All Time Famous George Bernard Shaw Quotes

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), an Irish playwright and activist, was a prolific writer known for his plays, including “Pygmalion,” “Man and Superman,” and “Saint Joan.” A committed socialist and member of the Fabian Society, Shaw used his works to advocate for social and political reforms, addressing issues like class inequality and women’s rights. In 1925, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but declined the monetary aspect. Shaw’s association with the Fabian Society and his influence on the literary and political landscape of his time left a lasting legacy. “Pygmalion” was adapted into the musical “My Fair Lady,” ensuring his ideas and wit continue to be studied and appreciated globally.

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

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

2. “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

5. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

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

9. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

11. “After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

13. “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

14. “War does not decide who is right but who is left.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

16. “Youth is wasted on the young.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

19. “Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

22. “Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

24. “English is the easiest language to speak badly.”
— George Bernard Shaw

25. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

26. “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

27. “A cigarette is a pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

29. “Self-control is the quality that distinguishes the fittest to survive.”
— George Bernard Shaw

30. “He who can, does. He who cannot, teach.”
— George Bernard Shaw

31. “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful.”
— George Bernard Shaw

32. “To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

35. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

36. “Whisky is liquid sunshine.”
— George Bernard Shaw

37. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

38. “My religion? Well, my dear, I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

40. “Any man who is not a communist at the age of twenty is a fool. Any man who is still a communist at the age of thirty is an even bigger fool.”
— George Bernard Shaw

41. “The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.”
— George Bernard Shaw

42. “All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

44. “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
— George Bernard Shaw

45. “If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

46. “If you teach a man anything, he will never learn.”
— George Bernard Shaw

47. “Only fools repeat the same things over and over, expecting to obtain different results.”
— George Bernard Shaw

48. “The harder I work the more I live.”
— George Bernard Shaw

49. “Most people do not pray; they only beg.”
— George Bernard Shaw

50. “The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.”
— George Bernard Shaw

51. “Some people look at the world and say ‘why?’ Some people look at the world and say ‘why not?’”
— George Bernard Shaw

52. “The longer I live, the more convinced am I that this planet is used by other planets as a lunatic asylum.”
— George Bernard Shaw

53. “To be a champion you must live like one.”
— George Bernard Shaw

54. “As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.”
— George Bernard Shaw

55. “Imagination is the beginning of creation.”
— George Bernard Shaw

56. “A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

57. “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

58. “Now that we have learned to fly the air like birds, swim under water like fish, we lack one thing – to learn to live on earth as human beings.”
— George Bernard Shaw

59. “He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”
— George Bernard Shaw

60. “Life is too short for men to take it seriously.”
— George Bernard Shaw

61. “The man who has never made a mistake will never make anything else.”
— George Bernard Shaw

62. “Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

64. “Man’s inhumanity to man is only surpassed by his cruelty to animals.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

66. “When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

67. “Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.”
— George Bernard Shaw

68. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

69. “Better never than late.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

72. “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

73. “If at age 20 you are not a Communist then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a Capitalist then you have no brains.”
— George Bernard Shaw

74. “All autobiographies are lies. I do not mean unconscious, unintentional lies: I mean deliberate lies.”
— George Bernard Shaw

75. “Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

77. “The only sensible person is my tailor. He measures me anew each time he sees me.”
— George Bernard Shaw

78. “The function of the actor is to make the audience imagine for the moment that real things are happening to real people.”
— George Bernard Shaw

79. “I want to be all used up when I die.”
— George Bernard Shaw

80. “Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.”
— George Bernard Shaw

81. “Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.”
— George Bernard Shaw

82. “The unconscious self is the real genius. Your breathing goes wrong the moment your conscious self meddles with it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

83. “Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

84. “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”
— George Bernard Shaw

85. “There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

86. “If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people’s opinions will rush in from all quarters.”
— George Bernard Shaw

87. “Tradition will accustom people to any atrocity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

88. “I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.”
— George Bernard Shaw

89. “Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.”
— George Bernard Shaw

90. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

91. “We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

92. “I am the most spontaneous speaker in the world because every word, every gesture, and every retort has been carefully rehearsed.”
— George Bernard Shaw

93. “The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.”
— George Bernard Shaw

94. “The truth is the one thing that nobody will believe.”
— George Bernard Shaw

95. “You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.”
— George Bernard Shaw

96. “What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”
— George Bernard Shaw

97. “Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict without a single amiable trait.”
— George Bernard Shaw

98. “I don’t know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.”
— George Bernard Shaw

99. “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.”
— George Bernard Shaw

100. “Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

101. “Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

103. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

104. “All great art and literature is propaganda.”
— George Bernard Shaw

105. “If the English can survive their food, they can survive anything.”
— George Bernard Shaw

106. “What a man is depends on his character; but what he does, and what we think of what he does, depends on his circumstances.”
— George Bernard Shaw

107. “I never expect a soldier to think.”
— George Bernard Shaw

108. “The price of ability does not depend on merit but on supply and demand.”
— George Bernard Shaw

109. “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.”
— George Bernard Shaw

110. “Morality is not respectability.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

113. “One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.”
— George Bernard Shaw

114. “Reasonable men adapt themselves to their environment; unreasonable men try to adapt their environment to themselves. Thus all progress is the result of the efforts of unreasonable men.”
— George Bernard Shaw

115. “A man learns to skate by staggering about and making a fool of himself. Indeed he progresses in all things by resolutely making a fool of himself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

116. “Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.”
— George Bernard Shaw

117. “Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

119. “Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination.”
— George Bernard Shaw

