Blog Post 7: Is Wilde “Wild”?

Oscar Wilde was born in 1854 till 1900, and was a Irish poet and playwright. He wrote many playwrights and dramatic pieces during the Victorian era. As a child, and during college, he was known for his intelligence and during the 1890s, his playwrights became popular. Some of his most famous works were, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Although his work was gaining popularity, he became a controversial figure as a writer and a person. One of his writings that got a great deal of attention during the 1890s, was the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel contained elements of homosexuality and was banned due to this. To add, this shed highlight into his personal life and his marriage. He was suspected on having an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas in 1891. This unsettled Douglas father, the Marquess of Queensberry, and blamed Wilde for his son’s acts. Queensberry accused Wilde of committing homosexual acts, and Wilde went onto trial and sent to prison. All these events affected Wilde’s reputation and status and was labeled as “wild.”  

One of his most controversial works was his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, where one of the characters tell Dorian “It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow I have never loved a woman.” This sentence was one of the many parts that were censored and changed. It was viewed as “vulgar”, “poisonous”, and “discreditable.” To add, the novel was considered “dangerous” and “immoral” for young and older audiences. In this quote, Dorian’s companion confesses his love for him and reveals his homosexuality. This was considered “wild” because society only believed in a relationship between a man and a woman. Being in a same-sex relationship was considered taboo, and therefore Wilde was labeled as a “wild” writer. During this time, his writing and identity were not accepted by society, but I don’t consider him to be a “wild” writer. It was a different time and period, hence the “wild” label, but his work is now accepted in today’s society. He is known and respected for his work and considered to be a famous playwriter.

-Jaileen Gutierrez

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One Response to Blog Post 7: Is Wilde “Wild”?

  1. aga2544

    I, too, chose Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray to discuss. I read it last semester for a class and we discussed the underlying themes of homosexuality within this piece. I agree with the notion that this work can be considered “wild” because Wilde challenged the taboo of homosexuality by writing queer coded characters.

    -Anna A.

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