Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854 - November 30, 1900)
Born: 16th October, 1854
Died: 30th November, 1900
Nationality: Irish
Profession/Occupation: Dramatist
Region: Dublin, Paris, France
Literary movement: Modernism
Notable works: "The Picture of Dorian Gray", "The Importance of Being Earnest", "De Profundis", "Lady Windermere's Fan", "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", "Salome", "A Woman of No Importance", "Intentions"
Genres: Drama, Comedy, Epigram
Types of literature: Play, Prose

Oscar Wilde Facts

Biography

Oscar Wilde, in full Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, (born October 16, 1854, Dublin, Ireland—died November 30, 1900, Paris, France), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895–97).

Wilde was born of professional and literary parents. His father, Sir William Wilde, was Ireland’s leading ear and eye surgeon, who also published books on archaeology, folklore, and the satirist Jonathan Swift. His mother, who wrote under the name Speranza, was a revolutionary poet and an authority on Celtic myth and folklore.

After attending Portora Royal School, Enniskillen (1864–71), Wilde went, on successive scholarships, to Trinity College, Dublin (1871–74), and Magdalen College, Oxford (1874–78), which awarded him a degree with honours. During these four years, he distinguished himself not only as a Classical scholar, a poseur, and a wit but also as a poet by winning the coveted Newdigate Prize in 1878 with a long poem, Ravenna. He was deeply impressed by the teachings of the English writers John Ruskin and Walter Pater on the central importance of art in life and particularly by the latter’s stress on the aesthetic intensity by which life should be lived. Like many in his generation, Wilde was determined to follow Pater’s urging “to burn always with [a] hard, gemlike flame.” But Wilde also delighted in affecting an aesthetic pose; this, combined with rooms at Oxford decorated with objets d’art, resulted in his famous remark, “Oh, would that I could live up to my blue china!”

In the early 1880s, when Aestheticism was the rage and despair of literary London, Wilde established himself in social and artistic circles by his wit and flamboyance. Soon the periodical Punch made him the satiric object of its antagonism to the Aesthetes for what was considered their unmasculine devotion to art. And in their comic opera Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan based the character Bunthorne, a “fleshly poet,” partly on Wilde. Wishing to reinforce the association, Wilde published, at his own expense, Poems (1881), which echoed, too faithfully, his discipleship to the poets Algernon Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Keats. Eager for further acclaim, Wilde agreed to lecture in the United States and Canada in 1882, announcing on his arrival at customs in New York City that he had “nothing to declare but his genius.” Despite widespread hostility in the press to his languid poses and aesthetic costume of velvet jacket, knee breeches, and black silk stockings, Wilde for 12 months exhorted the Americans to love beauty and art; then he returned to Great Britain to lecture on his impressions of America.

In 1884 Wilde married Constance Lloyd, daughter of a prominent Irish barrister; two children, Cyril and Vyvyan, were born, in 1885 and 1886. Meanwhile, Wilde was a reviewer for the Pall Mall Gazette and then became editor of Woman’s World (1887–89). During this period of apprenticeship as a writer, he published The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888), which reveals his gift for romantic allegory in the form of the fairy tale.

In the final decade of his life, Wilde wrote and published nearly all of his major work. In his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (published in Lippincott’s Magazine, 1890, and in book form, revised and expanded by six chapters, 1891), Wilde combined the supernatural elements of the Gothic novel with the unspeakable sins of French decadent fiction. Critics charged immorality despite Dorian’s self-destruction; Wilde, however, insisted on the amoral nature of art regardless of an apparently moral ending. Intentions (1891), consisting of previously published essays, restated his aesthetic attitude toward art by borrowing ideas from the French poets Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire and the American painter James McNeill Whistler. In the same year, two volumes of stories and fairy tales also appeared, testifying to his extraordinary creative inventiveness: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, and Other Stories and A House of Pomegranates.

But Wilde’s greatest successes were his society comedies. Within the conventions of the French “well-made play” (with its social intrigues and artificial devices to resolve conflict), he employed his paradoxical, epigrammatic wit to create a form of comedy new to the 19th-century English theatre. His first success, Lady Windermere’s Fan, demonstrated that this wit could revitalize the rusty machinery of French drama. In the same year, rehearsals of his macabre play Salomé, written in French and designed, as he said, to make his audience shudder by its depiction of unnatural passion, were halted by the censor because it contained biblical characters. It was published in 1893, and an English translation appeared in 1894 with Aubrey Beardsley’s celebrated illustrations.

