a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
 Oscar Wilde, Intentions (1891). copy citation

Author Oscar Wilde
Source Intentions
Topic imagination dreams vanguard
Date 1891
Language English
Note Gilbert line
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/887/887-h/887-h.htm

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master During a dialogue between Gilbert and Ernest, Gilbert sets out his aesthetic vision and his approach to criticism. In response to Gilbert's innovative ideas, Ernest calls him a dreamer, to which Gilbert replies that the punishment for the dreamer is to see the dawn before the crowd. Thus a precursor, by essence, finds himself alone in defending his ideas before they can spread among the mass of people.
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