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Irish dramatist, novelist and critic
(1856 - 1950)
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Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.
      - Man and Superman [Titles]

Vitality in a woman is a blind fury of creation.
      - Man and Superman [Women]

What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married?
      - Man and Superman [Virtue]

When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womankind.
      - Man and Superman [Soldiers]

You think that you are Ann's suitor; that you are the pursuer and she the pursued . . . Fool: it is you who are the pursued, the marked down quarry, the destined prey.
      - Man and Superman [Courtship]

Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.
      - Man and Superman [Forgiveness]

We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
      - Man and Superman (act I) [Shame]

I am giving you examples of the fact that this creature man, who in his own selfish affairs is a coward to the backbone, will fight for an idea like a hero. . . . I tell you, gentlemen, if you can shew a man a piece of what he now calls God's work to do, and what he will later call by many new names, you can make him entirely reckless of the consequences to himself personally.
      - Man and Superman (act III) [Work]

Life was driving at brains--at its darling object: an organ by which it can attain not only self-consciousness but self-understanding.
      - Man and Superman (act III) [Life]

Nietzche . . . he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
      - Man and Superman (act III) [Man]

The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
      - Man and Superman (act III) [Philosophy]

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
      - Man and Superman (act IV) [Desire : Tragedy]

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
      - Man and Superman--"The Revolutionist's Handbook"

Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

Happiness and Beauty are by-products.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

Imprisonment is as irrevocable as death.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumption on which he habitually acts.
      - Man and Superman--Maxims for Revolutionists

Anarchism is a game at which the police can beat you.
      - Misalliance [Anarchy]

The slave of fear: the worst of slaveries.
      - Misalliance [Fear]

It is more dangerous to be a great prophet or poet than to promote twenty companies for swindling simple folk out of their savings.
      - Misalliance (preface) [Danger]

Optimistic lies have such immense therapeutic value that a doctor who cannot tell them convincingly has mistaken his profession.
      - Misalliance (preface) [Optimism]

All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of all censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell.
      - Mrs. Warren's Profession [Censorship]

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. 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.
      - Mrs. Warren's Profession [Fate]

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