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Oscar Wilde Style of Writing

Author Oscar Wilde is an Irish poet and playwright of the 19th century. He is popular because of his brilliant wit, liberty in writing style, psychology and his imprisonment for homosexuality, till now. He is the most well-known playwright of his age.

His works are enriched with wit, humour, good characters, socio-political imagery of the Victorian era. Wilde is influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Peter for the ideas about art and individualism.

Style of writing

Wilde often included his beliefs in his works. This makes his artistic sense, plot, style different from the others. He is phenomenal. His writings are often autobiographical. He has written essays on art to promote it. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel written by Oscar Wilde, which highlights embellishing art, using great vocabulary.

He has written down his thoughts with beautiful wordplay. He is a perfectionist who is very concerned about the produced work because through his works he is promoting his thoughts.

Use of imagery

Oscar Wilde is vivid when it comes to writing. He combines his fantasies with reality and forms art. He has beautifully contrasted two Contradicting genres such as contemplating imageries and realistic vision. Oscar Wilde is fascinated with his imagery and he has vividly used his own imagery in his writings.

He uses literary devices to explain the people and situations mentioned in his texts. One of his favourite imageries is morbid imagery which he has used frequently to form his work. Wilde is a genius to draw out unusual murder cases and pictures of corpses using morbid imagery.

Using Morbid Imagery

To describe a gruesome murder scene and bring out the terror of the situation he has portrayed the skills of horrifying the plot and drag the attention of his readers. Wilde writes in the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, “He [Dorian] rushed at him [Basil], and dug the knife into the great vein that is behind the ear, crushing the man’s head down on the table, and stabbing again and again.

There were a stifled groan and the horrible sound on some one choking with blood. Three times the outstretched arms shot up convulsively, waving grotesque stiff-fingered hands in the air. He stabbed him twice more, but the man did not move. Something began to trickle on the floor.

He waited for a moment, still pressing the head down. He could hear nothing, but the drip, drip on the threadbare carpet”.

Accentuating Dialogue

Another style of writing, present there in Oscar’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the use of dialogues more than actions. He has incorporated great characters and brilliant vocabulary in the conversations. This is much more appropriate than actions. Wilde intends to prove his sense and vividness of art, using languages throughout his writing.

Wilde’s dialogues are famous as a paradox, of the novel. His dialogues or descriptions are self-contradictory but realistic. This style is considered to be Wilde’s favourite literary device. In the novel, he has portrayed the continuity of paradoxes through his amazing characters such as Dorian, Lord Henry and Basil. For which the paradoxical situation takes place in, is a letter.

His friends call the letter as “Prince Paradox”.

Contemporary readers quickly judged the style and belittled it. According to them Wilde only converted some terms and made it even complicated.

Soon Wilde’s literary style was appreciated by most of the British readers. One of a literary critic, Earnest Newman commented on Wilde’s writing style, “To hear one of Mr Wilde’s paradoxes by itself is to be startled; to read them in their proper context is to recognize the great fact on which I have already insisted, that a paradox is a truth seen around a corner.

There is not one of his paradoxes that does not argue our straight and squarely, and we rise from the perusal of them with self-conscious wisdom that we had not before.”

Highlighting the Evilness

Another style, prevalent in Oscar Wilde’s novel, is his incredible talent for morbidity and evil. He has amazingly elaborated human nature and the evilness, people have inside them. He has emphasized particularly the darker side of everything in his writings.

The feature has made him unique from any other writers of his age. In his novel, He has shown the reality of human nature and the crave for life and greed for immortality. In the novel, it is described that Dorian Gray’s greed to be youthful forever causes him the hamartia of his soul. Wilde incredibly converts his character into evil.


The response of the readers to the literary work of Wilde is divided into two parts such as style and atmosphere. Very few writers have successfully competed with Oscar Wilde till now. Stephen King is a genius at morbidity, but he fails to master the fluency and rhetoric of Wilde’s style.

Charles Dickens is great at fluency in writing but he could not match the sense of Wilde’s imagery. Wilde is blessed with all the features altogether. No other writer can imitate his imagery or writing style until now.

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