Oscar Wilde Essay

946 words - 4 pages

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde himself would probably admit that his life had many
incredible events that themselves would make an exceedingly gripping
play, his unequalled rise to become the chief celebratory of his day
and his dramatic fall from grace due to his arch rival, lord
Queensbury.

Oscar Wilde was born among the highest social circles of Dublin
Ireland to two very unique and individual parents. His father was
widely regarded as the best eye and ear surgeon in the whole of Great
Britain and is still today looked upon as the founder of that specific
medical branch. His mother, a self-proclaimed genius, was a committed
feminist and a key member and open supporter of The Irish independence
movement. This unusual couple formed a cornerstone of Irish society
who mixed with royalty somewhat. Straight away from even my limited
reading we can tell that Wilde wrote within parameters that he felt
comfortable and knowledgeable within.

Wilde was placed within the most stimulating enviroment from the
earliest age. His mother held weekly gatherings of some of Dublin's
finest artists and intellectuals within her house. Wilde was
critically lucky enough to be thrust into this environment by his keen
parents who would make sure that he was present for such occasions. At
such a young age he had the confidence, intelligence and wit to keep
the family's guests amused with short stories and conversation. The
confidence that stood him in good light for so much of his life would
eventually manifest itself as cockiness and would become his undoing,
but there was no sign of this yet.

Oscar was overprotected throughout his childhood by his mother who was
a constant worrier. Although, as Wilde recalled, poverty surrounded
him on a grand scale his mother was careful to ensure he had no
contact with it whatsoever. From an early age Oscar could relate to
and often felt compassion for societies forgotten. It is somewhat
ironic that Wilde himself, like a character in a play, would fall from
grace many points during his lifetime and live amongst society's
forgotten souls.

Wilde's parents had a healthy interest in superstition and the
supernatural. This rubbed off on Wilde and this influenced many of his
works and also upon the way he dressed from an early age, small
mementos and rings created a dress code that would be on a parallel
with today's 'gothic' dressers. This eccentricity was encouraged by
his mother who believed that eccentricity and genius went hand in
hand.

Oscar Wilde was schooled in the fashion that was expected of the upper
middle classes at that time. When he was old enough he was sent to the
top public school in Ireland at that time, The Portora Royal School.
His headmaster, a good friend of his father, was extremely keen on the
classics and this was reflected upon in the schools syllabus. Wilde
won many prizes even though he was widely regarded as sloppy and this
signalled the start of a...

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