25 Oscar Wilde Facts: A Poet & Drama Writer, Must Read! | Kidadl


25 Oscar Wilde Facts: A Poet & Drama Writer, Must Read!

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Born in Dublin, Ireland, Oscar Wilde emerged as one of the greatest writers of the late Victorian era.

The 19th-century aesthetic movement was an integral aspect of English art and literature. It intensified the magnificence of art besides its moral, or allegorical objective and one cannot skip the contribution of Oscar Wilde during this period.

Oscar Wilde or Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was a multifaceted writer. Born of parents who are a doctor and a poet he was interested by Greek literature from a very early age. This Irish writer achieved numerous milestones in his academic career as well as a writer. He is particularly remembered for his plays and short stories. Nevertheless, he wrote some remarkable poems and a novel, too, called 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. He was mentored by John Ruskin and Walter Pater and later became a spokesperson of aestheticism. Besides his literary work, he was acknowledged for his wit and flamboyant clothing. Regardless, Wilde’s life took a turn when he got himself involved in a homosexual act. John Douglas or the 9th Marquess of Queensberry has a crucial role in the downfall of Oscar Wilde as he enraged John Douglas by involving himself in homosexual behaviour with his son Lord Alfred Douglas.

Therefore Oscar Wilde was a proponent of art for art’s sake, however, it did not meet a fortunate ending. To learn more about the contribution of Oscar Wilde and other interesting facts about him continue reading below. We have curated some of the amazing facts that you probably did not know.

If you like this article then check our other articles on Pierre Auguste Renoir Facts and facts about Michelangelo and share this information with everyone. 

Theatrical Career: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde has written some of the extraordinary plays between 1879-1894. His play 'Lady Windermere's Fan' opened for the first time in 1892. After its open Oscar Wilde received plenty of criticism as well as commendation that encourage him. His next play, 'A Woman of No Importance' was a comedy that was a success and it is also one of his major works. Some of his other works comprise 'An Ideal Husband', 'The Importance of Being Earnest', 'Salome', 'The Duchess of Padua', 'Vera, or The Nihilists', 'A Florentine Tragedy', and 'La Sainte Courtisane'.

The theatrical success of Oscar Wilde lies within the themes of this dramas. His first hit was 'Lady Windermere’s Fan', which is a four-act play about a woman who suspects her husband having an affair and confronts him but he denies it, yet he invites the other woman to his wife’s birthday. Wilde wrote many other plays such as 'A Woman of No Importance'. This witty comedy revolves around the hypocrisy of the Victorian age that existed between men and women. 'The Importance of Being Earnest' is considered a masterpiece that reflects that play writer's maturity in his writing. On the other hand, he composed the tragedy 'Salome', which is a one-act tragedy. Salome is the princess of Judaea and the daughter of Queen Herodias and the central theme is death and befall. Salome was initially written in French and later translated to English by Lord Alfred Douglas.

Early Life: Oscar Wilde

The second child of Jane Wilde and Sir William Wilde, Oscar Wilde inherited both English and Irish descendency of his parents. He was born in Westland Row of Dublin which is currently the Oscar Wilde centre. Oscar was homeschooled till he was nine years old and later went to the same school as his brother Willie Wilde. He was baptized at the local catholic church, St. Mark’s Church that was done by a catholic priest. Oscar Wilde was considered a prodigy because of his various abilities. More about his early life is stated below.

Oscar’s mother Jane Francesca Agnes was an Irish poet who happens to be the niece of Charles Maturine the inspiration behind his pseudonym 'Sebastian Melmoth'. His mother was also a part of the Irish nationalist movement. His father Sir William Wilde was a surgeon and a philanthropist and had his dispensary at the back of Trinity College. His family moved to Merrion Square in 1855 and was homeschooled. He was taught German and French by his Governess and nursemaid respectively. Oscar Wild was academically extremely bright in both school and colleges where he earned several merits. He was blessed with the ability to read very as he could finish a three-volume book in just half an hour. He went to Trinity College and then to Oxford University. He got married to Constance Lloyd in 1881. Oscar Wilde's wife Constance Lloyd was the daughter of the Irish barrister Horace Lloyd. In 1886 Wilde met Robert Ross or Robbie Ross who was a Canadian journalist and was assumed to have a homosexual relationship with Wilde.

Merlin Holland who is an editor and biographer has researched plenty and wrote about his grandfather Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde's Education

Oscar Wilde was a gifted scholar and academically excellent and after completing his school he went to Trinity College of Dublin and Magdalen College of Oxford. After Oscar graduated from Oxford he went back to Dublin.

Since school, he was certainly fascinated by classics and achieved various awards and scholarships that paved his way to Trinity College. During his academic years with Mahaffy, he refers to him as the best teacher. Later he enrolled in a scholarship program for Magdalen College and accomplished that too. He tried to enter the Oxford Union but he was not elected. Since his Magdalen college days, he got himself involved in the decadent and aesthetic movement in England. Oscar Wilde decorated his room with lilies, peacock feathers, and Blue China. In Magdalen's college, Oscar Wilde was very much influenced by Catholicism and even thought about converting himself. He was so pleased with what was prescribed in his text and wanted to learn beyond it so he got himself rusticated in that process. In 1887 Oscar Wilde won the Newdigate Prize for his poem ‘Ravenna’ and in November he graduated from Magdalen with double first in Greats and Classical moderations.

Famous Works Of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a brilliant playwright, poet, critic, novelist, editor. He was a poet and prose writer as he enjoyed journalism and soon became the editor of the organization he used to work for and renamed it Woman’s World magazine. Wilde wrote various short stories and published them in magazines including 'The Happy Prince' which happens to be of his most famous work. Some of his other tales must include 'The Selfish Giant', 'The Canterville Ghost', 'The Portrait of Mr. W H', and more. When he got bored of Writing short stories he tried his hand in essays, poems, dramas, and even one novel.

Oscar Wilde may have contributed plenty in other fields but he has published only one novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' in 1890. This novel is a prime example of gothic literature but it received plenty of criticism back in the day. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is about a man who sells his soul for eternal youth and sparked controversies as many considered it to be immoral. Besides Novel Wilde’s essays have a crucial position in his work 'The Decay of Lying: A Dialogue', 'The Soul of Man Under Socialism', 'House decoration', are some of his famous essays. Wide’s last essay was De Profundis that was published posthumously in 1905. Wild primarily published fairy tales in magazines and he draw huge attention for his works like the 'Happy Prince' that has a central theme of sacrifice, love, and compassion. Mention should be made of Wilde’s poem such as 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' which is the most famous poem of Wilde. In this poem, Wilde has depicted the horridness that is encountered in a prison. 'The Sphinx' is another great work that was published by Wilde moreover he has published collective poems such as the 'Charmides and other poems' and 'Selected Poems'. Wilde’s plays were groundbreaking too because they mostly focused on the resistance between the bourgeois society and an artist.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Oscar Wilde facts then why not take a look at Quentin Tarantino facts, or Roald Dahl life facts?

Written By
Srija Chanda

<p>An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.</p>

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