77 Best Oscar Wilde Quotes On Life and Love (Be Yourself)

If you’re looking for some inspiration, or just a good laugh, check out some of Oscar Wilde quotes. His wit and wisdom are sure to get you thinking, and maybe even make you smile.

oscar wilde love quotes


  • Oscar Wilde Short Biography
  • Oscar Wilde creative potential
  • 21 Oscar Wilde Quotes about Life
  • 22 Oscar Wilde Quotes on Love
  • 8 Oscar Wilde Quotes about Marriage 
  • 12 Oscar Wilde quotes about friendship
  • 13 Oscar Wilde Quotes About Reading, Writing, and Books

Who was Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854. He was a prolific writer and playwright, and is perhaps best known for his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde was also a well-known socialite, and his wit and flamboyance made him a popular figure in London society. In 1895, 

Wilde was convicted of homosexual offenses and sentenced to two years in prison. He died in Paris in 1900.

Wilde’s life was dramatic and full of controversy, but his work remains popular and highly respected to this day. 

His plays, such as The Importance of Being Earnest, are still performed all over the world, and his poems and essays are studied in schools and universities.

Wilde was a master of wit and irony, and his writing is both funny and thought-provoking. 

He was a pioneer of gay rights, and his work is a powerful statement in favour of individual freedom and creativity.

Oscar Wilde creative potential

In his essay “The Decay of Lying,” Oscar Wilde discusses the nature and process of his creativity. He observes that “Lying, properly understood, is the telling of beautiful untrue things,” and that “the greatest truths are the simplest.” He argues that the artist must create from a place of “the purest idealism,” and that the artist’s job is to “create beauty out of chaos.

For Wilde, the creative process is a deeply spiritual one, in which he taps into a higher power that enables him to see the world in a different, more beautiful way. 

He believes that the artist must be completely open and receptive to this creative force, and must be willing to let go of his or her own ego and self-interest. In this way, the artist can create truly original work that is free from the constraints of convention and expectation.

Oscar Wilde was one of the most famous authors and playwrights of the late 19th century. He was known for his witty quotes and sayings, which often poked fun at society and its conventions. Here are some of his best-known quotes.

Oscar Wilde Quotes about Life

oscar wilde quotes about life
  1. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

2. “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”

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

4. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

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

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

7. “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

8. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

9. “Life is a nightmare that prevents one from sleeping.”

10. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

11. “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

12. “If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life.”

13. “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”

14. “I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”

15. “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

16. “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

17. “Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”

18. “Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”

19. “The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.”

20. “A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.”

21. “To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.”

Oscar Wilde Quotes on Love

oscar wilde be yourself

22. “You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

23. “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.”

24. “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”

25. “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”

26. “Hearts are made to be broken.”

27. “Hearts Live By Being Wounded”

28. “Who, being loved, is poor?”

29. “Life is too short to learn German”

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

31. “We women, as some one says, love with our ears, just as you men love with your eyes, if you ever love at all.”

32. “When you really want love, you will find it waiting for you.”

33. “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.”

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

35. “There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.”

36. “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.”

37. “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.”

38. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”

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

40. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

41. “I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.”

42. “The most terrible thing about it is not that it breaks one’s heart—hearts are made to be broken—but that it turns one’s heart to stone.”

43. “Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.”

Oscar Wilde Quotes about Marriage 

oscar wilde marriage quotes

44. “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.”

45. “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.”

46. “The bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”

47. “The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.”

48. “One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.”

49. “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.”

50. “How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.”

51. “There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.”

Oscar Wilde quotes about friendship

52. “A good friend will always stab you in the front.”

53. “I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”

54. “Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.”

55. “It is a very dangerous thing to know one’s friends.”

56. “I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.”

57. “An excellent man: he has no enemies, and none of his friends like him.”

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

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

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

Oscar Wilde quotes about friendship

61. “I think that generosity is the essence of friendship.”

62. “It is very easy to endure the difficulties of one’s enemies. It is the successes of one’s friends that are hard to bear.”

63. “What is the good of friendship if one cannot say exactly what one means Anybody can say charming things and try to please and flatter, but a true friend always says unpleasant things, and does not mind giving pain.”

Oscar Wilde Quotes About Reading, Writing, and Books

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

65. “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

66. “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”

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

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

69. “I am not young enough to know everything.”

70. “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”

71. “A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.”

72. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

73. “With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be perfectly happy?”

74. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”

75. “I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”

76. “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.”

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

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