George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard
Shaw
1856
1950

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist

Author Quotes

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.

When the horrors of anarchy force us to set up laws that forbid us to fight and torture one another for sport, we still snatch at every excuse for declaring individuals outside the protection of law and torturing them to our hearts content.

Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.

Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.

You can talk about capitalism and communism and all that sort of thing, but the important thing is the struggle everybody is engaged in to get better living conditions, and they are not interested too much in government.

You never can tell.

When the master has come to do everything through the slave, the slave becomes his master, since he cannot live without him.

While we have prisons it matters little which of us occupy the cells.

Woman reduces us all to the common denominator.

You cannot be a hero without being a coward.

You see things as they are and ask, "Why?" I dream things as they never were and ask, "Why not?"

When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womankind. No: I sing, not arms and the hero, but the philosophic man: he who seeks in contemplation to discover the inner will of the world, in invention to discover the means of fulfilling that will, and in action to do that will by the so-discovered means.

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal living conditions on this earth?

Woman's dearest delight is to wound Man's self-conceit, though Man's dearest delight is to gratify hers.

You cannot believe in honor until you have achieved it, better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

You see, lots of the real people can't do it at all: they're such fools that they think style comes by nature to people in their position; and so they never learn. There's always something professional about doing a thing superlatively well.

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.

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

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist