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Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Quotes (161 Quotes)


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  • No theory of life seemed to him to be of any importance compared with life itself
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Women defend themselves by attacking, just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")


  • As he looked back upon man moving through History, he was haunted by a feeling of loss. So much had been surrendered! and to such little purpose!...Hedonism... was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is but itself a moment.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Even things that are true can be proved.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • I asked the question for the best reason possible, for the only reason, indeed, that excuses anyone for asking any question - simple curiosity.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won't argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • 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, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Oh, brothers! I don't care for brothers. My elder brother won't die, and my younger brothers seem never to do anything else.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the 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. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Unconsciously he defines for me the lines of a fresh new school, a school that is to have in it all the passion of the romantic spirit, all the perfection of the spirit that is Greek. The harmony of soul and body - how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two, and have invented a realism that is vulgar, an ideality that is void. Harry! If only you knew what Dorian Gray is to me!
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Women have no appreciation of good looks-at least, good women have not.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")


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