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16 October 1854
30 November 1900
Author, poet, playwright
Epigram, drama, short story, criticism, journalism
Aesthetic movement, Decadent movement
16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900
Oscar Wilde was an Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895–97).
The Canterville Ghost, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Woman of No Importance, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Ravenna, Salomé
Aestheticism is Oscar Wilde's overall theme that beauty is the secret to life, later to become that suffering is the secret to life. He also employed the themes of depravity and duplicity, truth, responsibility, art, eternity and life.
Oscar Wilde's writing style incorporates the vivid descriptions, aesthetic appearance, conversational style, repetitive pattern, simple and clear language.
Indeed, Wilde was a giant presence within the Aesthetic movement, promoting its values through his writing, and his seemingly single-handed invention of the "cult of personality". He offered as much as anyone in defining the alternative culture of Victorian London. Oscar Wilde challenged societal formalities and showcased human morality in Victorian England that transcends generations through his poetry, plays, and novels.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”
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