Here are the most memorable quotes from The Picture of Dorian Gray, as underlined by me.


There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

None of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.

There is no such thing as a good influence. All influence is immoral.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.

It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.

The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.

The serious study of the great aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing.

Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic.

To get back one’s youth, one has merely to repeat one’s follies.

The only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.

He says things that annoy me. He gives me good advice. (Dorian about Basil)

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating—people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.

We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.

When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.

If one doesn’t talk about a thing, it has never happened.

Society—civilized society, at least—is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating.

To the true romantic, background is everything.

It is perfectly monstrous, the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true.

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.

Scepticism is the beginning of faith.

We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

The things one feels absolutely certain about are never true.

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.


Noticed that some of them are in bold? Those are the quotes NOT by Lord Henry. His speech always has an air of superiority and it’s always based on contradiction. Dorian spots this, and Henry’s fondness of quotes, to which he says:

“You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.” 


“You would sacrifice anybody, Harry, for the sake of an epigram.”

What do you think? Is Dorian right? Are Henry’s quotes funny, or witty, or true to any level? Are there any quotes I forgot to include?