Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on
October 16, I854 His father was a famous Irish surgeon His mother was well
known in Dublin as a writer of verse and prose
At school, and later at Oxford,,
Oscar displayed gift for art and the humanities.
While at the university. Wilde
became one of the most famous personalities of the day: he wore his hair long,
decorated his room with different beautiful things His witty sayings were well
known among the students.
After graduating from the
university. Wilde turned his attention to writing, travelling and lecturing.
Oscar Wilde earned the reputation of
being the leader of the Aesthetic Movement and an apostle of beauty.
His most famous works appeared over
the next ten years. The most popular are The Happy Prince and Other Tales, The
Picture of Dorian Gray, and his comedies Lady Windermere's Fan, An Ideal
Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Wilde also wrote poems, essays, reviews,
letters. He attracted the attention of his audiences by the brilliance of his
conversation, his knowledge, and the force of his personality.
In his works, especially in his
tales, he glorifies beauty, and not only the beauty of nature or artificial
beauty, but the beauty of devoted love. He admires unselfishness, kindness and
generosity (The V Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose) and despises
egoism and greed (The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend). The theme of most of
his works, even of his tales, is quite realistic. He shows the contrast between
wealth and poverty. His own sympathy for poor, labouring people is quite
At the height of his popularity and
success, tragedy struck. He was accused of immorality and sentenced to two years'
imprisonment. When released from prison in 1897, he lived mainly on the
Continent, settling later in Paris. In 1898 he published his poem Ballad of
Reading Gaol. He died in Paris in 1900.
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