35 famous Oscar Wilde quotes that are anything but ordinary

35 famous Oscar Wilde quotes that are anything but ordinary

Oscar Wilde quotes and books made the novelist, poet, and playwright a pop culture sensation in the late 1800s. Today, almost 120 years after his death, his sayings and poems are just as famous and are regarded as hilarious and educative.

Oscar Wilde quotes
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The famous novelist died from meningitis on 30th November 1900. During his life, however, he was known for his exuberant personality, consummate wit, infamous trials, and imprisonment for homosexuality.

Despite his unfortunate imprisonment and death, he left some very interesting books and poems that keep his legacy alive to date. Here are some of the most famous quotes by Oscar Wilde.

Best Oscar Wilde quotes

These are some of the most known Oscar Wilde sayings today.

  • "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
  • "You will always be fond of me. Because I represent all the sins, you never dared to commit."
  • "Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone."
  • "Everyone may not be good, but there is always something good in everyone."
  • "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to change it every six months."

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  • "To get back my youth, I would do anything. Except wake up early, exercise, or be respectable."
  • "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."
  • "Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal."
  • "America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself."

Famous Oscar Wilde quotes

Oscar Wilde famous quotes are mostly from his literary works.

Books such as The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere's Fan, and An Ideal Husband have some of the best sayings from the playwright and poet.

  • "Action is the last resource of those who know not how to dream."
  • "Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us."
  • "With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?"
  • "One must have a heart of stone to read 'Death of Little Nell' without laughing."

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  • "There were opium-dens, where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new."
  • "I am so clever that sometimes I do no understand what I am saying."
  • "Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence."

Oscar Wilde love quotes

Oscar Wilde quotes on love covered different topics from self-love, friendships, and marriage, among others. The poet never romanticized love but saw it for the mysterious and complicated emotion that it was.

  • "Keep love in your heart. As a life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."
  • "The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death."
  • "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."

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Oscar Wilde quotes on love
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  • "Bigamy is one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."
  • "One should always be in love. That is why one should never marry."
  • "The very essence of romance is uncertainty."

Oscar Wilde quotes funny

Other than his ingenious mind, Oscar Wilde was also quite famous for his wit. Here are some of the playwright's hilarious quotes.

  • "I do not want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there."
  • "My business always bores me to death. I always prefer other people's."
  • "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness."
  • "Hard work is simply refuge for those who have nothing to do."
  • "I think God, in creating man, overestimated his ability."
  • "I cannot 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."

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Oscar Wilde quotes about life

The writer's sayings about life were always quite profound. Here are some of the best life quotes Oscar Wilde said.

  • "The world is a play, but the play is badly cast."
  • "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions. Their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
  • "Anyone who lives within their means lacks imagination."
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  • "There is no such thing as a good influence. Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there is such a thing as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him."
  • "Only the shallow know themselves."
  • "The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything."

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Oscar Wilde quotes death

Quotes by Oscar Wilde on death show us how great his mind was. After all, who can make a morbid subject like death be both funny and beautiful?

  • "I am dying beyond my means. I cannot even afford to die."
  • "Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, grass waving above your head as you listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, forgive life and be at peace."
  • "One can survive anything nowadays except death, and live down anything except a good reputation."
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  • "All trials are trials of one's life, just as all sentences are sentences of death."
  • "Biography lends to death a new terror."
  • "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 quotes Dorian Gray

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These Oscar Wilde sayings are from one of his most famous and best-selling books, The Picture of Dorian Gray, released in 1890.

  • "The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."
  • "I find him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and subtleties of certain colours."
  • "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."
  • "Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them."
Oscar Wilde sayings
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  • What of art? she asked. It is a malady. Love? An illusion. Religion? The fashionable substitute for belief.
  • Skepticism is the beginning of Faith
  • "The ugly and 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. They never bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands."

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Despite the amazing Oscar Wilde quotes in this novel, the book was initially banned because of its sexual undertones. The Picture of Dorian Gray was considered homoerotic and suggestive and eventually led to his arrest and imprisonment in 1895.

Oscar Wilde quotes art

The novelist was a fan of discussions of the nature of art in plays, essays, and speeches. Here are some of the things he said about the matter.

  • "Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."
  • "What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away."
  • "No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."
quotes by Oscar Wilde
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  • "I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
  • "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."
  • They are always asking a writer why he does not write like somebody else, or a painter why he does not paint like somebody else, quite oblivious of the fact that if either of them did anything of the kind, he would cease to be an artist."

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What were Oscar Wilde's last words?

The poet and playwright's last words are some of the best Oscar Wilde quotes. His last remarks were:

"This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes, or I do."

Oscar Wilde quotes are a great source of inspiration to aspiring writers, and humour to many people all over the world. We are truly fortunate to be able to enjoy his books, sayings, and quotes all these years after his unfortunate death.

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Clare Kamau (SEO writer) Clare Kamau is a journalist and writer with over two years of experience in the media industry and editing. She graduated from Mount Kenya University with a Bachelor's in Law.

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