Archive: Wilde (1997)

The movie, Wilde, tells the story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, and playwright. While in an obsessive love relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed “Bosie”, his homosexuality creates enormous torment as he must juggle his marriage, fatherhood, and responsibility at the same time. After Bosie’s father instigates legal action, Wilde refuses to flee the country. The courts of an intolerant Victorian society sentence him to two years at hard labor.

Wilde vs. Public Morality

We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
–Oscar Wilde, 1907

My dear boy, people who love once in their lives are really shallow people. What they call their loyalty and their fidelity is either the lethargy of custom or lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life is what constance is to the intellectual life, simply a confession of failure.
–Oscar Wilde, 1890

Oscar Wilde was a witty, prolific, and very successful literary figure who suffered imprisonment for refusing to deny his gay behavior. However, when one’s livelihood requires popularity and acceptance, revolution is a stance that should require thoughtful consideration of its risks. Thus, his story is a conspicuous example where the rules of society, which reflect a society’s conception of moral behavior and its conception (or misconception) of humanity, dictated that a person of enormous talent and intellect must be disguised, marginalized, and/or extinguished. Continue reading Wilde vs. Public Morality

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The Rise and Ruin of Oscar Wilde

Our movie for this month, Wilde (Gilbert, 1997), presents, in historical context, important elements in the life of brilliant playwright and poet, Oscar Wilde. Wilde’s story is tragic and reveals the extreme bias and intolerance that existed toward gays in the Victorian era. Unfortunately, in our very modern age of information and greater understanding, this bias endures for some.

I recently attended a memorial service for a lifelong friend. One of the speakers stated in a remembrance that a person dies three times; he dies physically, he dies again when he is memorialized then buried, and he dies a third death when nobody on Earth remembers him or mentions his name again.

With the passing of decades, appreciation for Wilde’s works has not faded. Nor has interest waned in the man who took eloquent self-expression to a level only reachable by the brilliant.

Who was Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde

It has been well over a century since Oscar Wilde’s death, yet his name keeps popping up in enough cultural references to the point that it seems every educated person today knows this renowned playwright by name and famous works Continue reading The Rise and Ruin of Oscar Wilde

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