Oscar Wilde

Topics: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest Pages: 10 (3634 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Thomas Kauth
Ms Gregori
February 24, 2013
Oscar Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin . Oscar Wilde is best known for the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the play The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as for his infamous arrest and imprisonment for being gay. Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin , Ireland . His father, William Wilde, was an acclaimed doctor who had been knighted for his work as medical advisor for the Irish censuses. To treat the cities poor his father founded St. Mark's Ophthalmic Hospital , to help the poor who couldn’t afford treatment. Jane Francesca Elgee, was Oscars mother and also was a poet who deeply influenced Oscars works. In grade school he fell in love with Greek and Roman studies. Upon graduating in 1871, Wilde attended Trinity College in Dublin . Upon his graduation in 1874, Wilde received the Berkeley Gold Medal as Trinity's best student in Greek. Wilde then attended Oxford , upon graduating from Oxford , Wilde moved to London , where he published his first collection, Poems, in 1881. Wilde was an up-and-coming writer. The next year, in 1882, Wilde traveled from London to New York City to embark on an American lecture tour. Wilde returned home and immediately commenced another lecture circuit of England and Ireland that lasted until the middle of 1884. Through his lectures, as well as his early poetry, Wilde established himself as a leading face of the aesthetic movement. On May 29, 1884, Wilde married a wealthy Englishwoman named Constance Lloyd. They had two sons: Cyril, born in 1885, and Vyan, born in 1886. A year after his wedding, Wilde was hired to run Lady's World, a once-popular English magazine that had recently fallen out of fashion, Wilde revitalized the magazine by expanding its coverage.  Wilde entered a seven-year period of furious creativity, during which he produced nearly all of his great literary works. In 1888 Wilde published The Happy Prince and Other Tales, a collection of children's stories. In 1891, he published Intentions, an, and that same year, he published The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though the novel is now revered as a great and classic work, at the time critics were outraged by the book's apparent lack of morality. Wilde's first play, Lady Windermere's Fan, opened in February 1892 to widespread popularity and critical acclaim, encouraging Wilde to adopt playwriting.  His most notable plays were A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), his most famous play. Around the same time that he was enjoying his greatest literary success, Wilde commenced an affair with a young man named Lord Alfred Douglas. On February 18, 1895, Douglas 's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, left Wilde a note on his doorstep. Although Wilde's homosexuality was something of an open secret, he was so outraged by Queensberry's note that he sued him for libel. The decision ruined his life. When the trial began in March, Queensberry and his lawyers presented evidence of Wilde's homosexuality—homoerotic passages from his literary works, as well as his love letters to Douglas that quickly resulted in the dismissal of Wilde's libel case and his arrest on charges of "gross indecency." Wilde was convicted on May 25, 1895 and sentenced to two years in prison. Wilde emerged from prison in 1897, physically depleted, emotionally exhausted and flat broke, he went into exile in France , When a recurrent ear infection became serious several years later, meningitis set in, and Oscar Wilde died on November 30, 1900 at the age of 46.

Aestheticism: the philosophy that art should only be appreciated for its beauty is a major component to Oscar Wilde's works. “Art for art’s sake” means that art should not have any moral or educational values; which was a widely acceptable Victorian view. “It embraced living life modeled after art” (paradox). To the public Wilde was...
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