George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist. He was the first person to be awarded both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award, receiving the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature and sharing the 1938 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film version of Pygmalion.

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A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Oh the tiger will love you. There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

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

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

Never waste jealousy on a real man: it is the imaginary man that supplants us all in the long run. 

You see things, and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were, and I say "Why not?"

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.

You cannot be a hero without being a coward.

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.

In a battle, all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it's more dangerous to lose than to win.

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

Beware of false knowledge, it is more dangerous than ignorance.

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.

Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

I'm an atheist and I thank God for it.

The minority is sometimes right, the majority always wrong.

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.

She had lost the art of conversation, but not unfortunately the power of speech.

People become attached to their burdens, sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.

In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.

It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.

There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and, at last, you create what you will.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

Americans adore me, and will go on adoring me, until I say something nice about them.

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.

Old men are dangerous: it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world.

Miracles in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but we must take that risk because a little is as much as our biggest heads can hold.

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power, but that of self interest backed by force.

An asylum for the sane would be empty in America.

There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your close,t you'd best teach it to dance.

I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.

Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue and abiding love.

Until the men of action clear out the talkers, we who have social consciences are at the mercy of those who have none.

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.

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

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

Political necessities sometime turn out to be political mistakes.

The British soldier can stand up to anything except the British War Office.

Youth is wasted on the young.

Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.

Better never than late.

First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing and doing it very well ever loses his self-respect.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.

Clever and attractive women do not want to vote, they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.

Find enough clever things to say and you're a Prime Minister, write them down and you're a Shakespeare.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

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

I want to be all used up when I die.

Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent.

The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things.

The heretic is always better dead. And mortal eyes cannot distinguish the saint from the heretic.

What Englishman will give his mind to politics as long as he can afford to keep a motor car?

Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

The truth is hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor.

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.

General consultant to mankind.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating very few survive.

Most people do not pray, they only beg.

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness but it is greatness.

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.

It's easier to replace a dead man than a good picture.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

The moment we want to believe something we suddenly see all the arguments for it and become blind to the arguments against it.

Some look at things that are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

What a man believes may be ascertained not from his creed but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.

Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.

Very few people can afford to be poor.

I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.

The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.

We are the only real aristocracy in the world: the aristocracy of money.

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

The art of government is the organisation of idolatry.

Few people think more than two or three times a year, I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.

The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.

The natural term of the affection of the human animal for its offspring is six years.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

An index is a great leveller.

A man of great common sense and good taste - meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

Property is organized robbery.

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them make them.

Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it.

A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income.

Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.

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 use a glass mirror to see your face, you use works of art to see your soul.

He's a man of great common sense and good taste - meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.

If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do.

Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.

If all the economists were laid end to end they'd never reach a conclusion.

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.

If you injure your neighbour better not do it by halves.

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation, but not the power of speech.

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

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

The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.

The test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.

If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.

We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.

A man who has no office to go to I don't care who he is is a trial of which you can have no conception.

Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt.

Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination.

It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and besides the pig likes it.

When a man says money can do anything that settles it: he hasn't got any.

England and America are two countries separated by the same language.

If women were particular about men's characters they would never get married at all.

You are going to let the fear of poverty govern you life and your reward will be that you will eat but you will not live.

Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious.

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport, when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.

If history repeats itself and the unexpected always happens how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

Martyrdom: The only way a man can become famous without ability.

The only secrets are the secrets that keep themselves.

Socialism is the same as Communism only better English.

All my life affection has been showered upon me and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.

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

There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses.

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.

There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future.

Fashions after all are only induced epidemics.

We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier.

What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married?

There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.

We must always think about things and we must think about things as they are not as they are said to be.

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

An election is a moral horror as bad as a battle except for the blood, a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.

Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.

Beauty is all very well at first sight, but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

Every man over forty is a scoundrel.

Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

Marriage is good enough for the lower classes: they have facilities for desertion that are denied to us.

Nothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.

Those who do not know how to live must make a merit of dying.

He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.

My reputation grows with every failure.

When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.

Few of us have vitality enough to make any of our instincts imperious.

Hell is full of musical amateurs.

It is most unwise for people in love to marry.

The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.

Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman but believing what he read made him mad.

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.

I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

I would like to take you seriously but to do so would be an affront to your intelligence.

The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.

A veteran journalist has never had time to think twice before he writes.

Men are wise in proportion not to their experience but to their capacity for experience.

Power does not corrupt men, fools however if they get into a position of power corrupt power.

No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.

Virtue is insufficient temptation.

Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart's desire, the other is to get it.

The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.

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.

The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.

Syllables govern the world.

Never fret for an only son the idea of failure will never occur to him.

Man can climb to the highest summits but he cannot dwell there long.

Men have to do some awfully mean things to keep up their respectability.

Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.

There is only one religion though there are a hundred versions of it.

It's so hard to know what to do when one wishes earnestly to do right.

Use your health even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die, do not outlive yourself.

We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence... on pain of liquidation.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.

I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle-class morality.

Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.

He who can does. He who cannot teaches.

Peace is not only better than war but infinitely more arduous.

I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.

I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

The love of economy is the root of all virtue.

A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.

I am a Christian. That obliges me to be a Communist.

Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.

Better keep yourself clean and bright, you are the window through which you must see the world.

Choose silence of all virtues for by it you hear other men's imperfections and conceal your own.

Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty, what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.

The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.

We are all dependent on one another every soul of us on earth.

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

Parentage is a very important profession but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.

Virtue consists not in abstaining from vice but in not desiring it.

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.