Oscar Wilde was born in Dubin, Ireland in 1854 and after a successful a stint in a local college Wilde enrolled at Oxford in 1877 (Gale, 1998). Wilde’s academic success may be a product of his social environment; his mother also being a poet, under a pseudonym, exposed Wilde to numerous other writers, undoubtedly shaping his future writing aspirations (Gale, 1998 and Edwards, 2004). The death of Wilde’s sister in 1867 also may have developed a personal 'template for his frequent portrayal of young innocent females in his works. Oscar Wilde was able to amass a moderate fan club while in Oxford and gradually grew as he published several poems until 1882 where he ventured to America for a year. Wilde married in1884 and produce two children. According to Edward’s article (2004), financial problems resulted in abstinence with his wife to prevent more children. Wilde, at this point, then turned to homosexual activities to relieve his building sexual frustrations. Wilde’s most successful works, probably inspired by his active homosexual double life, were released during this period in the early 1890’s; ironically plots revolved around secrecy ...
...other aspects of society. However, through the use of rhetorical strategies such as manipulation of genre and persona, tone, and allusion he creates a means of expression that goes beyond overt social commentary to speak these beliefs to many, including those who may otherwise disagree with him. By making his views and creating stories immersed in fairy tales and Christianity, Wilde reveals his hope for the future of society and, more importantly, humankind.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900) is a central figure in aesthetic writing. Wilde was a poet, fiction writer, essayist and editor. In the opening scenes of the movie Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes suggested that Wilde was one of the first pop idols. Oscar Wilde is often seen as a homosexual icon although as many men of his day he was also a husband and father. Wilde’s life ended at odds with Victorian morals that surrounded him. He died in exile.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble Classics, 1890.
Born on 16th of October in 1854, Oscar Wilde would become one of Londons most famous playwrights of his time. Wilde is remembered by much of his work, including his epigrams, which were brief statements, and his most prominent novel The picture of Dorian Gray, and the conditions of his imprisonment. Wilde is known for being one of the best-personalities of his time because of his “glittering conversations”, flamboyant dresses, and his lip biting wit. While Wilde was in his prime for success, during the performance of The Importance of Being Earnest he had victimized the Marquess of Queensberry for slander.
Ruddick, Nicholas. "'The Peculiar Quality of My Genius': Degeneration, Decadence, and Dorian Gray in 1890-91." Oscar Wilde: The Man, His Writings, and His World. New York: AMS, 2003. 125-37. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker. Vol. 164. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
"I turned half way around and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself" (7). During the Victorian era, this was a dangerous quote. The Victorian era was about progress. It was an attempt aimed at cleaning up the society and setting a moral standard. The Victorian era was a time of relative peace and economic stability (Marshall 783). Victorians did not want anything "unclean" or "unacceptable" to interfere with their idea of perfection. Therefore, this quote, taken from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, brimming with homosexual undertones, was considered inappropriate. Due to the time period's standards, Oscar Wilde was forced to hide behind a thin layer of inference and parallel. Wilde was obsessed with the perfect image. Although he dressed more flamboyantly than the contemporary dress, it was to create an image of himself. Wilde was terrified of revealing his homosexuality because he knew that he would be alienated and ostracized from the society. Through his works, Oscar Wilde implicitly reflected his homosexual lifestyle because he feared the repercussions from the conservative Victorian era in which he lived.
Beckson, Karl E. Oscar Wilde. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, 1970. Google Book Search. 2 Mar. 2008 .
Woodcock, George. The Paradox of Oscar Wilde. London-New York: T.V. Boardman and Co., Ltd., 1950.
Along these lines, the life of Oscar Wilde and his novel, Dorian Gray can also be compared to that of rock star Freddy Mercury of Queen and their song, "Bohemian Rhapsody." Here we have Oscar Wilde, fun-loving, witty, cynical, decadent kind of guy, undone by his homosexual liaison with Lord Alfred Douglas, languishing in jail for sodomy. A few years previous to this sad turn of events, he writes The Picture of Dorian Gray--about a decadent, immoral murderer, who also has homosexual relations (with various young men who die, become drug addicts, commit suicide, etc.), and who dies a horrible and disfiguring death due to his evil ways. Now, we also have Freddy Mercury, who lived a flamboyant and decadent lifestyle as a sexually ambiguous rock star.