Oscar Wilde was born and brought up in the city of Dublin, in Ireland. He embarked on a journey of his advanced education at Trinity College, in Dublin preceding which he had an exceptional academic career at Oxford
He wrote most of his critical work between the years 1885 and 1892 devoting a large amount of his career to poetry, prose fiction and drama. Setting aside a number of book reviews and a considerable amount of brief articles, this corpus consists primarily of six chief essays:
- The Truth of Masks (1885)
- The Decay of Lying (1889),
- Pen, Pencil and Poison (1889)
- The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)
- The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1890) and
- The Critic as Artist (1890)
His words were construed ironically as purely unequivocal substantiation against him in a criminal suit that sent him to jail eventually and ended his career. This happened in the year 1895.
Oscar Wilde Criticism – Poetry
Oscar Wilde’s poems were mainly associated with a movement that had been regarded as “Aestheticism” almost a decade earlier by which was meant, according to one of its most popular critics, Robert Buchanan, art that was degenerate in making public its explicit attentiveness to private emotions, barbaric in its preoccupation with ritual, and Jacobin-inclined to violent excess-in its politics.
Even when Oscar Wilde received a mixed response to his poems in 1881, he was cordially invited by the Librarian of the Oxford Union to Oxford’s undergraduate debating society to award a copy of the volume as a gift, in which he wrote:
“To the Oxford Union, My first volume of poems.”.
Oscar Wilde’s Criticism – Prison sentence
It can be said without doubt that Oscar Wilde’s career- as a social critic as well as a dramatist sailed southwards after quite an indecent and outrageous suit that convicted him in the year of 1895 of “gross indecency” for which he spent two years in prison.
His plays have been extremely famous and admired by audiences, as well as critics who commend the comical and yet, very cold satire of his English mannerisms at the turn of the twentieth century.
Oscar Wilde’s Criticism – Sexuality
A particularly rich area for critical discussion would be the analysis of sexuality in his work, as some critics have observed and investigated the role of androgyny and homosexuality in his comedies.
Conventionally, a critical assessment of Wilde’s work has been pretty difficult and complex, largely for the reason that his works have to battle for attention with his sensational life. Wilde himself observed this impediment as unnecessary, recommending that “a critic should be taught to criticize a work of art without making reference to the personality of the author.
This, in fact, is the beginning of criticism.” Possible influences on and foundation for his work has been another area of focus for critical study.