Epigrams, Aphorisms and Witticisms in The Importance of Being Earnest

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature an impossibility.
Algernon (to Jack)

The modern sympathy with invalids is morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged in others.
Lady Bracknell (to Algernon)

The amount of women who flirt with their own husbands is scandalous. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.
Algernon (to Jack)

It is important not to keep a business engagement if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life.


The good end happily, the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.
Miss Prism (to Cecily)

Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. Fortunately, in England at any rate, Education produces no effect whatsoever.
Lady Bracknell (to Jack)

Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned
respect for the young is fast dying out.

Gwendolen (to Jack)

It is very vulgar to talk about one’s own business. Only people like stock-brokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties.
Algernon (to Jack)

Flowers are as common in the country as people are in London.
Cecily (to Gwendolen)

I hear her hair has turned quite gold from grief.
Algernon (to Lady Bracknell)

Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.
Lady Bracknell

One must be serious about something if one wants to have any amusement in life.

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Algernon (to Jack)

Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before
marriage, which is never advisable.
Lady Bracknell (to Algernon and Cecily)

In matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing.

I have the gravest doubts. But I intend to crush them. This is not the time for German scepticism.
Gwendolen (to Cecily)

His voice alone inspires one with absolute credulity.
Cecily (to Gwendolen)

How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes! Where questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are infinitely beyond us.
Gwendolen (to Cecily)

A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
Lady Bracknell (to Jack)

Women only call each other sister after they have called each other a lot of other things first.
Algernon (to Jack)

I hate to seem inquisitive but, would you kindly tell me who I am?
Jack (to Lady Bracknell)

What with the duties expected of one during one’s lifetime, and the duties exacted from one after one’s death, land has ceased to be either a profit
or pleasure. It gives one position and prevents one from keeping it up.
Lady Bracknell (to Jack)

The two weak points of our age are want of principle and want of profile. Style depends largely on the way the chin is worn. They are worn very high at present.
Lady Bracknell (to Cecily)

The way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain.
Algernon (to Jack)

By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.
Miss Prism (to Dr Chasuble)

No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.
Lady Bracknell (to Cecily)

But pray …. don’t stop. I delight in taking down dictation. I have reached ‘absolute perfection’. You can go on. I am ready for more.
Cecily (to Algernon)

There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence.
Gwendolen (to Jack) and Cecily to (Algernon)

All women become like their mothers — that is their tragedy. No man does.That’s his.
Algernon (to Jack)

I have only been married once. That was the consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person.
Lane (to Algernon)

In married life three is company and two is none.
Algernon (to Jack)

Never speak disrespectfully of Society. Only people who can’t get into it do that.
Lady Bracknell (to Algernon)

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.
Algernon (to Jack)

An engagement is hardly a serious one that has not been broken off at least once.
Cecily (to Algernon)

I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.
Jack (to Gwendolen)

My first impressions of people are never wrong.
Gwendolen (to Cecily)

I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.
Gwendolen (to Cecily)

He seems to have great confidence in the opinion of his physicians. I am glad, however, that he made up his mind at the last to some definite course of action, and acted under proper medical advice.
Lady Bracknell (to Algernon)

After we had all been resigned to his loss, his sudden return seems to me parculiarly distressing.
Miss Prism

Your vanity is ridiculous, your conduct an outrage and your presence in my garden utterly absurd.
Jack (to Algernon)

Girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don’t think it right.
Algernon (to Jack)

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Epigrams, Aphorisms and Witticisms in The Importance of Being Earnest. (2019, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/epigrams-aphorisms-and-witticisms-in-the-importance-of-being-earnest/

Epigrams, Aphorisms and Witticisms in The Importance of Being Earnest
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