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The Life And Writings Of Oscar Wilde

1499 words - 6 pages

Oscar Wilde is famous for many aspects of his life, including his childhood and adolescence, his marriage and dedication as a father, his homosexual encounters and imprisonment and for his fantastic skill to bewilder his audience. Wilde was a flamboyant nineteenth century writer known for his ability to create brilliant plays, imaginative and moral stories, and overall his incredible talent as a master in all forms of literature.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1854. His full name at birth was Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wilde (Small vii). Wilde’s parents were well-known, upstanding members of society. His mother, Lady Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poetess and a journalist. His father, Sir William Wilde, was an eminent physician (Wilde ix). When he was eleven years old, Oscar was enrolled at Portora Royal School. As a young man, he attended Trinity College, Magdalen College, and Oxford (Small vii-i). After graduating in 1874, Wilde moved to London (Wilde ix). He was invited to America to go on a lecture tour. After his return from lecturing, Wilde went to Paris. There, he became acquainted with now-famous artists Degas, Pissaro, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Victor Hugo (“Wilde”).
Wilde met Constance Lloyd in London in 1879. Five years later, in 1884, they were married in London. A year after their marriage, Constance gave birth to a son, Cyril Wilde. In 1886, another son, Vyvyan Wilde was born. Oscar Wilde is known for his devotion as a father. He remained incredibly dedicated to his children until his death (Small vii-i).
In 1891, Oscar met Lord Alfred Douglas or “Bosie”, as he was affectionately called. Wilde was very attracted to “Bosie”. They began a not-so-secret affair (Small vii-ix). Douglas’s father, The Marquess of Queensbury, became aware of this affair, and, outraged, “left a card” for Wilde at his usual pub, claiming that Oscar was a “somdomite”. Queensbury was known for not being able to spell properly. Upon reading such a horrible accusation, Wilde frantically contacted Lord Douglas about it, who persuaded Oscar to sue the Marquess for libel. Wilde accused Queensbury of criminal libel, and brought charges up against him. After going to trial, despite his flashy presentation to the jury, Wilde’s case fell apart. The jury failed to reach a verdict. At the retrial, Wilde was found guilty of sodomy. He was sentenced to two years hard labor at Reading Gaol. Many of Wilde’s closest companions suggested that he leave England and flee to France, however, he refused (Luebering 232-3). Later, Wilde’s reasons for staying in England were concluded. Oscar Wilde had no money. He’d been staying at a hotel and had racked up quite a bill. He owed the hotel so much that they refused to release his luggage until he paid his dues (“Mysteries”). Wilde was arrested at the Cadogan Hotel. His very first evening in jail, he wrote to “Bosie”, saying “My soul clings to your soul” (Everett).
In 1897, after serving out his full sentence, Oscar...

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