George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard
Shaw
1856
1950

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist

Author Quotes

When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.

Whilst we have prisons it matters little who occupies the cells.

Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.

You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.

You sometimes have to answer a woman according to her womanishness, just as you have to answer a fool according to his folly.

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.

Who are those we love? Only those whom we do not hate.

Words are only postage stamps delivering the object for you to unwrap.

You can't be a hero without being a coward.

You think that you are Ann’s suitor; that you are the pursuer and she the pursued; that it is your part to woo, to persuade, to prevail, to overcome. Fool: it is you who are the pursued, the marked-down quarry, the destined prey.

When we know what God is, we shall be gods ourselves.

Who asked him to make a gentleman of me? I was happy. I was free. I touched pretty nigh everybody for money when I wanted it, same as I touched you, Henry Higgins. Now I am worried; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches me for money. It's a fine thing for you, says my solicitor. “Is it?” says I. You mean it's a good thing for you, I say. When I was a poor man and had a solicitor once when they found a pram in the dust cart, he got me off, and got shut of me and got me shut of him as quick as he could. Same with the doctors: used to shove me out of the hospital before I could hardly stand on my legs, and nothing to pay. Now they finds out that I'm not a healthy man and can’t live unless they looks after me twice a day. In the house I'm not let do a hand's turn for myself: somebody else must do it and touch me for it. A year ago I hadn't a relative in the world except two or three that wouldn't speak to me. Now I've fifty, and not a decent week's wages among the lot of them. I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle class morality.

Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble. There’s only one way of escaping trouble; and that’s killing things.

You don't learn to hold your own in the world by standing on guard, but by attacking and getting well hammered yourself.

Your father is a fool skin deep; but you are a fool to your very marrow.

When we want to read of the deeds that are done for love, wither do we turn? To the murder column; and there we are rarely disappointed.

Whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser people are full of doubts

Written over the gate here are the words 'Leave every hope behind, ye who enter.' Only think what a relief that is! For what is hope? A form of moral responsibility. Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.

You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.

Your friends are all the dullest dogs I know. They are not beautiful: they are only decorated. They are not clean: they are only shaved and starched. They are not dignified: they are only fashionably dressed. They are not educated: they are only college passmen. They are not religious: they are only pewrenters. They are not moral: they are only conventional. They are not virtuous: they are only cowardly. They are not even vicious: they are only frail. They are not artistic: they are only lascivious. They are not prosperous: they are only rich. They are not loyal, they are only servile; not dutiful, only sheepish; not public spirited, only patriotic; not courageous, only quarrelsome; not determined, only obstinate; not masterful, only domineering; not self-controlled, only obtuse; not self-respecting, only vain; not kind, only sentimental; not social, only gregarious; not considerate, only polite; not intelligent, only opinionated; not progressive, only factious; not imaginative, only superstitious; not just, only vindictive; not generous, only propitiatory; not disciplined, only cowed; and not truthful at all: liars every one of them, to the very backbone of their souls.

When will we realize that the fact that we can become accustomed to anything, however disgusting at first, makes it necessary to examine carefully everything we have become accustomed to.

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!

Yes, because to be treated as a boy was to be taken on the old footing. I had become a new person; and those who knew the old person laughed at me. The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor: he took my measure anew every time he saw me, whilst the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.

You have a choice between the natural stability of gold and the honesty and intelligence of the members of government. And with all due respect for those gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, vote for gold.

Your heart and your mouth will be in two separate parts of your body if you again forget in whose presence you stand.

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

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist