Oscar Wilde Quotes 1–30 of 310 Quotes

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish essayist, novelist, playwright and poet.

Below are 30 of 310 sourced Oscar Wilde quotes. Sources and related information appear under each quote. Use the 'Cite this quote' link to get citation references.

“Tread Lightly, she is near Under the snow, Speak gently, she can hear The daisies grow.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#1

Quote source: Requiescat, st. 1 (1881)

“Lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance — And must I lose a soul's inheritance?”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#2

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#2

Quote source: Helas!, l. 12-14 (1881)

“If it took Labouchere three columns to prove that I was forgotten, then there is no difference between fame and obscurity.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#3

Quote source: As quoted in The New-York Herald (12 August 1883)

“And down the long and silent street, The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet, Crept like a frightened girl.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: The Harlot's House, st. 12 (1885)

“Be warned in time, James, and remain, as I do, incomprehensible: to be great is to be misunderstood.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: Letter to James McNeill Whistler (23 February 1885)

“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#6

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#6

Quote source: The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)

“The honest ratepayer and his healthy family have no doubt often mocked at the dome-like forehead of the philosopher, and laughed over the strange perspective of the landscape that lies beneath him. If they really knew who he was, they would tremble. For Chuang Tsǔ spent his life in preaching the great creed of Inaction, and in pointing out the uselessness of all things.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#7

Quote source: Review of Herbert Giles translation of the works of Zhuangzi (Chuang Tsu) in The Speaker (8 February 1890)

“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#8

More on this quote: "The Relation of Dress to Art," The Pall Mall Gazette (February 28, 1885)
• reprinted in Aristotle at Afternoon Tea:The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991)

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: "The Children of the Poets," The Pall Mall Gazette (October 14, 1886)

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“A simile committing suicide is always a depressing spectacle.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#11

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Quote source: "The Poets' Corner III," The Pall Mall Gazette (May 30, 1887)

“And, after all, what is a fashion? From the artistic point of view, it is usually a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: The Philosophy of Dress, The New-York Tribune, 1885. For an analysis see Fashion a Form of Ugliness

“We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: The Canterville Ghost (1887). For history and analysis of the quote see Common Language.

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889), p. 5

“All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#15

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Quote source: "The Portrait of Mr. W. H.," Blackwood's Magazine, July 1889

“The more we study Art, the less we care for Nature. What Art really reveals to us is Nature's lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#16

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Quote source: Intentions (1891)

“Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. She is a veil, rather than a mirror.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: Intentions (1891)

“All art is immoral.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: Intentions (1891)

“He is really not so ugly after all, provided, of course, that one shuts one's eyes, and does not look at him.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Quote source: "The Birthday of the Infanta", The House of Pomegranates (1892)

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“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

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#21

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Quote source: The Canterville Ghost (1887)

“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#22

More on this quote: J’ai mis tout mon génie dans ma vie; je n’ai mis que mon talent dans mes œuvres.
• Conversation with André Gide in Algiers, quoted in letter by Gide to his mother (30 January 1895); popularized by Gide and often subsequently quoted in Gide’s later work and in "Gide, André (1869-1951)" at Standing Ovations; the conversation was again recalled in Gide’s journal of (3 July 1913), quoted in “André Gide’s ‘Hommage à Oscar Wilde’ or ‘The Tale of Judas’”, Victoria Reid (University of Glasgow, UK), Chapter 5 in [Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe], edited by Stefano Evangelista (8 July 2010) part of a Continuum series The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe, , pp. 98–99, also footnote 6 (p. 99), quoting 1996 edition of Gide’s journal, pp. 746–47]

“On George Bernard Shaw An excellent man: he has no enemies, and none of his friends like him.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#23

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#23

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#23

Quote source: Quoted by George Bernard Shaw in a letter to Ellen Terry, 25 September 1896

“I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#24

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#24

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#24

Quote source: Written in a letter from Reading Prison to Lord Alfred Douglas in early 1897

“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

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#25

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#25

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#25

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#25

Quote source: Written in a letter to Robert Ross from Paris, 31 May 1898

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#26

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#26

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#26

Quote source: The Model Millionaire (1912)

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#27

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#27

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#27

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#27

Quote source: As quoted in Oscar Wilde : An Idler's Impression (1917) by Edgar Saltus, p. 20

“Tell me, when you are alone with him [ Max Beerbohm ] Sphinx, does he take off his face and reveal his mask?”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#28

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#28

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#28

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#28

Quote source: In a letter to Ada Leverson [Sphinx] recorded in her book Letters To The Sphinx From Oscar Wilde and Reminiscences of the Author (1930)

“One can survive everything nowadays except death.”

— Oscar Wilde

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Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#29

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#29

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#29

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html#29

Quote source: "Oscariana" (1907)

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Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Wilde, Oscar (2021, August 4) Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 4 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html

MLA Citation: Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Wilde, Oscar. “Oscar Wilde Quotes: 1–30 of 310 Quotes.” Last modified August 4, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Oscar-Wilde-quotes.html

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