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Lady Windermere's fan by Oscar Wilde.

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by

Miguel Benavente

on 13 May 2015

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Transcript of Lady Windermere's fan by Oscar Wilde.

Act I. Morning-room in Lord Windermere's house

Act II. Drawing-room in Lord Windermere's house

Act III. Lord Darlington's rooms

Act IV. Morning-room in Lord Windermere's house
General aspects of the play
Social stereotypes in Victorian society
Oscar Wilde
Early life
Lady Windermere's fan
Lady Windermere represents...
Lord Darlington
Duchess of Berwick
by Oscar Wilde
Action in 24 hours
Lady Windermere's birthday (5.00p.m.) - Next day (1.30 p.m.)

Setting: London, 19th century
Mrs. Erlynne
Film based on Wilde's play but set in Italy in the 1930s.
born on October 16nth 1854 in Dublin (Ireland)
Father: William Wilde, an esteemed doctor.
Mother: Jane Francesca Elgee, poet and a skilled linguist.
Wilhelm Meinhold’s Sidonia the Sorceress = deep influence on Oscar’s writing.
Good academical background: Portora Royal School, Trinity College in Dublin, Magdalen College in Oxford.
won different prizes during his studies.
1878 first written poem Ravenna = Newdigate Prize
friend : Frank Miles, a popular portraitist.
focus on writing poetry... published Poem( collection of poems) .
Adulthood
1882 travelled to New York = acquaintance with Walt Whitman.
established himself as a member of the aesthetic movement(pursuit of beauty for its own sake)
29nth May 1884 married Constance Lloyd = two sons.
1888 dedication to writing: The happy prince and other tales, Intentions(essay),The picture of Dorian Gray.
1892 Wilde’s first play, Lady Windermere’s Fan = playwriting as his primary literary form.
several great plays ...The importance of being earnest(1895).
Women and femininity in the Victorian Era
Feminism
When he describes woman, each writer discloses his general ethics and the special idea he has of himself

(The second sex, Simone de Beauvoir)
Representation vs Reality
Oscar Wilde
began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas
1895 Douglas’s father found out about the affair
harmful message “Posing Somdomite” (insult that makes reference to ones sexuality)
Wilde sues the Marquis of Queensberry
trial in March Wilde’s homosexuality presented as evidence = arrest on charges of “gross indecency”, sentenced to two years in prison
1897 release from prison = physically depleted, emotionally exhausted and penniless
lived in France in exile in bad conditions
during this period he wrote very little: The ballad of reading Gaol (1898)
in 1900 on the 30nth of November he died of meningitis at the young age of 46.
For Mary Wollstonecraft, the prevalence of misconceived representations of women as meek, obedient, passive and pretty was an evil because such representation had real effects in the development of real women’s lives
Last years
''The Woman Question''
What's the nature of women?
What's the role of women?
Man for the field and woman for the heart; Man for the sword and for the needle she:
Man with head and woman with the heart:
Man to command and woman to obey;
All else confusion.

The Princess, Tennyson 1847
Sexual Anarchy
Significantly more woman than men
Not all women could marry and be
wives and mothers
Purity
Innocence & naivety
Correctness
Idealistic: believes in love & marriage
Non-conformity with infidelity
The binary oppositions structured all social thinking about the relationship between the sexes: Without them, all else is confusion.
Women from the middle orders
had to work for a living
Women were becoming more socially assertive and less passive
Women's rights wave: Better education, universities, professions, vote...
Her role contradicts Victorian woman
2 possible interpretations
Picture of Dorian Grey Preface:
“Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital."
Oscar Wilde
Queer critique
French philosopher and critic Michel Foucault
essay Queer Theory
refuses the idea that sexuality can be authoritatively defined
sexuality is not an essentially personal attribute but an available cultural category.
“The society that emerged in the nineteenth century—bourgeois, capitalist, or industrial society, call it what you will—did not confront sex with a fundamental refusal of recognition. On the contrary, it put into operation an entire machinery for producing true discourses concerning it. Not only did it speak of sex and compel everyone to do so; it also set out to formulate the uniform truth of sex. “(69)
Changes in style
Oscar Wilde:
Flower of love
VS
Ballad Of Reading Gaol
Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault
was, had I not been made of common clay
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.

From the wildness of my wasted passion I had
struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled
with some Hydra-headed wrong.

Had my lips been smitten into music by the
kisses that but made them bleed,
You had walked with Bice and the angels on
that verdant and enamelled mead.

I had trod the road which Dante treading saw
the suns of seven circles shine,
Ay! perchance had seen the heavens opening,
as they opened to the Florentine.

And the mighty nations would have crowned
me, who am crownless now and without name,
And some orient dawn had found me kneeling
on the threshold of the House of Fame.

I had sat within that marble circle where the
oldest bard is as the young,
And the pipe is ever dropping honey, and the
lyre's strings are ever strung.

Keats had lifted up his hymeneal curls from out
the poppy-seeded wine,
With ambrosial mouth had kissed my forehead,
clasped the hand of noble love in mine.
He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby gray;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
'That fellow's got to swing.'

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what haunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.
The Picture of Dorian Grey Preface:
Unfaithful, depraved, shameless
Appearance:
Actually...
man in love
good husband
Contradicts image of Victorian man
Immoral behavior
Damaged reputation
Represents... woman socially condemned
interpretation:
There are immoral acts but not immoral people
Repentance and good acts
Prototypical woman of Victorian society
Aware of importance of appearances
"Dignity"
Conformity
No belief in marriage, love or feelings
Marriage = business
Gossip
Hypocrisy & Ignorance of Victorian society
Lord Darlington
Considered immoral man
Different rules of behavior for men and for women
Appearances: no friendship between woman and man
The New Woman
Term usually used as a pejorative
Wild women
Two schools:
Puritan
Neurotic
A Play About a Good Woman
Wilde plays with rigid categories and questions them
He deconstructs Victorian womanhood
A conventional play becomes controversial
Plots
Good Woman vs Fallen Woman
Danger of ideals - Disappointments
A realistic view of life - Less judgement
Rejection of motherhood
Lack of punishment
Mrs. Erlynne leaves England by CHOICE
She marries a good man. Possibility of love
Final thoughts
Sympathetic approach towards
Fallen Women
Deconstruction of femininity's
definition
Wilde challenges the feminist
critique of Victorian sexual
ideology
Full transcript