English Studies Site

Oscar Wilde

playwright, novelist, poet, critic


Wilde's essay The Critic as Artist is written in the form of a dialogue and offers considerable insight into his ideas on the relationship between art and a critical view of art — criticism is an act of artistic creation itself.. This link will download the full text as a pdf.
The Oscar Wilde section of the invaluable Victorian Web is a good place to start internet research. Much of the Wilde material is on The Picture of Dorian Gray, but the Victorian social background and the Aesthetic Movement are well covered.
This very interesting essay on Wilde, Society and Society Drama puts Wilde in context and argues, from the historical and theatrical evidence, what Jack and Algernon may have got up to when Bunburying. It presents a well-argued case about the behaviour of the upper class bachelor of the time, and suggests that the play's audience would have thoroughly understood the nature of the clandestine behaviour of the bachelors in the play..
This site provides links to some biographical material, but more usefully has links to etexts of some of Wilde's work down the right hand side of the page. The first essay in the list lower down, by Raymond Mullen, is reasonable and contains some useful pointers.
Oscar Wilde