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OSCAR WILDE

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OSCAR WILDE

* 16th October 1854 in Dublin, today Republic of Ireland

† 30th November 1900 in Paris, today France

Oscar Fingal O‘Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer. Amongst his most famous literary works are, The Canterville Ghost, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Importance of Being Earnest. His stage play Salomé would become the basis for Richard Strauss’ Opera of the same name.

Oscar Wilde was considered one of the best known and controversial writers of his time. To this day, he is considered the embodiment of language skills and expressions of meaning. His extravagant appearance made him a prototype for the dandy. He also had an influence on the public image of homosexuals, creating the stereotype of the well-dressed, sharp-tongued, and aesthetically minded gay man.

Wilde lectured in more than a hundred cities in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. He spoke, among other things, about the importance of art and aesthetics in modern life, and on clothing style from the perspective of beauty.

In 1884, he married Constance Lloyd, with whom he had two sons. As a family man, Wilde was – for the era – relatively open with his homo- or bisexuality. This observance of his homosexuality strengthened his process of self-discovery, and brought the pros and cons of marriage to the centre of his writing.

In 1895, Wilde was arrested for committing homosexual acts, and after a sensational trial, he was sentenced to two years in prison. He was forbidden to speak or write, and the cancellation of all his plays was ordered.

On May 19, 1887, he left prison an internally broken man, and died three years later, impoverished and lonely, in exile in Paris.