The Masks of Oscar Wilde

These days Oscar Wilde is known as a comedic playwright, and tragic gay martyr but the truth is he was so much more. Politically, he considered himself a socialist; artistically he was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement; spiritually he was attracted to paganism and Christ, while remaining conventionally Anglican; romantically he fell in love with several people, while devoting himself to his sons. As a writer he mastered poetry, essays, criticism, fairy tales, short stories, plays, and one brilliant novel. Deliberately polishing his exotic celebrity persona, he was a wit and raconteur who believed that masks revealed the deepest truths. This is our opportunity to look at both the masks and the truths.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face / Online

SUGGESTED READING

  • Brandreth, Gyles. Beautiful and Impossible Things - Selected Essays of Oscar Wilde (Notting Hill: 2015)
  • Oscar Wilde. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (Penguin: 2008)
  • Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde: Plays (Collector’s library: 2014)
  • Oscar Wilde. The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems (Penguin Classics: 2010)
  • Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics: 2012)
  • Oscar Wilde. The Canterville Ghost, The Happy Prince and Other Stories (Penguin Classics: 2010)
  • Oscar Wilde. Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime (Penguin Classics: 2015)

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Irish, Socialism: Oscar Wilde’s political identity as a socialist was established by growing up in the Irish Dominion of the British Empire, the son of an erudite and successful family.
  • Undergraduate: Aestheticism At Oxford University, Wilde came into his own, triumphing scholastically, and uniting the influences of William Pater and John Ruskin to form his under-standing of the Aesthetic Movement.
  • Spiritual quest: As far as the public was concerned, Wilde was a conventional member of the Anglican church, but his personal identification with Christ, his attraction to Catholicism, and to the literary and sexual features of paganism, were more complex and conflicted.
  • Celebrity: Fostering a public persona based on his belief that masks reveal more truth than honesty, Wilde was a renowned wit and raconteur who achieved fame before he had really done anything to be famous for.
  • Playwright: His writing – literary criticism, essays, poetry, short stories, and fairy tales, gained him a prosperous life and fame, but it was the increasing popularity of his plays that earned him lasting success (or so everyone thought). He married a beautiful woman, had beautiful children, lived in a beautiful house, with beautiful friends and fans.
  • Fairy tales: But even while he was being so consciously superficial and materialist, much of his writing, particularly his fairy tales, were revealing a much more multi stranded perspective on beauty and ugliness, public perceptions and truth, time and eternity, sacrifice and love.
  • Tragedy: The end of his life is the best known impression today of his whole life, possibly because it is so exquisitely and profoundly tragic that it might have been written by a master writer such as Oscar Wilde.
$67 Limited

<p>These days Oscar Wilde is known as a comedic playwright, and tragic gay martyr but the truth is he was so much more. Politically, he considered himself a socialist; artistically he was a leader

...
13 Mar
$67 Limited

<p>These days Oscar Wilde is known as a comedic playwright, and tragic gay martyr but the truth is he was so much more. Politically, he considered himself a socialist; artistically he was a leader

...
26 Mar

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