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70 Best George Bernard Shaw Quotes

Last Updated: January 2, 2024 by Team

George Bernard Shaw, born on July 26, 1856, in Dublin, Ireland, was a renowned playwright, critic, and polemicist who became one of the most influential figures in 20th-century English theatre. Shaw’s work is marked by his wit, his penchant for social criticism, and his provocative stance on social and political issues.

Shaw began his writing career as a novelist and a music and theatre critic. However, he gained fame as a playwright. His most notable plays include “Man and Superman,” “Pygmalion” (which was later adapted into the musical “My Fair Lady”), and “Saint Joan.” Through his plays, Shaw explored contemporary moral problems and societal issues, often with a sharp and satirical twist.

A key figure in the London theatre scene, Shaw was also a member of the Fabian Society, a group that promoted social change through gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. His involvement in politics reflected his commitment to changing society through intelligent debate and rational argument.

Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925, not only for his work as a playwright but also for his influence in promoting idealism and humanity in his writings. He continued writing plays and essays until his death in 1950.

Shaw’s legacy endures in his rich contribution to English literature and theatre, and his plays continue to be performed worldwide. His wit, social commentary, and intellectual rigor have made him an enduring figure in the world of arts and letters.

Let’s find out more about his quotes through this blog.

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” – George Bernard Shaw

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Freedom means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” – George Bernard Shaw

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” – George Bernard Shaw

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.” – George Bernard Shaw

“He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” – George Bernard Shaw

“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.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.” – George Bernard Shaw

“I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.” – George Bernard Shaw

“It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Write your sad times in sand, write your good times in stone.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The only secrets are the secrets that keep themselves.” – George Bernard Shaw

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The man who listens to reason is lost; reason enslaves all whose minds are not strong enough to master her.” – George Bernard Shaw

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You’ll never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race.” – George Bernard Shaw

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.” – George Bernard Shaw

“I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.” – George Bernard Shaw

“There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.” – George Bernard Shaw

“My specialty is being right when other people are wrong.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.” – George Bernard Shaw

“I don’t believe in the art that is not the manifestation of the artist’s soul.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The heretic is always better company than the orthodox. It is better to discuss a question without settling it than to settle a question without discussing it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“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.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Every man over forty is a scoundrel.” – George Bernard Shaw

“No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity.” – George Bernard Shaw

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