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Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” Quotes (36 Quotes)


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  • A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • I really don't see what is so romantic about proposing. One may be accepted - one usually is, I believe - and then the excitement is ended. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter - a girl brought up with the utmost care - to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel?
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • ALGERNON: Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-eduacated.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")


  • You can't possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. It's absurd. I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • Algernon: What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • It is very vulgar to talk about one's business.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn't Ernest.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • CECILY: Oh, don't cough, Ernest. When one is dictating one should speak fluently and not cough. Besides, I don't know how to spell a cough.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • Every woman becomes their mother. That's their tragedy. And no man becomes his. That's his tragedy.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • Jack? . . . No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations . . . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")

  • Exploded! Was he the victim of a revolutionary outrage? I was not aware that Mr. Bunbury was interested in social legislation. If so, he is well punished for his morbidity.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest")


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