Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer that lived during the Victorian era. His writing was very diverse, ranging from novels, plays, and poetry to children’s stories. His witty idioms still make one chuckle even today. In his time, Oscar Wilde was radical for his writings, lifestyle, innovation, and influence; but remains relevant to this day.

Oscar Wilde embraced the Aesthetic movement, which believes that life is improved by surrounding yourself with beautiful objects, including works of art, furnishings, and clothing (Belford, 69). Wilde wasn’t afraid to turn heads; he is frequently pictured in flamboyant dress that was atypical for the time. Wilde was also, “one of England’s most flamboyant and sought-after socialites” (West’s Encyclopedia, 1) because of his witty and satirical nature (Gutierrez-Folch 1). In fact the Prince of Wales commented that, “Not to know Mr. Wilde is not to be known” (Biography). In 1881 Wilde set sail for America to give a series of lectures on the Aesthetic movement. He admired America because, “It swept away the hypocrisy that was prevalent in England” (Biography).

In November 1887 Oscar Wilde became editor of The Lady’s World magazine. “Ahead of his time, Wilde rejected the stale formula of fashion, food, and decoration” (Belford, 145). He wanted to have articles about what women think and feel, not just what they wear. Wilde created a format that is not unlike modern women’s magazines. “He instinctively knew that celebrities sell magazines” (Belford 146) and this allowed Wilde to do one of the things he loved best, socialize with important people, especially when he was the center of attention because of his sharp wit.

In 1890 Wilde wrote his most controversial work, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel contained, “thinly veiled homosexual undertones” (Gatley, 3). Wilde’s use of the name Dorian was a reference to the Dorian tribes of Greece, where homosexuality in the military originated. (Belford,...
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