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See the fact file below for more information on Oscar Wilde or alternatively, you can download our 22 page Oscar Wilde worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 15, 1854, in Dublin, Ireland. His parents were William Wilde, a prominent doctor and founder of St. Mark’s Ophthalmic Hospital, and Jane Francesca Elgee, a poet and skilled linguist.
- Young Oscar showed great interest in reading. He attended Portora Royal School where he adored Greek and Roman culture.
- In 1871, he graduated and was awarded a scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin. While at Trinity, he received the Foundation Scholarship, which was the highest honor given to undergraduates.
- Wilde particularly excelled in classics examination. By 1874, he graduated and was awarded the Berkeley Gold Medal and the Demyship scholarship. For further studies, he went to Magdalen College in Oxford.
- A bright student, Wilde first tried his hand at creative writing at Oxford. Upon his graduation in 1878, he won the Newdigate Prize for his poem, Ravenna. It was considered the best English verse composed by an undergraduate from Oxford.
- On May 29, 1884, he married Constance Lloyd with whom he had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan.
Oscar Wilde’s Literary Career
- In 1881, he published his first collection of poetry entitled Poems. Despite the modest success of his work, Wilde became a prominent writer. After a year, he traveled to New York for a series of lectures.
- He met American authors like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
- In mid-1884, Wilde returned to London and was hired to run a women’s magazine, The Lady’s World.
- With Wilde’s wit and skills, the Lady’s World was revitalized by expanding women’s views on matters other than fashion. Women’s opinion in art, literature and modern society were expressed in the publication.
- In 1888, he published a collection of children’s stories, The Happy Prince and Other Tales.
- By 1891, his collection of essays, Intentions, was published along with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- The novel was a tale of a beautiful young man who wished to live young while his portrait ages. In the novel, Dorian lives a sinful life.
- During Wilde’s time, The Picture of Dorian Gray was highly criticized due to its lack of morality. Wilde defended himself and considered his work an expression of aestheticism. His literary style was in pursuit of defining beauty rather than an expression of any political ideology.
- In 1892, he adopted playwriting with his work, Lady Windermere’s Fan. For several years, Wilde wrote satirical comedies including A Woman of No Importance in 1893, An Ideal Husband in 1895, and The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895.
Later Life, Controversies and Death
- Wilde met another English poet named Lord Alfred Douglas in 1891. Illegal at the time, the two became a couple and the center of controversy. During those times, Wilde’s sexuality was an open secret. At the peak of his career in 1895, Douglas’ father, the Marquis of Queensberry, called him a posing sodomite. As a result, Wilde sued him for libel, which was later dismissed.
- Douglas’ father exploited Wilde’s love letters to his son and some homoerotic excerpts from Wilde’s works.
- On May 25, 1895, Wilde was arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment for to gross indecency.
- In 1897, he went into exile in France where he completed his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, depicting his experiences while
- On November 30, 1900, at the age of 46, Oscar Wilde died of cerebral meningitis in Paris, France.
- His life is remembered by many through his love for aesthetics, while some considered his personal life, homosexuality and imprisonment remarkable.
- In 2017, along with over 50,000 English men convicted of homosexual acts, Wilde received posthumous pardon after the enforcement of the Alan Turing law.
- It is believed that Lord Douglas wrote Oscar Wilde and Myself detailing their relationship.
- Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest are considered two of the greatest literary works of the late Victorian period.
Oscar Wilde Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about famous poet Oscar Wilde across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Oscar Wilde worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Oscar Wilde who was a 19th-century Irish playwright, novelist, and poet known for his works including The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Oscar Wilde Facts
- The Controversial Wilde
- Time Hopping
- Wilde Imagination
- Man of Beauty
- Aesthetic Movement
- Literary Genre
- Poets’ War
- In Motion Picture
- Essay for Diversity
- Wilde Life Lessons
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Use With Any Curriculum
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