169 Top Quotes By George Bernard Shaw That Will Give You New Perception & Outlook
Founder / Co Founder:
London School of Economics and Political Science
A Nobel laureate, George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright who exerted an indomitable influence on Western culture, theatre and politics with his write-ups. Shaw’s writing style was arch different from what was practiced in those days. He introduced realism into playwriting by using the platform to stage his political, social and religious ideas. Shaw’s writing style was unique. His radical rationalism, utter disregard for conventions, keen dialectic interest and verbal wit was seen in most of his plays. Shaw gained limelight with his masterpiece ‘Saint Joan’, in which he rewrote the well-known story of the French maiden and extends it from the Middle Ages to the present. He followed this up with a string of masterpieces including, ‘Ceasar and Cleopatra’, ‘Androcles and the Lion’, ‘Major Barbara’, ‘Man and Superman’, ‘The Doctor's Dilemma’ and ‘Pygmalion’, each of which were amongst Shaw's greatest successes on stage. Such has been the contribution made by Shaw that he is rated second only to William Shakespeare when it comes to English-language dramatists. Other than his works, Shaw’s quotes have been magnanimously used. While some of them take a dig at life’s challenges, others help you grow stronger human beings and still others leave you with a new perspective. Check quotes by George Bernard Shaw and get inspired.
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not? If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you. Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends. The 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. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Youth is wasted on the young. There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it. If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. There is no love sincerer than the love of food. The liar's punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't! Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time. A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it. My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world. You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it.... He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. The play was a great success, but audience was a dismal failure. After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere. I’m an atheist and I thank God for it. Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated. Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time. Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute. Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing. When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity. I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation. All great truths begin as blasphemies. Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. Liquor is the chloroform which enables the poor man to endure the painful operation of living. Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech. The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor. What you are to do without me I cannot imagine. When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men. The thought of two thousand people crunching celery at the same time horrified me. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity. We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience. He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great. In heaven an angel is no one in particular. You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth? Pasteboard pies and paper flowers are being banished from the stage by the growth of that power of accurate observation which is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.... As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death. I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me. 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. First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity. Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad. You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you have lost something. I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you. If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate. I have defined the hundred per cent American as ninety-nine per cent an idiot. A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out. We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery - it's the sincerest form of learning. 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 main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress respectably. If any religion had a chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam. It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty. [Chess] is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time. Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby I choose not to make a graveyard of my body for the rotting corpses of dead animals. Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. I knew if I waited around long enough something like this would happen. The longer I live, the more I realize that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time! To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer. We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. There is always danger for those who are afraid. The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not. The plain working truth is that it is not only good for people to be shocked occasionally, but absolutely necessary to the progress of society that they should be shocked pretty often. The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination Confusing monogamy with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other error.
I do not know what I think until I write it.
Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day.
You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
Get out of my way; for I won't stop for you.
Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.