You are on page 1of 2

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and critic. He is


regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of the Victorian Era.
In his lifetime he wrote nine plays, one novel, and numerous poems,
short stories, and essays.
Wilde was a proponent of the Aesthetic movement, which emphasied
aesthetic values more than moral or social themes. !his doctrine is most
clearly summaried in the phrase "art for art"s sa#e".
$esides literary accomplishments, he is also famous, or perhaps
infamous, for his wit, flam%oyance, and affairs with men. He was tried
and imprisoned for his homose&ual relationship with the son of an
aristocrat. Wilde was %orn on the '(
th
of Octo%er ')*+ in ,u%lin Ireland,
he was educated in !rinity -ollege ,u%lin and .agdalen -ollege O&ford.
His father was an eye doctor and his mother was poet and /ournalist he
had a %rother and a sister, Wilde was married to -onstance 0loyd he had
two sons -yril and Vyvyan.
Wilde has many famous wor#s and one of them is the importance of %eing
earnest. Wilde died on the 12
th
of 3ovem%er '422 in 5aris.
Oscar had an elder %rother, Willie, and a younger sister, Isola 6rancesca,
who died at the early age of '2.
He was educated at 5ortora 7oyal 8chool !rinity -ollege, ,u%lin and
.agdalen -ollege, O&ford. While at O&ford, he %ecame involved in the
aesthetic movement and %ecame an advocate for "Art for Art"s 8a#e".
Whilst at .agdalen, he won the ')9) 3ewdigate 5rie for his poem
7avenna.
After he graduated, he moved to -helsea in 0ondon to esta%lish a literary
career. In '))', he pu%lished his first collection of poetry - Poems that
received mi&ed reviews %y critics. He wor#ed as an art reviewer, lectured
in the :nited 8tates and -anada, and lived in 5aris. He also lectured in
$ritain and Ireland.
On .ay ;4, '))+, Oscar married -onstance 0loyd, daughter of wealthy
<ueen"s -ounsel Horace 0loyd. !hey had two sons, -yril ='))*> and
Vyvyan ='))(>. !o support his family, Oscar accepted a /o% as the editor
of Woman"s World magaine, where he wor#ed from '))9-'))4.
In '))), he pu%lished !he Happy 5rince and Other !ales, fairy-stories
written for his two sons. His first and only novel, !he 5icture of ,orian
?ray, was pu%lished in ')4' and received @uite a negative response. !his
had much to do with the novel"s homoerotic overtones, which caused
something of a sensation amongst Victorian critics. In ')4', Wilde %egan
an affair with 0ord Alfred ,ouglas, who %ecame %oth the love of his life
and his downfall. Wilde"s marriage ended in ')41.
Wilde"s greatest talent was for writing plays. His first successful
play, 0ady Windermere"s 6an, opened in 6e%ruary ')4;. He produced a
string of e&tremely popular comedies including A Woman of 3o
Importance, An Ideal Hus%and and !he Importance of $eing Earnest .
!hese plays were all highly acclaimed and firmly esta%lished Oscar as a
playwright.
In April ')4*, Oscar sued $oiseAs father for li%el as the .ar@uis of
<ueens%erry had accused him of homose&uality. Oscar"s case was
:nsuccessful and he was himself arrested and tried for gross indecency.
He was sentenced to two years of hard la%our for the crime of sodomy.
,uring his time in prison he wrote ,e 5rofundis, a dramatic monologue
and auto%iography, which was addressed to $osie.
:pon his release in ')49, he wrote !he $allad of 7eading ?aol, revealing
his concern for inhumane prison conditions. He spent the rest of his life
wandering Europe, staying with friends and living in cheap hotels. He died
of cere%ral meningitis on the 12
th
of 3ovem%er '422 at age of +4,
penniless, in a cheap 5aris hotel.