George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard
Shaw
1856
1950

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist

Author Quotes

When you loved me I gave you the whole sun and stars to play with. I gave you eternity in a single moment, strength of the mountains in one clasp of your arms, the volume of all the seas in one impulse of your soul. A moment only; but was it not enough? Were you not paid then for all the rest of your struggle on earth? ... When I opened the gates of paradise, were you blind? Was it nothing to you? When all the stars sang in your ears and all the winds swept you the heart of heaven, were you deaf? Were you dull? Was I no more to you than a bone to a dog? Was it not enough? We spent eternity together; and you ask me for a little lifetime more. We possessed all the universe together; and you ask me to give you my scanty wages as well. I have given you the greatest of all things; and you ask me to give you little things. I gave you your own soul: you ask me for my body as a plaything. Was it not enough? Was it not enough?

Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me.

You are so careful of your boy's morals, knowing how troublesome they may be, that you keep him away from the Venus of Milo only to find him in the arms of the scullery maid or someone much worse. You decide that the Hermes of Praxiteles and Wagner's Tristan are not suited for young girls; and your daughter marries somebody appallingly unlike either Hermes or Tristan solely to escape from your parental protection. You have not stifled a single passion nor averted a single danger: you have depraved the passions by starving them, and broken down all the defenses which so effectively protect children brought up in freedom.

You have to choose (as a voter) between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.

Youth is wasted on the young.

When you vote, you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new.

Wicked people means people who have no love: therefore, they have no shame. They have the power to ask love because they don't need it: they have the power to offer it because they have none to give.

You are the window through which you must see the world.

You in America should trust to that volcanic political instinct which I have divined in you.

Whenever you wish to do anything against the law, Cicely, always consult a good solicitor first.

Wilde's permanent celebrity belongs to literature, and only his transient notoriety to police news.

You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub.

You know well I couldn't bear to live with a low common man after you two; and it's wicked and cruel of you to insult me by pretending I could.

Where equality is undisputed, so also is subordination.

Wise kings wear shabby clothes, and leave the gold lace to the drum major.

You can easily find people who are ten times as rich at sixty as they were at twenty; but not one of them will tell you that they are ten times as happy.

You ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste

With the exception of capitalism, there is nothing so revolting as revolution

You can feel nothing but a torment, and believe nothing but a lie. You will not raise your head to look at all the miracles of life that surround you; but you will run ten miles to see a fight or a death.

You may remember that on earth—though of course we never confessed it—the death of anyone we knew, even those we liked best, was always mingled with a certain satisfaction at being finally done with them.

Where you now see reform, progress, fulfillment of upward tendency, continual ascent by Man on the stepping stones of his dead selves to higher things, you will see nothing but an infinite comedy of illusion. You will discover the profound truth of the saying of my friend Koheleth, that there is nothing new under the sun.

With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his.

You can lose a man like that by your own death, but not by his.

You must not suppose, because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living.

Author Picture
First Name
George Bernard
Last Name
Shaw
Birth Date
1856
Death Date
1950
Bio

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist