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«To live is the rarest thing in the                                   world. Most people exist, that is all»Oscar WildeOsc...
Oscar Wilde    1. Life   • Born in Dublin in 1854.   • He became a disciple of Walter     Pater, the theorist of aesthetic...
Oscar Wilde    1. Life   • He was one of the most successful     playwrights of late Victorian     London and one of the g...
Oscar Wilde      1. Life  Some famous quotations of Wilde’s:  •   «I have nothing to declare except my      genius».  •   ...
Oscar Wilde      1. Life  Some famous quotations of Wilde’s:  •   «One should always be in love.      That is the reason w...
Oscar Wilde    2. Works     • Poetry:        Poems, 1891                      The Ballad of Reading Gaol, 1898     • Fairy...
Oscar Wilde       3. Wilde’s aestheticism   •   Oscar Wilde adopted the aesthetical       ideal: he affirmed “my life is l...
Oscar Wilde       3. Wilde’s aestheticism   •   Art  used only to celebrate beauty       and the sensorial pleasures.   •...
Oscar Wilde    4. The picture of Dorian Gray   • 1890  first appeared in a     magazine.   • 1891  revised and     exten...
Oscar Wilde    5. Dorian Gray: plot      • Set in London at the end of        the 19th century.      • The painter Basil H...
Oscar Wilde    5. Dorian Gray: plot      • Dorian’s desires of eternal        youth are satisfied.      • Experience and v...
Oscar Wilde    5. Dorian Gray: plot   • Dorian lives only for     pleasures.   • The painter discovers     Dorian’s secret...
Oscar Wilde    5. Dorian Gray: plot    •   Later Dorian wants to get free        from the portrait; he stabs it        but...
Oscar Wilde    6. Dorian Gray: a modern version of Dr. Faust   •   A temptation is placed before       Dorian: a potential...
Oscar Wilde    7. Dorian Gray: the moral of the novel    • Every excess must be punished and reality cannot be      escape...
Oscar Wilde    8. The Importance of Being Earnest              Wilde’s most enduringly popular play.                     S...
Oscar Wilde    9. The Importance of Being    Earnest: plot  • Jack has invented an alter ego, a younger brother    called ...
Oscar Wilde    10. The Importance of Being    Earnest: characters  • Set in England during the late Victorian era.  • The ...
Oscar Wilde    10. The Importance of Being    Earnest: characters   • They belong to     aristocratic society.   • They ar...
Oscar Wilde    10. The Importance of Being    Earnest: characters   • They are interested only     in a materialistic worl...
Oscar Wilde    11. The Importance of Being Earnest:    Wilde’s new comedy of manners   • A new sort of the Restoration com...
Oscar Wilde    12. The Importance of Being Earnest:    the nature of marriage   • Marriage is one of the main     concerns...
Oscar Wilde    13. The Importance of Being Earnest:    irony and Victorian morality   •   The play central plot – the man ...
Oscar Wilde    14. The Ballad of Reading Gaol   •   The author’s name  C33,       Wilde’s prison reference       number. ...
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28. oscar wilde

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  1. 1. «To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all»Oscar WildeOscar Wilde in a photo by Napoleon Sarony.
  2. 2. Oscar Wilde 1. Life • Born in Dublin in 1854. • He became a disciple of Walter Pater, the theorist of aestheticism. • He became a fashionable dandy. Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in the 1890s Only Connect ... New Directions
  3. 3. Oscar Wilde 1. Life • He was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London and one of the greatest celebrities of his days. • He suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned after been convicted of “gross indecency” for homosexual acts. • He died in Paris in 1900. Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in the 1890s Only Connect ... New Directions
  4. 4. Oscar Wilde 1. Life Some famous quotations of Wilde’s: • «I have nothing to declare except my genius». • «Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes». • «A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her». Oscar Wilde, 1889 Only Connect ... New Directions
  5. 5. Oscar Wilde 1. Life Some famous quotations of Wilde’s: • «One should always be in love. That is the reason why one should never marry». • «Art is the most intense form of individualism that the world has known». Oscar Wilde, 1889 Only Connect ... New Directions
  6. 6. Oscar Wilde 2. Works • Poetry: Poems, 1891 The Ballad of Reading Gaol, 1898 • Fairy tales: The Happy Prince and other Tales, 1888 The House of Pomegranates, 1891 • Novel: The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891 • Plays: Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892 A Woman of no Importance, 1893 The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895 Salomé, 1893 Only Connect ... New Directions
  7. 7. Oscar Wilde 3. Wilde’s aestheticism • Oscar Wilde adopted the aesthetical ideal: he affirmed “my life is like a work of art”. • His aestheticism clashed with the didacticism of Victorian novels. • The artist = the creator of beautiful things. A contemporary edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Only Connect ... New Directions
  8. 8. Oscar Wilde 3. Wilde’s aestheticism • Art  used only to celebrate beauty and the sensorial pleasures. • Virtue and vice  employed by the artist as raw material in his art: “No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style”. (“The Preface” to The Picture of Dorian Gray). A contemporary edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Only Connect ... New Directions
