"All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life."
— Oscar Wilde
"[He] is still occasionally mistaken for actor Gene Wilder, probably because he’s as close to Willy Wonka as any living human’s ever been."
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish playwright of the Victorian Era; he lived in Victorian London
. A huge celebrity of his day, known for his wit and social commentary. He habitually made perverse and snarky quips, and often immortalized them in his work. His most celebrated play, The Importance of Being Earnest,
is still often performed today. He also wrote poetry, most famously The Ballad of Reading Gaol
, one novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray
) and several beautiful tales, including The Happy Prince
. He once wrote a break-up letter that became world-famous (De Profundis
His fun was interrupted when he sued for libel over being called homosexual. He was, in fact, homosexual (or maybe bisexual
), but British law would still have found for him if that had been considered irrelevant. Instead, he lost, and since homosexuality was illegal... yeah. Real Life Downer Ending
Famous for producing an enormous body of quotable wit- enormous enough that of the hundreds of quotes attributed
to him, as many as half may resemble things he actually said. This tendency to gather misattributions is the root of his status as Uncyclopedia
's Memetic Badass
/ Memetic Molester
/ Memetic Sex God
Works with their own pages:
Other works provide examples of:
- Alas, Poor Yorick or A Love to Dismember: Salome
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: An aversion drives the plot of An Ideal Husband.
- Author Avatar: The character with all the good lines generally; Lord Darlington in Lady Windermere's Fan and Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband specifically)
- Authors Of Quote: Even within his own lifetime
- Author Tract: Nearly everything he wrote, to some extent.
- Badass Bookworm
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Gay
- Although it's not the image one associates with Wilde, he was a keen boxer in his student days. (Which is particularly ironic, given that the modern rules for boxing were written by the very same Marquess of Queensberry whose "libel" precipitated Wilde's fall.)
- Bedsheet Ghost: The Canterville Ghost.
- Blackmail: Mrs. Cheveley, twice, in An Ideal Husband. She fails both times. Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere's Fan.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Real life aversion. Wilde was an anarchist, but he was certainly no bomb-thrower.
- Break the Haughty: His incarceration after his trial.
- Camp Gay: or Camp Bi. It's thought that many of the modern Camp Gay stereotypes originated with Wilde's flamboyant public persona. If not the Trope Maker, he was certainly a Trope Codifier.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His comment on the wallpaper, dressing like prince Rupert for a costume party then wearing the same costume everyday, holding only a lily in a blue vase in his rooms, wanting to satisfy his blue porcelain set.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone in his plays. Everyone. The man himself as well.
- Double Standard: Several of his plays at least touch upon the unfairness of women's reputations being ruined by activities that men are allowed to get away with.
- Downer Ending: Various works, to say nothing of the last few years of his own life, which border on Diabolus ex Machina territory.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: ''The Portrait Of Mr. W. H.
- False Widow: Mrs. Arbuthnot from A Woman of No Importance.
- Famous Last Words: One of the last sentences he was believed to have said while dying of cerebral meningitis; "The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do."
- Gallows Humor the aforementioned last words being an example on The Other Wiki.
- Hidden Depths: Lord Goring in An ideal husband.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Found in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Played with in The Portrait Of Mr. W. H. (see also Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory)
- Humiliation Conga: Again, his imprisonment.
- Insane Troll Logic: "The Devoted Friend", "The Remarkable Rocket", "The Crime of Lord Arthur Savile".
- Lover and Beloved: Bosie and him.
- Master Poisoner: Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, according to Pen, Pencil, and Poison
- Narcissist: How he liked to act. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a book about this.
- Our Souls Are Different: "The Fisherman and his Soul"
- Patrick Stewart Speech: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
- Patriotic Fervor: He really wasn't a fan of it, with his famous words, "Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious". Mainly because he knew how Britain treated its colonies while claiming inherent British superiority.
- Pretty Boy: Bosie.
- Self Plagiarism: Some of the same bits of dialogue appear in more than one of his plays.
- Shakespeare In Fiction: "The Portrait of Mr. W.H."
- Silly Rabbit Cynicism Is For Losers: Once called a cynic 'a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing'.
- Smug Snake: Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband.
- Take That: To various cultures, places, and people for his satirical works.
- Title Drop: The Importance of Being Earnest; An Ideal Husband; A Woman Of No Importance
- Upper Class Wit: Lots, including Wilde himself.