Rating: 5 stars

With every Oscar Wilde read, my love for him has only grown and I don’t think I’ll ever read Oscar Wilde and not like it. I don’t have much to say except that De Profundis was an intense and emotional read and I loved it.

De Profundis is a letter written during Wilde’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas which he was not allowed to send but he took it with him upon his release from the prison. He recounts the events of his early life and how his extravagant life and his sexual orientation led to his imprisonment and repudiates Lord Alfred for his arrogance and vanity. He also felt redemption and fulfilment in his ordeal, realizing that his hardship had filled the soul with the fruit of experience, however bitter it tasted at the time. It throws light on Wilde’s sorrows and sufferings and his determination to have no bitter feelings against the world.

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Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas

Wilde with his biting wit never failed to amaze me with his ability to string words into most beautiful and cynical sentences which reveals true human behaviour and could be stuck in his reader’s minds forever and makes you question your morality when you agree with his evil musings. So, here I would like to share some of my favourite quotes from De Profundis which had an impact on me and to convince you even further to read it:

“When first I was put in prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind.”

“I don’t write this letter to put bitterness into your heart, but to pluck it out of mine. For my own sake I must forgive you.” 

“I don’t regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure.
I did it to the full, as one should do everything that one does. There was no pleasure I did not experience.” 

“I am completely penniless, and absolutely homeless. Yet there are worse things in the world than that.” 

“The aim of Love is to love: no more, and no less.” 

“Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little often share.” 

“When you really want love you will find it waiting for you.” 

“I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws.” 

“Every one is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is. Love is a
sacrament that should be taken kneeling.”

“The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?”

“Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that we should live.” 

“It is always twilight in one’s cell, as it is always twilight in one’s heart.”

It would be saying too much but his writing style and his words, though dark, completely altered my thought process.


Have you read any Oscar Wilde’s work? What do you think of his writing style? Which quote did you like the best from the above-mentioned ones? Let me know in the comments below!

View my other reviews on Goodreads.

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13 thoughts on “DE PROFUNDIS by OSCAR WILDE

  1. I love Oscar Wilde too <3, but had no idea of this letter, I need to read it :D! I can't choose a single quote, they are filled with so much emotion and deepness… but I can say that at this moment, I resonated with “Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little often share.” Thank you for this lovely post, you made me want to read him once more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Those quotes are both magnificent and very true indeed. Especially, this one: “When first I was put in prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind.” I can’t stress enough how true this is. Nothing will bring you more comfort than fully being yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (more like it was read to us in classroom by our English teacher when I was class 11; a time when I didn’t have much inclination towards reading and found it an ordeal). It was simply HILARIOUS! I am sure you must have read it too. The Otis’ children are just love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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