A second society comedy, A Woman of No Importance (produced 1893), convinced the critic William Archer that Wilde’s plays “must be taken on the very highest plane of modern English drama.” In rapid succession, Wilde’s final plays, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, were produced early in 1895. In the latter, his greatest achievement, the conventional elements of farce are transformed into satiric epigrams—seemingly trivial but mercilessly exposing Victorian hypocrisies.

I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it simply a tragedy.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.

In many of his works, exposure of a secret sin or indiscretion and consequent disgrace is a central design. If life imitated art, as Wilde insisted in his essay “The Decay of Lying” (1889), he was himself approximating the pattern in his reckless pursuit of pleasure. In addition, his close friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas, whom he had met in 1891, infuriated the marquess of Queensberry, Douglas’s father. Accused, finally, by the marquess of being a sodomite, Wilde, urged by Douglas, sued for criminal libel. Wilde’s case collapsed, however, when the evidence went against him, and he dropped the suit. Urged to flee to France by his friends, Wilde refused, unable to believe that his world was at an end. He was arrested and ordered to stand trial.

Wilde testified brilliantly, but the jury failed to reach a verdict. In the retrial he was found guilty and sentenced, in May 1895, to two years at hard labour. Most of his sentence was served at Reading Gaol, where he wrote a long letter to Douglas (published in 1905 in a drastically cut version as De Profundis) filled with recriminations against the younger man for encouraging him in dissipation and distracting him from his work.

In May 1897 Wilde was released, a bankrupt, and immediately went to France, hoping to regenerate himself as a writer. His only remaining work, however, was The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), revealing his concern for inhumane prison conditions. Despite constant money problems, he maintained, as George Bernard Shaw said, “an unconquerable gaiety of soul” that sustained him, and he was visited by such loyal friends as Max Beerbohm and Robert Ross, later his literary executor; he was also reunited with Douglas. He died suddenly of acute meningitis brought on by an ear infection. In his semiconscious final moments, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, which he had long admired.

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Top 29 Oscar Wilde quotes

An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.
Enemies
Excellent
Friends
He
Him
His
Like
Man
None
I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
Genius
Life
My Life
Only
Put
Talent
Works
Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
Ambition
Each
Each One
Kingdom
Know
More
Our
Ourselves
Progress
Rule
Should
True
Us
Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
Art
Individualism
Intense
Known
Mode
Most
World
Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Charity
Creates
Multitude
Sins
Only the shallow know themselves.
Know
Only
Shallow
Themselves
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
Does
Himself
Man
Think
Who
The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.
Art
Dead
Great
Great Work
Moment
Think
Understand
Work
You
Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance.
Always
First
First Love
Last
Like
Love
Man
Men
Romance
Want
Woman
Women
Romantic art deals with the exception and with the individual. Good people, belonging as they do to the normal, and so, commonplace type, are artistically uninteresting.
Art
Belonging
Commonplace
Deals
Exception
Good
Good People
Individual
Normal
People
Romantic
Type
Uninteresting
Technique is really personality. That is the reason why the artist cannot teach it, why the pupil cannot learn it, and why the aesthetic critic can understand it.
Aesthetic
Artist
Cannot
Critic
Learn
Personality
Pupil
Really
Reason
Teach
Technique
Understand
Why
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Learns
Lessons
Many
Prison
Things
Will
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Between
Enmity
Friendship
Love
Men
Men And Women
Passion
Possible
Women
Worship
It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.
Admire
Art
Equally
Only
Schools
Who
There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.
Afraid
Away
Many
Might
Others
Pick
Them
Things
Throw
Up
Were
Would
I can resist everything except temptation.
Everything
Except
I Can
Resist
Temptation
The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
Advice
Any
Good
Good Advice
Never
Oneself
Only
Pass
The Only Thing
Thing
Use
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
About
Below
Brute
Brute Force
Force
Hitting
I Can
Intellect
Quite
Reason
Something
Stand
Unbearable
Unfair
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Answer
Gods
Our
Prayers
Punish
Us
Wish
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
Civilized
Could
English
Here
How
Irish
Listen
Only
Quite
Society
Talk
Teach
Would
Would-Be
If a work of art is rich and vital and complete, those who have artistic instincts will see its beauty, and those to whom ethics appeal more strongly than aesthetics will see its moral lesson. It will fill the cowardly with terror, and the unclean will see in it their own shame.
Aesthetic
Appeal
Art
Artistic
Beauty
Complete
Cowardly
Ethics
Fill
Instincts
Lesson
Moral
More
Own
It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
Bills
Classes
Commercial
Hope
Live
Memory
Only
Paying
I am not young enough to know everything.
Am
Enough
Everything
I Am
Know
Young
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
Always
Diary
Never
Read
Sensational
Should
Something
Train
Travel
Without
Perhaps one of the most difficult things for us to do is to choose a notable and joyous dress for men. There would be more joy in life if we were to accustom ourselves to use all the beautiful colours we can in fashioning our own clothes.
Accustomed
Beautiful
Choose
Clothes
Colours
Difficult
Difficult Things
Dress
Joy
Joyous
Life
Men
More
Most
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
Only
Refuge
Seriousness
Shallow
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
Experience
Get
Nothing
One Thing
Thing
You
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.
Adopt
Attitude
Dislike
Morality
People
Personally
Simply
Towards
Whom
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
Everything
Except
Forgives
Genius
Public
Tolerant
Wonderfully