  9. 9. Oscar Wilde 4. The picture of Dorian Gray • 1890  first appeared in a magazine. • 1891  revised and extended. • It reflects Oscar Wilde’s personality. • It was considered immoral A scene from Oliver Parker’s Dorian Gray (2009). by the Victorian public. Only Connect ... New Directions
  10. 10. Oscar Wilde 5. Dorian Gray: plot • Set in London at the end of the 19th century. • The painter Basil Hallward makes a portrait of a handsome young man, Dorian Gray. Poster for film Wilde, directed by Brian Gilbert (UK, 1997). Only Connect ... New Directions
  11. 11. Oscar Wilde 5. Dorian Gray: plot • Dorian’s desires of eternal youth are satisfied. • Experience and vices appear on the portrait. Poster for film Wilde, directed by Brian Gilbert (UK, 1997). Only Connect ... New Directions
  12. 12. Oscar Wilde 5. Dorian Gray: plot • Dorian lives only for pleasures. • The painter discovers Dorian’s secret and he is killed by the young man. Ben Barnes in Oliver Parker’s Dorian Gray (2009). Only Connect ... New Directions
  13. 13. Oscar Wilde 5. Dorian Gray: plot • Later Dorian wants to get free from the portrait; he stabs it but in so doing he kills himself. • At the very moment of death the portrait returns to its original purity and Dorian Ben Barnes in Oliver Parker’s Dorian Gray (2009). turns into a withered, wrinkled and loathsome man. Only Connect ... New Directions
  14. 14. Oscar Wilde 6. Dorian Gray: a modern version of Dr. Faust • A temptation is placed before Dorian: a potential ageless beauty. • Lord Henry’s cynical attitude is in keeping with the devil’s role in Dr Faust. • Lord Henry acts as the “Devil advocate”. • The picture stands for the dark side of Dorian’s personality. Mephistopheles appearing before Faust in the 1865 edition of Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Only Connect ... New Directions
  15. 15. Oscar Wilde 7. Dorian Gray: the moral of the novel • Every excess must be punished and reality cannot be escaped. • When Dorian destroys the picture, he cannot avoid the punishment for all his sins  death. • The horrible, corrupting picture could be seen as a symbol of the immorality and bad conscience of the Victorian middle class. • The picture, restored to its original beauty, illustrates Wilde’s theories of art: art survives people, art is eternal. Only Connect ... New Directions
  16. 16. Oscar Wilde 8. The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde’s most enduringly popular play. Sir John Gielgud, E. Evans and M. Leighton in The Importance of Being Earnest, UK, 1952. Only Connect ... New Directions
  17. 17. Oscar Wilde 9. The Importance of Being Earnest: plot • Jack has invented an alter ego, a younger brother called Ernest who lives in the City. • Humour comes from the characters’ false identities. • Witty dialogues and satire of Victorian hypocrisy. Only Connect ... New Directions
  18. 18. Oscar Wilde 10. The Importance of Being Earnest: characters • Set in England during the late Victorian era. • The protagonists: two young aristocratic men, Ernest Worthing, and Algernon Moncrieff. • Ernest, actually called Jack, was adopted at an early age by a Mr Thomas Cardew. Only Connect ... New Directions
  19. 19. Oscar Wilde 10. The Importance of Being Earnest: characters • They belong to aristocratic society. • They are typical Victorian snobs. • They are arrogant, formal and concerned with money. A 2002 performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Frank B. Moorman. Only Connect ... New Directions
  20. 20. Oscar Wilde 10. The Importance of Being Earnest: characters • They are interested only in a materialistic world. • Lady Bracknell embodies the stereotype of the Victorian English aristocrat woman. A 2002 performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Frank B. Moorman. Only Connect ... New Directions
  21. 21. Oscar Wilde 11. The Importance of Being Earnest: Wilde’s new comedy of manners • A new sort of the Restoration comedy of Manners. • The problems of Wilde’s age are reflected in witty remarks. • This comedy was a mirror of the fashionable and corrupted world of the Victorian fashionable audiences. Alana Brophy and Luke Barats in The Importance of Being Earnest, April 2005 Only Connect ... New Directions
  22. 22. Oscar Wilde 12. The Importance of Being Earnest: the nature of marriage • Marriage is one of the main concerns of the characters in the play. • Wilde makes fun of the institution of marriage. • Marriage is seen as a hypocritical and absurd practice, a tool for achieving Ida Vernon, William Faversham, Viola Allen, E. Y. Backus, Henry Miller in The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). social stature. Only Connect ... New Directions
  23. 23. Oscar Wilde 13. The Importance of Being Earnest: irony and Victorian morality • The play central plot – the man who is both and isnt Ernest/earnest – presents a moral paradox. • Earnest, misspelling for “Ernest”, means earnest, honest. • None of the characters are really truthful. • Characters are used to criticize Victorian prudery. • What Wilde wants us to see as truly moral is really the opposite of earnestness: irreverence. Only Connect ... New Directions
  24. 24. Oscar Wilde 14. The Ballad of Reading Gaol • The author’s name  C33, Wilde’s prison reference number. • Plot: the dramatic story of an outcast. • Poetic form: a ballad. • Themes: the alienating life in prison, death penalty, the Reading Gaol in 2007 problem of collective and social guilt. Only Connect ... New Directions
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