Learn English – Meaning of the Oscar Wilde quote about the “tragedy of old age”

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What does this quote by Oscar Wilde actually mean?

"The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young"

Best Answer

So far nobody has hit quite the right note on the quote. I would parse it this way:

Life is short, and nothing brings that home like reflecting on how little we have seen and done at the point when time is impatiently hurrying us off the stage. The tragedy is that we haven't really lived what we estimate to be full, long lives; for most, decline and death come way too soon.