Oscar Wilde's Quotations

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


The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)[1]

... it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.

  • Algernon, Act I.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!

  • Algernon, Act I.

I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.

  • Lady Bracknell, Act I.

Jack. Well, I won’t argue about the matter. You always want to argue about things.
Algernon. That is exactly what things were originally made for.

  • Act I.

To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.

  • Lady Bracknell, Act III.
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