at last, ’the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true.” – Oscar Wilde
  185. “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” – Oscar Wilde
  186. “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde
  187. “Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.” – Oscar Wilde 
  188. ‘Let me be surrounded by luxury, I can do without the necessities!” – Oscar Wilde
  189. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” – Oscar Wilde
  190. “Two men look out a window. One sees mud, the other sees the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
  191. “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” – Oscar Wilde
  192. “To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.” – Oscar Wilde
  193. “Love is a misunderstanding between two fools.” – Oscar Wilde
  194. “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde
  195. “Without order nothing can exist-without chaos nothing can evolve. Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
  196.  “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” – Oscar Wilde
  197. “Love is like a war; easy to start but hard to end and you never know where it might take you.” – Oscar Wilde
  198.  “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.” – Oscar Wilde
  199. “Nothing worth knowing can be taught.” – Oscar Wilde
  200.  “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” – Oscar Wilde


What notable quotes does Oscar Wilde have?

Almost all Oscar’s quotes are famous, and if you ask someone about his best quotes, you may get the same answer. However, here we’ve written down his 5 most noticeable quotes along with their source.

  • “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” – The Decay of Lying
  • “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – The Critic as Artist
  • “I love acting. It is so much more real than life.” – The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” – The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. – The Remarkable Rocket

What did Oscar Wilde say about marriage?

You can find different famous sayings of Oscar against marriage or married life. He thought marriage is a way of ruining life, and one should never get married for a peaceful living. However, Oscar’s most famous quotation about marriage is, “There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.”

What were Oscar Wilde’s dying words?

The last words of Oscar Wilde were, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” In his last days, he was in a cheap Parisian hotel with agitated decor; actually, his stay at this impoverished hotel was very interesting for him.

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Written by Fariha Arif

Fariha Arif is a passionate blog writer and loves to write diversified content. She prefers to read novels, browsing the Internet, and traveling in her spare time.

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