120. “As well consult a butcher on the value of vegetarianism as a doctor on the worth of vaccination.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

122. “Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”
— George Bernard Shaw

123. “God help England if she had no Scots to think for her.”
— George Bernard Shaw

124. “Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

126. “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”
— George Bernard Shaw

127. “Activity is the only road to knowledge.”
— George Bernard Shaw

128. “Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!”
— George Bernard Shaw

129. “When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

131. “We know there is intention and purpose in the universe, because there is intention and purpose in us.”
— George Bernard Shaw

132. “Audacious ribald: your laughter will finish in hideous boredom before morning.”
— George Bernard Shaw

133. “I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals.”
— George Bernard Shaw

134. “Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.”
— George Bernard Shaw

135. “The person I miss most is the one I could have been.”
— George Bernard Shaw

136. “Justice is impartiality. Only strangers are impartial.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

138. “We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.”
— George Bernard Shaw

139. “The greatest evil and the worst of crimes is poverty; our first duty, a duty to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor.”
— George Bernard Shaw

140. “Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.”
— George Bernard Shaw

141. “God made the world as an artist and that is why the world must learn from its artists.”
— George Bernard Shaw

142. “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”
— George Bernard Shaw

143. “Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections, and conceal your own.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

145. “Every dream is a prophecy: every jest is an earnest in the womb of Time.”
— George Bernard Shaw

146. “We must all share in the evils of the world or move to another planet.”
— George Bernard Shaw

147. “A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.”
— George Bernard Shaw

148. “The goal of an artist is to create the definitive work that cannot be surpassed.”
— George Bernard Shaw

149. “Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity, and beauty as conspicuously as the want of it represents illness, weakness, disgrace, meanness, and ugliness.”
— George Bernard Shaw

150. “I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.”
— George Bernard Shaw

151. “I knew if I waited around long enough something like this would happen.”
— George Bernard Shaw

152. “The only person who acts sensibly is my tailor. He takes my measure anew every time he sees me. Everyone else goes by their old measurements.”
— George Bernard Shaw

153. “Don’t lose faith. Promise yourself that you will be a success story, and I promise you that all the forces of the universe will unite to come to your aid; you might not feel today or for a while, but the longer you wait the bigger the prize.”
— George Bernard Shaw

154. “You cannot be a hero without being a coward.”
— George Bernard Shaw

155. “The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator’s hand.”
— George Bernard Shaw

156. “I believe in the discipline of silence, and could talk for hours about it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

157. “Heartbreak is life educating us.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

159. “I have my own soul. My own spark of divine fire.”
— George Bernard Shaw

160. “Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.”
— George Bernard Shaw

161. “My way of joking is to tell the truth.”
— George Bernard Shaw

162. “When you loved me I gave you the whole sun and stars to play with. I gave you eternity in a single moment, the strength of the mountains in one clasp of your arms, and the volume of all the seas in one impulse of your soul.”
— George Bernard Shaw

163. “Schools and schoolmasters, as we have them today, are not popular as places of education and teachers, but rather prisons and turnkeys in which children are kept to prevent them disturbing and chaperoning their parent.”
— George Bernard Shaw

164. “Get married, but never to a man who is home all day.”
— George Bernard Shaw

165. “The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.”
— George Bernard Shaw

166. “Liberty is the breath of life to nations.”
— George Bernard Shaw

167. “If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”
— George Bernard Shaw

168. “We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us!”
— George Bernard Shaw

169. “The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated.”
— George Bernard Shaw

170. “The 100% American is 99% idiot.”
— George Bernard Shaw

171. “From a very early age, I’ve had to interrupt my education to go to school.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

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

174. “Old men are dangerous: it doesn’t matter to them what is going to happen to the world.”
— George Bernard Shaw

175. “Education can and should do much influence social, moral and intellectual discovery by stimulating critical attitudes of thought in the young.”
— George Bernard Shaw

176. “Morals are a luxury of the rich.”
— George Bernard Shaw

177. “Life is a constant becoming: all stages lead to the beginning of others.”
— George Bernard Shaw

178. “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.”
— George Bernard Shaw

179. “There is no accomplishment so easy to acquire as politeness and none more profitable.”
— George Bernard Shaw

180. “Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

181. “Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind. It is the deed that teaches not the name we give it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

182. “You cannot learn to skate without making yourself ridiculous – the ice of life is slippery.”
— George Bernard Shaw

183. “I no longer desire happiness: life is nobler than that.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

185. “When God created man and woman, he did not take a patent. That’s why any imbecile has been able to do so ever since.”
— George Bernard Shaw

186. “If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth – beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals – would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?”
— George Bernard Shaw

187. “In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

188. “It is a woman’s business to get married as soon as possible, and a man’s to keep unmarried as long as he can.”
— George Bernard Shaw

189. “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!”
— George Bernard Shaw

190. “I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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

192. “Those who admire modern civilization usually identify it with the steam engine and the electric telegraph.”
— George Bernard Shaw

193. “No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”
— George Bernard Shaw

194. “Democracy means the organization of society for the benefit and at the expense of everybody indiscriminately and not for the benefit of a privileged class.”
— George Bernard Shaw

195. “First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.”
— George Bernard Shaw

196. “What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.”
— George Bernard Shaw

197. “Opera is when a tenor and soprano want to make love, but are prevented from doing so by a baritone.”
— George Bernard Shaw

198. “Hell is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

199. “A family is a tyranny ruled over by it’s weakest member.”
— George Bernard Shaw

200. “We all go about longing for love: it is the first need of our natures, the loudest cry of our hearts.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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