Quotes from Theatre

W. Somerset Maugham ·  304 pages

Rating: (5.1K votes)


“Never pause unless you have a reason for it, but when you pause, pause as long as you can.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“You don't know the difference between truth and make-believe. You never stop acting. It's second nature to you. You act when there's a party here. You act to the servants, you act to father, you act to me. To me you act the part of the fond, indulgent, celebrated mother. You don't exist, you're only the innumerable parts you've played. I've often wondered if there was ever a you or if you were never anything more than a vehicle for all these other people that you've pretended to be. When I've seen you go into an empty room I've sometimes wanted to open the door suddenly, but I've been afraid to in case I found nobody there.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“People don't want reasons to do what they'd like to. They want excuses.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“It’s hard not to be impatient with the absurdity of the young; they tell us that two and two make four as though it had never occurred to us, and they’re disappointed if we can’t share their surprise when they have discovered that a hen lays an egg. There’s a lot of nonsense in their ranting and raving, but it’s not all nonsense. One ought to sympathize with them; one ought to do one’s best to understand. One has to remember how much has to be forgotten and how much has to be learnt when for the first time one faces life. It’s not very easy to give up one’s ideals, and the brute facts of every day are bitter pills to swallow. The spiritual conflicts of adolescence can be very severe and one can do little to resolve them.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“Those words, though heaven only knew how often she had heard them, still gave her her thrill. They braced her like a tonic. Life acquired significance. She was about to step from the world of make-believe into the world of reality.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre



“When I've seen you go into an empty room I've sometimes wanted to open the door suddenly, but I've been afraid to in case I found nobody there.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“The public are a lot of jackasses. If you yell and scream and throw yourself about you'll always get a lot of damned fools to shout themselves silly. Just barnstorming, that's what you've been doing the last four nights. It was false from beginning to end."

"False? But I felt every word of it."

"I don't care what you felt, you weren't acting it. Your performance was a mess. You were exaggerating; you were over-acting; you didn't carry conviction for a moment. It was about as rotten a piece of ham acting as I've ever seen in my life.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


“Aloof on her mountain top she considered the innumerable activities of men. She had a wonderful sense of freedom from all earthly ties, and it was such an ecstasy that nothing in comparison with it had any value. She felt like a spirit in heaven.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, quote from Theatre


About the author

W. Somerset Maugham
Born place: in Paris, France
Born date January 25, 1874
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