Oscar Wilde

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The librarian, who had requested the book for the library, returned the presentation copy to Wilde with a note of apology. That he is also a fine actor is important, because the film requires him to show many conflicting aspects of Wilde's life.

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In his opening speech for the defence, Carson announced that he had located several male prostitutes who were to testify that they had had sex with Wilde. On the advice of his lawyers, Wilde dropped the prosecution.

Queensberry was found not guilty, as the court declared that his accusation that Wilde was "posing as a Somdomite" [ sic ] was justified, "true in substance and in fact. After Wilde left the court, a warrant for his arrest was applied for on charges of sodomy and gross indecency. Robbie Ross found Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel , Knightsbridge , with Reginald Turner ; both men advised Wilde to go at once to Dover and try to get a boat to France; his mother advised him to stay and fight.

Wilde, lapsing into inaction, could only say, "The train has gone. Events moved quickly and his prosecution opened on 26 April Wilde pleaded not guilty. He had already begged Douglas to leave London for Paris, but Douglas complained bitterly, even wanting to give evidence; he was pressed to go and soon fled to the Hotel du Monde. Fearing persecution, Ross and many others also left the United Kingdom during this time. Under cross examination Wilde was at first hesitant, then spoke eloquently:.

What is " the love that dare not speak its name "? It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dare not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection.

There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him.

That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it. This response was counter-productive in a legal sense as it only served to reinforce the charges of homosexual behaviour. The trial ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.

Wilde's counsel, Sir Edward Clarke, was finally able to get a magistrate to allow Wilde and his friends to post bail. The final trial was presided over by Mr Justice Wills. On 25 May Wilde and Alfred Taylor were convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labour. May I say nothing, my Lord? He first entered Newgate Prison in London for processing, then was moved to Pentonville Prison , where the "hard labour" to which he had been sentenced consisted of many hours of walking a treadmill and picking oakum separating the fibres in scraps of old navy ropes , [] and where prisoners were allowed to read only the Bible and The Pilgrim's Progress.

A few months later he was moved to Wandsworth Prison in London. Inmates there also followed the regimen of "hard labour, hard fare and a hard bed", which wore harshly on Wilde's delicate health. His right ear drum was ruptured in the fall, an injury that later contributed to his death.

The transfer itself was the lowest point of his incarceration, as a crowd jeered and spat at him on the railway platform. About five months after Wilde arrived at Reading Gaol, Charles Thomas Wooldridge , a trooper in the Royal Horse Guards, was brought to Reading to await his trial for murdering his wife on 29 March ; on 17 June Wooldridge was sentenced to death and returned to Reading for his execution, which took place on Tuesday, 7 July — the first hanging at Reading in 18 years.

Wilde was not, at first, even allowed paper and pen but Haldane eventually succeeded in allowing access to books and writing materials. Between January and March Wilde wrote a 50,word letter to Douglas. He was not allowed to send it, but was permitted to take it with him when released from prison. His own estimation of himself was: The second half of the letter traces Wilde's spiritual journey of redemption and fulfilment through his prison reading.

He realised that his ordeal had filled his soul with the fruit of experience, however bitter it tasted at the time. I wanted to eat of the fruit of all the trees in the garden of the world And so, indeed, I went out, and so I lived.

My only mistake was that I confined myself so exclusively to the trees of what seemed to me the sun-lit side of the garden, and shunned the other side for its shadow and its gloom. Wilde was released from prison on 18 May and sailed immediately for France. He never returned to the UK. On his release, he gave the manuscript to Ross, who may or may not have carried out Wilde's instructions to send a copy to Douglas who later denied having received it.

De Profundis was partially published in ; its complete and correct publication first occurred in in The Letters of Oscar Wilde. Though Wilde's health had suffered greatly from the harshness and diet of prison, he had a feeling of spiritual renewal.

He immediately wrote to the Society of Jesus requesting a six-month Catholic retreat; when the request was denied, Wilde wept. He spent his last three years in impoverished exile. His discussion of the dismissal of Warder Martin for giving biscuits to an anaemic child prisoner repeated the themes of the corruption and degeneration of punishment that he had earlier outlined in The Soul of Man under Socialism.

