Blog Post 7: Is Wilde “Wild”?

Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet born in 1854 part of the Victorian literary period and was known for being a spokesman for the new Aesthetic movement which encouraged “art for art’s sake” where people expressed what they viewed as pure beauty instead of being constrained by moral expectations of the time. His poems were primarily categorized in genres of drama, criticism, and epigram, and he was famously known for his play The Importance of Being Earnest as well as his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. At the time, Wilde was received very well because of his witty and flamboyant personality, and his plays were widely performed. However, in 1895 Wilde was exposed for having a homosexual affair with another man, was put on trial, and was arrested with charges of “gross indencency.” Wilde was imprisoned for two years and died from meningitis not long after at the age of 46. 

I believe that Wilde was a wild writer because even though he wrote about stories and topics that may have been controversial, he did not hold back from fully expressing himself. Wilde boldly wrote about homosexuality, lust, murder, and other topics which were seen as controversial at the time in his works. Furthermore, Wilde was able to express his opinion on larger social themes through his works despite criticism from others. For example, in the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Wilde writes about a man who is executed for killing his own wife. Wilde goes into gruesome detail that “blood and wine were on his hands when they found him with the dead, the poor dead woman whom he loved…” He goes into further detail saying that “each man kills the thing he loves,” alluding to his own affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, and how his love for their relationship resulted in his imprisonment. 


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

  1. kia326

    I like your analysis of Oscar Wilde’s work. However, one thing you could’ve expanded on was how his writing is perceived today because Wilde experienced another wave of popularity since homosexuality is not so frowned upon today as it was in the 19th century. I also think your analysis would benefit with a little more explanation of the quote you used and the deeper meaning behind it because you have a really strong point at the end that could be developed further.

  2. ack2234

    I think The Ballad of Reading Gaol is a great example of why Oscar Wilde was a wild writer. He uses imagery to boldly paint a gruesome picture of the scenes he witnessed while in prison.

  3. arr4257

    I like that you included a good description of what the Aesthetic movement was and how Wilde fit into that movement. I also think it was smart to discuss specific quote examples of his work that supports your argument that Wilde should be considered “wild.”

  4. ham2642

    Its so important to look at how Wilde never chose to hold back on expressing himself and I think thats what makes him so wild too. The fact that he was exploring topics that at the time were deemed unacceptable to most, and for him to not only showcases but to stand by them even if it meant ruining the rest of his life. That passion was what made him wild, great that you pointed that out.

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