(Dublin, 1854 – Paris, 1900) British writer. Son of the surgeon William Wills-Wilde and the writer Joana Elgee, Oscar Wilde had a quiet and uneventful childhood. He studied at the Portora Royal School in Euniskillen, at Trinity College in Dublin and, later, at Magdalen College in Oxford, where he remained between 1874 and 1878 and where he received the Newdigate Prize for poetry, which was highly regarded. prestige at the time. The reading of authors such as John Ruskin and Walter Pater shaped his aesthetic ideology during those years.

Oscar Wilde combined his university studies with travel (in 1877 he visited Italy and Greece), while publishing his first poems in various newspapers and magazines, which were collected in 1881 in Poems . The following year he undertook a trip to the United States, where he gave a series of lectures on his theory of aesthetic philosophy, which defended the idea of ​​»art for art’s sake» and in which he laid the foundations for what was later called dandyism .

Upon his return, Oscar Wilde did the same at British universities and cultural centers, where he was exceptionally well received. He was also in France, a country he visited in 1883 and in which he made friends with Verlaine and other writers of the time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, who bore him two children, who would reject the paternal surname after the events of 1895.

Between 1887 and 1889 he edited a women’s magazine, Woman’s World, and in 1888 he published a book of short stories, The Happy Prince , whose good reception led to the publication, in 1891, of several of his works, including The Murder of Lord Arthur Saville . Wilde’s success was based on the poignant and epigrammatic wit that he lavished on her works, almost always dedicated to lashing out at the hypocrisies of her contemporaries. A narrative previously published in the form of fascicles, The Picture of Dorian Gray , Wilde’s only novel, whose authorship brought him fierce criticism from Puritan and conservative sectors due to its misrepresentation of the theme of Faust, was also reissued as a book.

However, his popularity as a playwright did not diminish, which increased with works such as Salomé (1891), written in French, or The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), works with lively dialogues full of irony; the first of them was premiered by the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1894. His success, however, was cut short in 1895, when the Marquis of Queenberry launched a smear campaign in newspapers and magazines accusing him of homosexuality. Wilde, for his part, tried to defend himself with a defamatory process against Queenberry, although without results, since the evidence presented by the Marquis gave evidence of facts that could be judged in the light of the Criminal Amendment Act.

On May 27, 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years in prison and hard labor. The numerous pressures and requests for clemency made from progressive sectors and from several of the most important European literary circles were not listened to, and the writer was forced to serve his sentence in full. Posted to Wandsworth and Reading, where he wrote the later acclaimed Ballad of Reading Gaol , the sentence saw him lose everything he had gained during his glory years.

Regained his freedom, he changed his name and surname (he adopted Sebastian Melmoth’s) and emigrated to Paris, where he remained until his death. The last years of his life were characterized by economic fragility, health problems, problems derived from his love of drinking and a last-minute approach to Catholicism. Only posthumously his works were performed and published again. In 1906, Richard Strauss set his drama Salome to music , and over the years almost all of his literary output was translated into several languages.

Phrases

-It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.

-Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.

-Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.

-I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.

-After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.

-A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won’t be invited to cocktail parties.

-There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.

-Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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.

-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.
The Canterville Ghost

-I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

-No good deed goes unpunished.

-All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.

-Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

-The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-They’ve promised that dreams can come true – but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.

-I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.

-The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

-Life is too short to learn German.

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

-In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.

-Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.

-I have no objection to anyone’s sex life as long as they don’t practice it in the street and frighten the horses.

-Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

-Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.

-Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.
Lady Windemere’s Fan

-Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.

-The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

-Everything popular is wrong.

-The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

-Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.

-Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

-We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Lady Windemere’s Fan

-Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

-Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.

-Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

-My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

-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.

-If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.

-Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.

-How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in?

-Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation, and conversation must have a common basis, and between two people of widely different culture the only common basis possible is the lowest level.

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-One should always be in love. That’s the reason one should never marry.

-I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.

-Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.

-He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.

-Hearts are made to be broken.

-Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

-Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

-A passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.

-Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.

-If you want to be a doormat you have to lay yourself down first.

-I beg your pardon I didn’t recognize you – I’ve changed a lot.

-After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.
A Woman of No Importance

-Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.

-Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.

-If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life.

-I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.
The Importance of Being Earnest

-Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.

-Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

-I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.

-A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

-When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

-To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
An Ideal Husband

-The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

-The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

-Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

-With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be perfectly happy?

-They get up early, because they have so much to do, and go to bed early, because they have so little to think about.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

-Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.

-I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.
The Happy Prince & Other Stories

-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.

-A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

-To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
The Importance of Being Earnest

-One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.

-America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.

-Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

-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.

-An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

-There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.

-The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.

-Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

-Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
De Profundis

-There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.

-Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about these things. What (women) like is to be a man’s last romance.

-I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.

-How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?

-I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.

-Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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.
The Critic As Artist

-Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

-Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

Oscar Wilde Quotes

-A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

-The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
The Importance of Being Earnest

-The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

-I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.

-Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

-A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

-Who, being loved, is poor?

-You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.
The Picture of Dorian Gray

-Indeed I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do.

-Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

-Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.

-Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

-There is no sin except stupidity.

-The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

-The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
The Importance of Being Earnest

-In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
Lady Windemere’s Fan

-Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.

-The Picture of Dorian Gray
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
The Soul of Man Under Socialism

-Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

-I can resist anything except temptation.

-Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.

-Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

-Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

-I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

-I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
An Ideal Husband

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

-Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

-No man is rich enough to buy back his past.

-Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.

-The one charm about the past is that it is the past.

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