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Oscar Wilde Quotes (991 Quotes)


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  • 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")

  • But youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane was a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was no doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the desire for new experiences; yet it was not a simple but rather a very complex passion.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")


  • I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man usually gives to a friend. Somehow, I had never loved a woman. I suppose I never had time. Perhaps, as Harry says, a really grande passion is the privilege of those who have nothing to do, and that is the use of the idle classes in a country
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Many people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose of life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honor.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • The secret of remaining young is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Those who go beneath the surface, do so at their peril.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • When they entered they found, hanging upon the wall, a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognised who it was.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks.
    (Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

  • 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")


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