The Importance of Being Earnest Quotes. The Importance of Being Earnest, a comedy, is Oscar Wilde’s final play. It premiered at St. James’ Theatre in London on February 14, 1895 and skewered the contemporary habits and attitudes of the British aristocracy.
The opening was hugely successful, but Wilde’s ongoing conflict with the Marquess of Queensberry, his lover’s powerful father, led the play to close prematurely after Wilde was charged with “gross indecency” for having sex with men. Despite this setback, The Importance of Being Earnest was almost immediately revived and has become Wilde’s most celebrated play.
|The Importance of Being Earnest Quotes
The Importance of Being Earnest Quotes
- “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
- “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
- “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”
- “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
- “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”
- “If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.”
- “I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”
- “I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”
- “In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.”
- “I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.”
- “Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.”
- “I never change, except in my affections.”
- “To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.”
- “I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”
- “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”.
- “Oh! I don't think I would like to catch a sensible man. I shouldn't know what to talk to him about.”
- “Oh! 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.”
- “I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much”.
- “Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.”
- “I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.”
- “My dear fellow, the truth isn’t quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a woman!”.
- “Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?”.
You may also like to read: The Importance of Being Earnest Summary
Top Quotes The Importance of Being Earnest
- Algernon: Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.
- Jack: When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.
- Algernon: Girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don’t think it right… It is a great truth. It accounts for the extraordinary number of bachelors that one sees all over the place.
- Algernon: 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: The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.
- Algernon: Ah! that must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian manner.
- Jack: I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.
- Gwendolyn: My ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence.
- Gwendolyn: I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment’s solitude.
- Lady Bracknell: Mr. Worthing! Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture. It is most indecorous.
- Lady Bracknell: 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.
- Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
- Lady Bracknell: To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
- Lady Bracknell: I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over.
- Algernon: Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
- Algernon: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.
- Algernon: The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to some one else, if she is plain.
- Algernon: It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don’t mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind.
- Cecily: But I don’t like German. It isn’t at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.
- Miss Prism: The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
- Algernon: If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.
- Gwendolyn: I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
- Cecily: When I see a spade I call it a spade. Gwendolen: I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.
- Gwendolen: I have the gravest doubts upon the subject. But I intend to crush them. This is not the moment for German scepticism.
- Lady Bracknell: Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons whose origin was a Terminus.
- Lady Bracknell: Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.
- Lady Bracknell: Algernon is an extremely, I may almost say an ostentatiously, eligible young man. He has nothing, but he looks everything.
- Jack: Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?.