George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist who preferred to be known simply as Bernard Shaw.

From the 1880s through his death and beyond, he had a significant impact on Western theatre, culture, and politics. He authored almost sixty plays, including famous works like Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912), and Saint Joan (1923).

Shaw became the leading dramatist of his day, with a repertoire that included both present satire and historical allegory, and was given the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.

We have compiled a list of the best quotes from George Bernard Shaw for you.


Best Thought-Provoking George Bernard Shaw Quotes

1. “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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2. “War does not decide who is right but who is left.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

4. “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

5. “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” ~ (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. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.” ~ (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).

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11. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

12. “After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

13. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

14. “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).

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).

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19. “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

20. “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

21. “Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

23. “Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

24. “English is the easiest language to speak badly.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

25. “To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

26. “Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

27. “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

29. “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).

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30. “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

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

33. “My religion? Well, my dear, I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

34. “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

Popular George Bernard Shaw Quotes

35. “Self-control is the quality that distinguishes the fittest to survive.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

36. “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).

37. “Whisky is liquid sunshine.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

39. “The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

40. “All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

41. “The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

42. “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).

43. “If you teach a man anything, he will never learn.” ~ (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. “Most people do not pray; they only beg.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

47. “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).

48. “The harder I work the more I live.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

50. “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).

51. “Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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52. “The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

54. “If the English can survive their food, they can survive anything.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

56. “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).

Top George Bernard Shaw Quotes

57. “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).

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

59. “Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

61. “Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

62. “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

63. “Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

64. “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).

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

66. “As well consult a butcher on the value of vegetarianism as a doctor on the worth of vaccination.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

67. “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

68. “Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

69. “Audacious ribald: your laughter will finish in hideous boredom before morning.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

70. “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).

71. “Justice is impartiality. Only strangers are impartial.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

72. “Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

73. “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).

74. “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).

75. “Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

76. “The greatest evils 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).

Famous George Bernard Shaw Quotes

77. “I knew if I waited around long enough something like this would happen.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

78. “Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

79. “You cannot be a hero without being a coward.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

81. “Heartbreak is life educating us.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

82. “We know there is intention and purpose in the universe, because there is intention and purpose in us.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

83. “Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

84. “Every dream is a prophecy: every jest is an earnest in the womb of Time.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

85. “Get married, but never to a man who is home all day.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

86. “The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

87. “The goal of an artist is to create the definitive work that cannot be surpassed.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

Short George Bernard Shaw Quotes

88. “When you loved me I gave you the whole sun and stars to play with. I gave you eternity in a single moment, 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).

89. “We must all share in the evils of the world or move to another planet.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

90. “God help England if she had no Scots to think for her.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

91. “Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

92. “Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

93. “From a very early age, I’ve had to interrupt my education to go to school.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

94. “We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

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

97. “I believe in the discipline of silence, and could talk for hours about it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

98. “I have my own soul. My own spark of divine fire.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

99. “To be a champion you must live like one.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

100. “Life is a constant becoming: all stages lead to the beginning of others.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

102. “As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

103. “The man who has never made a mistake will never make anything else.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

104. “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

105. “Only fools repeat the same things over and over, expecting to obtain different results.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

106. “Some people look at the world and say ‘why?’ Some people look at the world and say ‘why not?’” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

107. “My specialty is being right when other people are wrong.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

108. “He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

109. “Life is too short for men to take it seriously.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

110. “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).

111. “Man’s inhumanity to man is only surpassed by his cruelty to animals.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

112. “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).

113. “Imagination is the beginning of creation.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

114. “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).

115. “Better never than late.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

116. “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

118. “Now that we have learned to fly the air like birds, swim underwater like fish, we lack one thing – to learn to live on earth as human beings.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

119. “Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

120. “The only sensible person is my tailor. He measures me anew each time he sees me.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

121. “Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

123. “Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

124. “All autobiographies are lies. I do not mean unconscious, unintentional lies: I mean deliberate lies.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

125. “Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

126. “The unconscious self is the real genius. Your breathing goes wrong the moment your conscious self meddles with it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

127. “I want to be all used up when I die.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

128. “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).

129. “There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

130. “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

132. “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).

133. “We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

134. “I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

135. “Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

136. “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).

137. “The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

138. “You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

139. “Tradition will accustom people to any atrocity.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

140. “The truth is the one thing that nobody will believe.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

141. “Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict without a single amiable trait.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

142. “What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

144. “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).

145. “Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

146. “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).

147. “All great art and literature is propaganda.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

148. “Morals are a luxury of the rich.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

149. “I never expect a soldier to think.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

150. “Morality is not respectability.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

151. “The price of ability does not depend on merit but on supply and demand.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

153. “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).

154. “I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

156. “If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

157. “Liberty is the breath of life to nations.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

158. “We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us!” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

159. “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).

160. “I no longer desire happiness: life is nobler than that.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

162. “Activity is the only road to knowledge.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

163. “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 Creators hand.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

164. “God made the world as an artist and that is why the world must learn from its artists.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

165. “The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

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

167. “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).

168. “Those who admire modern civilization usually identify it with the steam engine and the electric telegraph.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

169. “I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

170. “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).

171. “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).

172. “A family is a tyranny ruled over by it’s weakest member.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

173. “My way of joking is to tell the truth.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

174. “First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).

175. “What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.” ~ (George Bernard Shaw).


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