Oscar Wilde books

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Stories, Plays, Poems & Essays

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Stories, Plays, Poems & Essays

Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (Collins Classics)

Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (Collins Classics)

Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions)

Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions)

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Oscar: A Life

Oscar: A Life

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (Signet Classics)

Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (Signet Classics)

Oscar Wilde - The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)

Oscar Wilde - The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)

Lady Windermere's Fan

Lady Windermere's Fan

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

Oscar Wilde essays

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Exploring the mental explanations for Criminal offense and Deviance
Crime and Deviance, is a major topic which influences mostly every population in today's world. When defining criminal offense and deviance, it'll hinge of the norms and prices of a world. Many societies have many different prices and norms. Norms of population, is where all culture members are expected to conform to certain behaviours. Worth of a population, is in which a society values something all society people conform to. For instance, many societies value certain types of religion such as Christianity or Buddhism and many other types of religion. Crime in population, is usually very..
Gothic in Wuthering Heights and Dorian Gray
Keywords: the picture of dorian gray gothic, gothic literature analysis The duplicity or sometimes called the Doppelganger is a common theme in gothic fiction works such as "The Picture of Dorian Grey" or "Wuthering Heights". Within the first novel, this theme regards the department of the key individuals into two different bodies, in the last mentioned, the self applied is no longer split into different embodiments, but it could be within the same character getting the same appearance while portraying one self applied or the other. In other words, Dorian Gray has a certain different body..
Modernism Through Giovannis Room English Literature Essay
Modernism was a motion in arts to carefully turn away from realism, an idea which shows things unpleasant ones specifically in the manner it is. Rather than being genuine, modernism targets pursuing a far more important life through representing style, strategy and spatial form in a humanistic way. Writers gave up traditional methods in taking a look at and getting together with the earth. It took place between 1900 and 1950, and come to its climax in the 1920s. You will find famous creators from the modernism get older, like Oscar Wilde who have written "The Need for Being Earnest", T. S. Eliot along..
The Importance Of Being Earnest Essay
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The Selfish Large
Keywords: the selfish large essay, selfish large analysis The history, 'The Selfish Giant' by Oscar Wilde, was released in the taught component, demonstrated the sort of art and crisis activities that a powerful history can induce and engage the audience meaningfully. The structure of work emphasised on the children's creativity, imagination and participation in dramatising. The storyline of the storyplot was presented by imagining a large garden, free for everyone children to experiment with and also have fun in. Individuals were then involved in creating play space and activities..
The Importance Penalized Ernest Look for Personal Freedom Essay
Most people are a Bunburyist in their personal unique method. Some are even more professional than others, a lot of merely take care of their Bunbury 's like a convinces of life, in one way or another every individual has a Bunbury. Like stars, the heroes in oscar Wilde is the Importance of Becoming Ernest look for personal freedom from their own unique circumstances by role play to fulfill their short desires. Algernon pursues personal liberty and amusement through Bunbury, Jack port pursues a similar through Ernest, and Cecily pursues personal liberty and affection through her self-scripted..
Salome by Oscar Wilde Essay
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Economical Inequalities of Sexuality and School in the Ancient Society Dissertation
Archaeology has a way of inspiring pictures of amazing times of long ago. Curiosity about days gone by has fired up the hearts and heads of mankind for centuries. Oscar Wilde, a poet and archaeologist, stated "[Archaeology] was obviously a means by that they could contact the dry dust of antiquity in to the very breath of air and magnificence of life, and complete the new wine of romanticism forms that had been old and outworn" (p54). It's easy for us to fantasize with regards to a time greater than our, and often we choose not to start to see the injustice and inequalities that existed...
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