Bernard Shaw: Selected Quotations

Cary M. Mazer, University of Pennsylvania

Guest Dramaturg

"Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same."

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules."

"When a man teaches something he does not know to somebody else who has no aptitude for it, and gives him a certificate of proficiency, the latter has completed the education of a gentleman."

"A learned man is an idler who kills time with study. Beware of his false knowledge: it is more dangerous than ignorance."

"He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches."

"Beware of a man whose god is in the skies."

"The unconscious self is the real genius. Your breathing goes wrong the moment you conscious self meddles with it."

"Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience."

"Home is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse."

"Civilization is the disease produced by the practice of building societies with rotten material."

"Those who admire modern civilization usually identify it with the steam engine and the electric telegraph. Those who understand the steam engine and the electric telegraph spend their lives trying to replace them with something better."

From "Maxims of Revolutionaries," Man and Superman.

"Do not try to live for ever. You will not succeed."

""Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself."

From the "Preface on Doctors," The Doctor's Dilemma.

"You see things; and you say `Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say `Why not?'

The Serpent, in Back to Methusaleh.