Get the opportunity to read critical analysis of plays mostly drawn from Elizabethan era(William Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies) and works through 19th to 21st century. Some of the works you will find are Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, Oscar Wilde An Ideal Husband.
OSCAR WILDE: A LIFE OF SCANDALS
Oscar Wilde’s life story is a pathetic one of a genius who wasted all on the altar of pleasure. From his plays, The Importance of Being Ernest to An Ideal Husband, any reader and theatre enthusiast would see a rich and gifted mind.
Read below more details of his troubled life…
Queensberry, a Marquess had inscribed on Oscar Wilde’s calling card for his attention, ‘’ For Oscar Wilde posing somdomite’’. Wilde highly embarrassed, he initiated a criminal libel charge against Queensberry who was arrested with a possible sentence of up to two years in prison. The only way Queensberry could avoid conviction for libel was to demonstrate the invalidity of his claim, so he set out to dig enough dirt about Oscar Wilde through his hired private detectives.
Truly they dug out ample evidence of Wilde’s homosexual liaisons .In the highly celebrated trial that followed, various evidence from secret letters to male prostitutes with whom Wilde was alleged to have had sexual relationships were brought out as evidence. With all these startling evidence which by now has become a public scandal, Oscar was liable to be found guilty.
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’’ was justified, “true in substance and in fact. Queensberry’s acquittal rendered Wilde legally liable for the considerable expenses Queensberry had incurred in his defence, which left Wilde bankrupt.
After Wilde left the court, a warrant for his arrest was applied for on charges of sodomy and gross indecency. Wilde was arrested for “gross indecency” under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, a term meaning homosexual acts not amounting to buggery (an offence under a separate offence).Wilde was then imprisoned on remand at Holloway .
The culmination of this was his trial and subsequent imprisonment. Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. The harsh experience dealt a huge blow to Wilde. His health declined sharply, and in November, he collapsed in the prison chapel from illness and hunger. His right ear drum was ruptured in the fall, an injury that would later contribute to his death. He spent two months in the infirmary.
Wilde was released on 19 May 1897, and though his health had suffered greatly, 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. “I intend to be received before long“, Wilde told a journalist who asked about his religious intentions.
He left England the next day for the continent, to spend his last three years in penniless exile. He took the name “Sebastian Melmoth”, after Saint Sebastian, and the titular character of Melmoth the Wanderer; a gothic novel by Charles Maturin, Wilde’s great-uncle. Wilde wrote two long letters to the editor of the Daily Chronicle, describing the brutal conditions of English prisons and advocating penal reform.
Although Douglas had been the cause of his misfortunes, he and Wilde were reunited in August 1897 at Rouen. This meeting was disapproved of by the friends and families of both men. Constance Wilde ,Oscar Wilde’s former wife was already refusing to meet Wilde or allow him to see their sons, though she kept him supplied with money. During the latter part of 1897, Wilde and Douglas lived together near Naples for a few months until they were separated by their respective families under the threat of a cutting-off of funds. Shortly after, he was found dead in his hotel room.
Wilde died of cerebral meningitis on 30 November 1900. Different opinions are given as to the cause of the meningitis: Richard Ellmann claimed it was syphilitic; 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 (probably from the fall he suffered when in prison) and did not allude to syphilis.
Wilde was initially buried in the Cimetière de Bagneux outside Paris; in 1909 .His remains were disinterred to Père Lachaise Cemetery, inside the city. His tomb was designed by Sir Jacob Epstein, commissioned by Robert Ross, who asked for a small compartment to be made for his own ashes which were duly transferred in 1950. The modernist angel depicted as a relief on the tomb was originally complete with male genitalia which have since been vandalized; their current whereabouts are unknown. In 2000, Leon Johnson, a multimedia artist, installed a silver prosthesis to replace them.