Wilde spent mid with Robert Ross in the seaside village of Berneval-le-Grand in northern France, where he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol , narrating the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge , who murdered his wife in a rage at her infidelity. It moves from an objective story-telling to symbolic identification with the prisoners as a whole. Wilde juxtaposes the executed man and himself with the line "Yet each man kills the thing he loves".

He adopted the proletarian ballad form, and the author was credited as "C33", Wilde's cell number in Reading Gaol. Although Douglas had been the cause of his misfortunes, he and Wilde were reunited in August at Rouen.

This meeting was disapproved of by the friends and families of both men. Constance Wilde was already refusing to meet Wilde or allow him to see their sons, though she sent him money — a meagre three pounds a week.

During the latter part of , Wilde and Douglas lived together near Naples for a few months until they were separated by their families under the threat of cutting off all funds. Pray do what you can" he wrote to his publisher. He wandered the boulevards alone, and spent what little money he had on alcohol. Soon Wilde was sufficiently confined to his hotel to joke, on one of his final trips outside, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go.

By 25 November Wilde had developed meningitis , then called cerebral meningitis. As the voiture rolled through the dark streets that wintry night, the sad story of Oscar Wilde was in part repeated to me Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional baptism, and afterwards answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying.

As the man was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum ; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition , Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.

Wilde died of meningitis on 30 November Richard Ellmann claimed it was syphilitic ; [] however, Merlin Holland , Wilde's grandson, thought this to be a misconception, noting that Wilde's meningitis followed a surgical intervention, perhaps a mastoidectomy ; Wilde's physicians, Dr Paul Cleiss and A'Court Tucker, reported that the condition stemmed from an old suppuration of the right ear from the prison injury, see above treated for several years une ancienne suppuration de l'oreille droite d'ailleurs en traitement depuis plusieurs années and made no allusion to syphilis.

Wilde was initially buried in the Cimetière de Bagneux outside Paris; in his remains were disinterred and transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery , inside the city. The modernist angel depicted as a relief on the tomb was originally complete with male genitalia, which have since been vandalised; their current whereabouts are unknown. In , Leon Johnson, a multimedia artist, installed a silver prosthesis to replace them.

In , the tomb was cleaned of the many lipstick marks left there by admirers and a glass barrier was installed to prevent further marks or damage. The epitaph is a verse from The Ballad of Reading Gaol: And alien tears will fill for him Pity's long-broken urn, For his mourners will be outcast men, And outcasts always mourn.

In , Wilde was among an estimated 50, men who were pardoned for homosexual acts that were no longer considered offences under the Policing and Crime Act The Act is known informally as the Alan Turing law. Wilde's life continues to fascinate, and he has been the subject of numerous biographies since his death. The earliest were memoirs by those who knew him: His Life and Confessions ; though prone to exaggeration and sometimes factually inaccurate, it offers a good literary portrait of Wilde.

Oscar Wilde and Myself , largely ghost-written by T. Crosland , vindictively reacted to Douglas's discovery that De Profundis was addressed to him and defensively tried to distance him from Wilde's scandalous reputation.

Both authors later regretted their work. A Summing Up and his Autobiography he was more sympathetic to Wilde. Of Wilde's other close friends, Robert Sherard ; Robert Ross , his literary executor; and Charles Ricketts variously published biographies, reminiscences or correspondence.

The first more or less objective biography of Wilde came about when Hesketh Pearson wrote Oscar Wilde: His Life and Wit Oscar Wilde, a critical study by Arthur Ransome was published in The trial in April was in a way a re-run of the trials of Oscar Wilde. The trial resulted from Douglas's rivalry with Robbie Ross for Wilde and his need of money. Douglas lost after a reading of De Profundis refuted his claims. Wilde's life was still waiting for independent, true scholarship when Richard Ellmann began researching his biography Oscar Wilde , for which he posthumously won a National USA Book Critics Circle Award in [] and a Pulitzer Prize in Often speculative in nature, it was widely criticised for its pure conjecture and lack of scholarly rigour.

