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Oscar Wilde

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Reilly Everitt

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde Quick Facts Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde
Born in Dublin on October 16, 1854
Died November 30, 1900 of meningitis
Famous Writer and Poet
Oscar did his undergrad at Trinity College in 1872 and then continued his studies at Oxford
He had great intellect even from a young age, he won many awards and honors throughout his life.
He spent most of his career in London among high society characters. Famous Works Include: Personal Life Writing Style Wilde liked to mock Victorian society. In the Importance of Being Earnest he uses the theme of switched identities. His style was witty and pointed but still easy to read. Wilde believed that style and interest outweighed real facts in writing. Oscar called The Importance of being Earnest a trivial comedy for serious people. " Wilde admitted that while writing the play he was struck by madness from the moon" (Siebold 12). Wilde used the Traverse or thrust stage for The Importance of being Earnest, in this there is no back wall. Wilde was born into the upper class of high society Victorians. When Oscar was a young boy he often got ridiculed by his flamboyant and girly personality. He struggled all his life with his sexuality. He dealt with his hardships in many ways, a few of them being drinking and sexual relations, but most importantly he wrote. Wilde's first poem was Graffiti D'italia I San Moniato and it was written in 1865. To his benefit, Oscars controversial wit and over the top personality was portrayed in many of his famous playwrights. Soon enough his life was in the lime light, he traveled from city to city and had a wide range of friends. During the time of his greatest literary success he was having an affair with a man named Lord Alfred Douglas. Douglas' father wrote about their affair and Wilde brought him to court. Wilde lost however and was arrested for "gross indecency". He spent two years in prison. The Importance of Being Earnest (Play)
The Happy Prince and Other Tales (Children's stories)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Novel)
An Ideal Husband (Play) Citations: Siebold, Thomas. "Readings on The Importance of Being Earnest" Greenhaven Press Inc. San Diego 2001. Print.
"Oscar Wilde" The Biography Channel website. 2013. http://www.biography.com/people/oscar-wilde-9531078?page=2 Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest
1. FIRST ACT
SCENE

Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.

[LANE is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, ALGERNON enters.]

ALGERNON. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

LANE. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.

ALGERNON. I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play accurately - any one can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.


ALGERNON. And, speaking of the science of Life, have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?

LANE. Yes, sir. [Hands them on a salver.]

ALGERNON. [Inspects them, takes two, and sits down on the sofa.] Oh! . . . by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been consumed.

LANE. Yes, sir; eight bottles and a pint.

ALGERNON. Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne? I ask merely for information.

LANE. I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir. I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand.

ALGERNON. Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?

LANE. I believe it IS a very pleasant state, sir. I have had very little experience of it myself up to the present. I have only been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person.
LANE. Yes, sir. Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Jack Worthing has invented a brother, Earnest, who he uses as an excuse to leave his boring country life behind to visit the ravishing Gwendolyn. Algy Montcrieff decided to take the name 'Earnest' when visiting Worthing's young and beautiful ward, Cecily at their country home. Things don't go as planned when they both end up together and their lies are discovered - threatening to ruin their romantic pursuits. The Importance of Being Earnest... More than a century after his death, Wilde is still better remembered for his personal life—his exuberant personality, consummate wit and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality—than for his literary accomplishments. Nevertheless, his witty, imaginative and undeniably beautiful works, in particular his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest, are considered among the great literary masterpieces of the late Victorian period. "( http://www.biography.com/people/oscar-wilde-9531078?page=3#death-and-legacy) Contribution to Theater History Oscar had a significant impact on theater history, for he exemplified remarkable wit and enlightenment through his works. He was on the edge of glory as in his time period this was very uncommon. Some may say his life was controversial and this was portrayed through his writing. Modern literature has greatly benefited from his contributions. Oscar did not allow his sexuality define him and get in the way of pursuing his dreams. Wilde was and still is truly quotable for his powerful and inspiring words. "God knows; I wont be an Oxford Don anyhow. I'll be a poet, a writer, a dramatist. Somehow or other I'll be famous, and if not famous I'll be notorious."
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