gained name as an author with The Happy Prince and Other Tales, a collection of
fairy tales and fables, in the year 1888 Wilde made his presence felt with a
series of plays – Lady Windermere’s
Fan, A Woman of No Importance and An
Ideal Husband in 1892, 1893 and 1895 respectively. Each play was a witty
comedy on the social intrigue of the day and dealt with two people – a person
with a past and an intolerant idealist. The backdrop was one where appearances
was all that mattered. The play teaches
the idealists that they have their shortcomings too and rubs in the need for a
tolerance for other people’s foibles.
masterpiece was The Importance of Being
Earnest, written in the year 1895. Earnest was a satirical fantasy, where
Wilde ridicules the hypocrisy of the society and the utopian idea of earnestness
and sincerity. Here the importance
attached to names is ridiculed.
has written a novel and a French play. The only novel penned by Wilde was The
of Dorian Grey, where in he presents the story of a man whose portrait
becomes ugly and aged as his values fall, while he outwardly remains the same.
The French play that Wilde wrote was Salome,
in the year 1893. Salome was a one-act tragedy.
the year 1895, Wilde was an established and famous playwright. Three of his
plays were running simultaneously, when a bad period began for him. He was
arrested and imprisoned for two years. His poem The
Ballad of Reading Gaol and his autobiographical document are said to be
reflections of his experiences in the prison. When
he was released, Wilde settled in France. By then he had lost everything, his
finances, reputation and his health. He died in France at the turn of the
samples of Wilde’s epigrams:
“The good ended happily, the bad ended unhappily. That is what fiction
“Experience is the name everyone give to their mistakes.”
“There is only one thing worse than not being talked about, not being talked
The definition of a cynic: “A man who knows the price of everything and the
value of nothing.”