Robert Ross, 23 December []. Wilde's charm also had a lasting effect on Parisian literati, who produced several original biographies and monographs on him. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 28 September This article is about the 19th-century author. For other uses, see Oscar Wilde disambiguation.

Irish poet and playwright. Photograph taken in by Napoleon Sarony. Drama short story criticism dialogue journalism. Cyril Holland Vyvyan Holland. The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in The Importance of Being Earnest. When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was.

It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would be equally fatal. To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Biographies of Oscar Wilde. Later on I think everyone will recognise his achievements; his plays and essays will endure. Of course you may think with others that his personality and conversation were far more wonderful than anything he wrote, so that his written works give only a pale reflection of his power.

Perhaps that is so, and of course it will be impossible to reproduce what is gone forever. Oscar Wilde in America. Retrieved 12 August Apparently the editor liked the verse, so switched it to the other magazine so as to attain "a larger and better audience". It was revised for inclusion in Poems the next year. In any case the Marquess of Queensberry came to believe his sons had been corrupted by older homosexuals or, as he phrased it in a letter in the aftermath of Drumlanrig's death: The hall porter initially read "ponce and sodomite", but Queensberry himself claimed that he'd written "posing 'as' a sodomite", an easier accusation to defend in court.

Merlin Holland concludes that "what Queensberry almost certainly wrote was "posing somdomite [ sic ]", Holland In , Wilde's son Vyvyan Holland published it again, including parts formerly omitted, but relying on a faulty typescript bequeathed to him by Ross. Ross's typescript had contained several hundred errors, including typist's mistakes, Ross's 'improvements' and other inexplicable omissions.

After legal action instigated by Bosie's father, the enraged Marquise of Queensberry, Wilde refused to flee the country and was sentenced to two years at hard labor by the courts of an intolerant Victorian society.

The acting in this film was superb. How delightful to find another actor intelligent and flexible enough to range from Melchett to Oscar Wilde! One cannot help but watch his face very carefully, waiting to see the mask slip. He seems strangely delicate in his huge, crushing frame A nice follow-up movie to Velvet Goldmine, especially once you know that some of the dialogue from the latter was lifted from the works of Oscar Wilde.

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On Disc at Amazon. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and Julian Mitchell original screenplay , Richard Ellmann based on the book by.

Situadas en Reino Unido UK. Though the film suffers a case of quip-lash thanks to its tireless Wildean witticisms.

Fry's warmly sympathetic performance finds the gentleness beneath the wit. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said the film "has the good fortune to star Stephen Fry, a British author, actor and comedian who looks a lot like Wilde and has many of the same attributes: He is very tall, he is somewhat plump, he is gay, he is funny and he makes his conversation into an art.

That he is also a fine actor is important, because the film requires him to show many conflicting aspects of Wilde's life. Coupled with Julian Mitchell's superb script. Gilbert clearly gave Fry and Law the confidence to play roles that would require a baring of souls, and they are triumphant. Unfortunately, the film is marred by Debbie Wiseman's trite, overly emotional score, which has the effect of needlessly underlining every point along the way that has otherwise been made so subtly.

It is especially undermining in its morose tone in the film's final sequences, when the pace naturally slows down as Wilde's life enters its final phase. Everyone else involved in the making of Wilde has done an exemplary job illuminating a man and his era. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "a sympathetic and, for the most part, nicely realized look into the private life of the flamboyant author" and commented, "Stephen Fry has the title role, and it's hard to imagine a more appropriate actor.

In the last third, the film derails somewhat by turning preachy. While [it] captures its subject's singular charm, it ultimately doesn't do justice to his complexity. In the San Francisco Examiner , David Armstrong said the film "benefits from its lush period costumes and settings but gains even more from an accomplished cast of British film and stage actors.

However, Wilde , like Wilde, is flawed. Gilbert's direction is sturdy but uninspired, and Ehle's part is underwritten. To her credit, Ehle movingly conveys the sad frustration that Wilde implanted in his lonely wife; but Ehle has to do the work, playing her feelings on her face, with little help from Julian Mitchell's screenplay.