Blog 7: Is Oscar Wilde “Wild”?

Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet/writer who grew up with both literary and professional parents and had a wife, Constance and two children. Although seemingly a typical childhood and marriage, Wilde’s fame included his criminalized homosexuality, which was seen as unacceptable at the time, which led him to live out his days imprisoned. Wilde belonged to and spoke for the aesthetic movement in Europe. While he is even more famous now for his works, his works were very popular towards the end of his life and career, more so in America than in England, although he did receive backlash for his personal life, which led to some controversies in his work. His greatest successes were his society comedies. 

While I do not find Oscar Wilde’s writing to be particularly “wild,” I do think that some may have believed he was a “wild” writer in his day due to how many of his poems discuss difficult topics, like death. This such topic is the topic of his poem “Requiescat,” in which he describes someone mourning the death of a woman they loved at the cemetery. The first stanza of the poem reads:

“Tread lightly, she is near

Under the snow,

Speak gently, she can hear

The daisies grow.”

I think this poem has some wild aspects because Wilde speaks about the dead as if “she can hear,” suggesting that perhaps she could be a ghost. Although it sounds to me that he is speaking of a ghost, this suggestion could also be referring to the afterlife of religion, which was very popular at the time. I personally think his writing itself is not often to be considered wild, but I do think that it is “wild” how often he writes about sad and controversial things in different lights.

Anna Ranslem


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4 Responses to Blog 7: Is Oscar Wilde “Wild”?

  1. ehc592

    I liked that you personally do not think Oscar Wilde’s writing to be wild, but could see other perspectives of how he was for his time. Your quote selection and analysis of that quote did a great job of justifying your opinion! Great job!

  2. ip4973

    I agree how Wilde’s writing may not be wild according to the convention definition of writing but how it could be defined as wild because of the ideas and emotion! That’s a great point!

  3. Jaileen Gutierrez

    I agree also that Wilde’s writing isn’t wild but do understand how it was controversial during that time. The poem you picked is a perfect example of the differences during societies on what we consider “wild” to be.

  4. njp768

    I agree as well, Wilde’s writing back in the day was considered wild because the acts were not normal during that time in society and they would cause controversy.

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