Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde

Author profile


born
in Dublin, Ireland
October 16, 1854

died
November 30, 1900

website

genre

influences


About this author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain, and died in poverty.


Average rating: 4.07 · 869,864 ratings · 25,274 reviews · 981 distinct works · Similar authors
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The Importance of Being Ear...
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The Happy Prince
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Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
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More books by Oscar Wilde…
Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (1 book)
by
4.465890485719483 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 10,994 ratings

The Plays of Oscar Wilde
The Plays of Oscar Wilde (1 book)
by
4.362035225048924 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 1,022 ratings

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
Oscar Wilde

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”
Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories

Polls

Which Oscar Wilde quote do you like most?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
 
  7 votes, 12.7%

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.
 
  6 votes, 10.9%

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
 
  4 votes, 7.3%

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
 
  4 votes, 7.3%

I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.
 
  3 votes, 5.5%

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
 
  3 votes, 5.5%

We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

I am not young enough to know everything.
 
  2 votes, 3.6%

A good friend will always stab you in the front.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

The heart was made to be broken.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

Who, being loved, is poor?
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

Know thyself' was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, 'Be thyself' shall be written.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
 
  1 vote, 1.8%

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

I have nothing to declare except my genius.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else. That is the misery of being poor.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime'.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature – it requires, in fact, the nature of a true Individualist – to sympathise with a friend’s success.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses.
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

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