An Ideal Husband
by Oscar Wilde
An Ideal Husband Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
MABEL CHILTERN. Well, I delight in your bad qualities. I wouldn't have you part with one of them. (1.131)
Mabel represents the accepting, indulgent wife, in contrast to Lady Chiltern's demanding and imposing one.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. (2.311)
In a long, melodramatic speech, Sir Robert encourages Lady Chiltern to accept his past mistakes and the possibility of future ones.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. (2.311)
What does Sir Robert mean here? Perhaps that only a loveless gesture – for example Lady Chiltern's emotional abandonment of her husband – can't be forgiven. But Sir Robert stands by his description of masculine love and happily forgives his wife.