Archive: Wilde (1997)

Wilde tells the story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, and playwright. In an obsessive love relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed “Bosie”, he must juggle marriage, fatherhood, and responsibility at the same time. Since homosexuality is illegal, Bosie’s father initiates legal action against him, and 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