10 Meaningful Oscar Wilde Quotes ...


10 Meaningful Oscar Wilde Quotes ...
10 Meaningful Oscar Wilde Quotes ...

Oscar Wilde is my favorite writer of all time. I love a lot of writers, but can safely say he is my favorite. He wrote novels to die for, he is responsible for Dorian Gray, he was a poet and playwright and even wrote books for children. He is also one of the sharpest satirists ever, and as such is responsible for a number of quotes, all of them witty, most of them profound, and not a few of them extremely meaningful. I thought I’d share my favorites!

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“the Only Way to Get Rid of a Temptation is to Yield to It.”

“the Only Way to Get Rid of a Temptation is to Yield to It.” Photo Credit: DecemberSun

This isn’t the first time you’ll see something about temptation here, because Oscar has such a way of saying what just about everyone thinks at one time or another, over something. This is from "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which is a virtual treasure chest of witticisms.


“Experience is the Name Everyone Gives to Their Mistakes.”

This sounds incredibly snarky on the surface, but then you step back and consider it for a second. I do, at least, and it really is true. Most of my experience has come from making mistakes – I’m still learning that way, every day! This is from the spectacular play, "Lady Windmere’s Fan."


“I Can Resist Anything except Temptation.”

Also from Lady Windmere’s Fan, it speaks a rather profound truth as well. It’s so easy to resist anything else, even if it’s only a little thing. Wilde always makes me feel guilty, for instance, for eating something I know I shouldn’t when I’m trying to keep my diet moderated.


“Consistency is the Last Refuge of the Unimaginative.”

“Consistency is the Last Refuge of the Unimaginative.” Photo Credit: Karin Elizabeth

I do not think this is true! I can see the stereotype it comes from, especially when you see it in context in "An Ideal Husband." But still, this is meaningful to me because … it’s really great to use in an argument. Yeah, I do it. Not seriously though.


“Fashion is What One Wears Oneself. What is Unfashionable is What Other People Wear.”

Oh, I love this quote. To me it speaks of freedom and it both praises and encourages personal style. Of course, given its source, it was no doubt meant to send those messages. This bit of advice found in "An Ideal Husband" is much better! If you want to wear it and you own it, then it’s cool!


“Fashion is a Form of Ugliness so Intolerable That We Have to Alter It Every Six Months.”

In "The Happy Prince," Wilde makes known his feelings about popular fashion. I think it still stands as true. That’s all the explanation I can think of for certain trends in fashion. Just lately, the makeup trend of bleached or entirely gone eyebrows strikes me as a prime example of the sentiment here. That gives me the willies.


“Man is Least Himself when He Talks in His Own Person. Give Him a Mask, and He Will Tell You the Truth.”

“Man is Least Himself when He Talks in His Own Person. Give Him a Mask, and He Will Tell You the Truth.” Photo Credit: katie evans

I think this is true not just of actors and actresses, but also of everyday people. I’m that way. I can be more honest when it’s not me face to face someone. That’s why I generally choose to write letters – or at least it’s why I should!


“Every Saint Has a past and Every Sinner Has a Future.”

This quote is incredibly meaningful to me. Found in "A Woman of No Importance," it’s one of those things you wish certain people would be forced to get tattooed to their foreheads. At least, a lot of people should be made to memorize it. It’s got a good lesson.


“Art is the Most Intense Mode of Individualism That the World Has Known.”

This quote speaks to me as a writer. Since it is found in "The Soul of a Man" under Socialism, you can safely assume it spoke that way to Wilde as well. It completely defines his responses to criticisms and worse throughout his life.


“if You Are Not Too Long, I Will Wait Here for You All My Life.”

This is my top most favorite. It’s quoted in "The Importance of Being Earnest." It always makes me smile. It's so true, isn't it?

I also adore the movie "Wilde," with Stephen Fry and Jude Law, by the way. Who knew House’s very best IRL friend would channel Wilde like that? Do you any of your favorite writers have quotes that are meaningful to you?

Top Photo Credit: HelloI'mJulia.

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i love the one that's something like "i don't care if you are not listening, i won't stop talking, there's nothing i found more delightful than the sound of my own voice. sometimes i keep long conversations with myself and i'm so clever that i don't understand what i'm saying."

i've been thinking of getting a tattoo, actually, and “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future” is kind of perfect, you've got to love oscar wilde :)

I love Oscar Wilde, this is an awesome post :) my favorite quote though is from The Picture of Dorian Gray - "There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up."

Loved the post. love Oscar and his razor pen.

There's another quote by Wilde that's pretty nice. "The very essence of love is uncertainty," from The Importance of Being Ernest.

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