Oscar Wilde was one of Victorian England's most scandalous artists. He was born in 1854 in Ireland, and died in 1900, Paris, France. He was a poet, dramatist, novelist, and wit whose reputation rests on his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art's sake, and he was the object of a scandalous civil and criminal suit involving homosexuality, ending in his imprisonment (1895–97).
Peruse the brief bio of Oscar for more details at the Official Oscar Wilde page.
You may also find this short biographical film helpful. Please watch.
Oscar Wilde is often quoted and noted for his epigrams (short pithy sayings). WRITING ASSIGNMENT (HOMEWORK): select one of these epigrams and use the quote to inspire a 1-3 page sketch. Usually sketches are comic, but you are more than welcome to write a serious sketch. Your sketch should have a definite beginning, middle, and end, but may be use parody, hyperbole, or other literary techniques. This assignment is due Friday (Dec. 6).
"No man is rich enough to buy back his past."Monty Python Sketch
"Men become old, but they never become good." -- “Lady Windermere's Fan”
"A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain." -- “Lady Windermere's Fan”
"Nowadays all the married men live like bachelors and all the bachelors live like married men." -- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
"One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything."-- “A Woman of No Importance”
"Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones."-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”
"Men know life too early. Women know life too late. That is the difference between men and women."-- “A Woman of No Importance”
"Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood." -- “The Sphinx Without a Secret”
"It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing."-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”
"Women give to men the very gold of their lives. But they invariably want it back in such very small change." -- “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
Kids in the Hall Sketch
Alias Smith and Jones Sketch
HOMEWORK: Write a sketch of 1-3 pages in length using one of Oscar Wilde's epigrams. Please begin reading George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara. Aim to complete this play by next week (Dec. 10). More information about the play will be given to you next class.