Oscar Wilde Essay

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Oscar Wilde was one of the most prominent Irish born playwrights. He was a major player in the aesthetic movement, which was based on art for art’s sake. Wilde was also a novelist, playwright, poet, and critic.

He was born Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wilson Wilde on October 16, 1854, in Dublin, Ireland. Wilde came from a rather large family. William Wilde, his father, had three illegitimate children previous to his marriage. They were Henry Wilson in 1838, Emily in 1847, and Mary in 1849. William provided financially for all of them. Henry studied medicine and later assisted his father at St. Mark’s Hospital. William’s brother raised Emily and Mary but both died in a fire at the ages of 24 and 22. Oscar’s mother had three children, William
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This came to be one of Oscar’s favorite books.

     Oscar attended Protora Royal School at Enniskillen and excelled at Classics. In 1872, he placed first in his examinations and was awarded a Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, Oscar won the college’s Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship (scholarship) to Magdalen College, Oxford.

     Then in 1876, Oscar’s father died and Henry had to support the family, until his sudden death in 1878.

     Oscar did very well at Oxford and was awarded the Newdigate prize for his poem, “Ravenna” and “First In Greats” by his teachers. After graduation he moved to London with is friend, Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter. Then in 1881, Oscar published his first collection of poems entitled, Poems.” It was reviewed well by the critics.

     In late 1881, Wilde came to New York and traveled across the United States. He gave a series of lectures on “The Aesthetics.” Originally planed to last four months, the tour stretched to almost a year. In between lectures, Oscar met with Henry Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Walt Whitman. He also had his play, “Vera,” staged the following year. When Oscar returned from America, he moved to Paris. He was commissioned to write a blank-verse tragedy but declined due to his social life. He then went to Ireland and Britain

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