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Quotes by George Bernard Shaw
(1856 - 1950)

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ActorsI do not want actors and acresses to understand my plays. That is not necessary. If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I can guarantee the results.
AffectionAll my life affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.
AmericaAn asylum for the sane would be empty in America.
AmericansI have defined the 100% American as 99% an idiot. And they just adore me.
AmericansAmericans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.
ArtIf more than ten percent of the population likes a painting it should be burned, for it must be bad
ArtWithout art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
AssassinationAssassination is the extreme form of censorship
BaseballBaseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
BeliefsThe fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
BrahmsThere are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
Capital PunishmentThere is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.
ChessChess is a foolish expedient of making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time.
ChurchThe Churches must learn humility as well as teach it.
ConversationThe problem with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
CountryO Lord! I don't know which is the worst of the country, the walking or the sitting at home with nothing to do.
CriticismIf you will only take the precaution to go in long enough after it commences and to come out long enough before it is over, you will not find it wearisome.
CriticsReviewing has one advantage over suicide; in suicide you take it out of yourself; in reviewing you take it out of other people.
CriticsA drama critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned.
CynicismThe power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
DemocracyDemocracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
DemocracyThe substitution of election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
DemocracyDemocracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
DoctorsA doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.
DoctorsWe have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.
DrinkingAlcohol is a very necessary article. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
DutyWhen a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
EconomistsIf all economists, were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
EnglishEngland and America are two countries separated by the same language.
ExperienceWe learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.
FamilyHome life as we understand it is no more natural to us that a cage is natural to a cockatoo.
FashionFashions are the only induced epidemics, proving that epidemics can be induced by tradesman.
FuneralsWhat bereaved people need is a little comic relief, and this is why funerals are so farcical.
GamblingGambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich; that is why the bishops dare not denounce it fundamentally.
GentlemenI am a gentleman, I live by robbing the poor.
GodBeware of the man whose God is in the skies.
GodThere are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment's notice to reveal the Will of God on every possible subject.
GovernmentA government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.
HeavenHeaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.
HistoryHegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.
Hope"He who has never hoped can never despair."
HuntingWhen a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
IrelandI showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.
LibertyLiberty means responsibility; that is why most men dread it.
LifeA life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
LifeLife is a disease: and the only difference between one man and another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.
LifeLife does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
MarriageWhen 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.
MarriageMarriage is popular because ir combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
MartyrdomMartyrdom is the only way a person can become famous without ability.
Middle ClassIn the middle classes, where the segregation of the artificially limited family in its little brick box is horribly complete, bad manners, ugly dresses, awkwardness, cowardice, peevishness and all the pretty vices of unsociablity flourish like mushrooms in a cellar.
MoneyLack of money is the root of all evil.
MoneyMake money and the whole nation will conspire to make you a gentleman.
MoralityBourgeois morality is largely a system of making cheap virtues a cloak for expensive vices.
MoralityMorality consists in suspecting other people of not being legally married.
MusicThe chief objection to playing wind instruments is that is prolongs the life of the player.
MusicLet a short Act of Parliment be passed, placing all street musicians outside the protection of the law, so that any citizen may assail them with stones, sticks, knives, pistols, or bombs without incurring any penalties.
OpinionsIf you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.
ParenthoodThere may be some doubt as to who are the best people to have charge of children, but there can be no doubt that parents are the worst
PatriotismPatriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
PatriotismPatriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
PeopleThe world is populated in the main by people who should not exist.
PessimistsA pessimist thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
ProfessionsAll professions are conspiracies against the laity.
QuotationsI often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
ReasonNothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
RespectabilityThe more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
- ("Man and Superman" (1903), act I)
ShakespearWith 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 agaist his.
SincerityIt is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
TeachingHe who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
ThoughtFew people think more than two or three times a year. I've made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
TimeEverything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
WarNothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.
WomenHome is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse.
WorldThe reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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