"All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life."Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irishnote playwright and journalist 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 fairy 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 indeed homosexual (or maybe bisexual) as a significant number of young men testified at his trial. British law would still have found for him if that had been considered irrelevant.note Instead, he lost, and since homosexuality was illegal... yeah. Real Life Downer Ending, there.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 in chief. Not to be confused with the other "Oscar Wilde".
— Oscar Wilde
Works with their own pages:
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- Lady Windermere's Fan
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- The Happy Prince
- The Canterville Ghost
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 Goring in An Ideal Husband specifically.
- Authors Of Quote: Even within his own lifetime
- Author Tract: Nearly everything he wrote, to some extent.
- Bedsheet Ghost: The Canterville Ghost.
- Blackmail: Mrs. Cheveley, twice, in An Ideal Husband. She fails both times.
- 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.
- False Widow: Mrs. Arbuthnot from A Woman of No Importance.
- 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)
- Insane Troll Logic: "The Devoted Friend", "The Remarkable Rocket", "The Crime of Lord Arthur Savile".
- Master Poisoner: Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, according to Pen, Pencil, and Poison
- Men Are Better Than Women: An Ideal Husband states that, essentially, men are meant to go out into the world and do great things, while the most a woman can ask for is to help and support a great man.
- Narcissist: How he liked to act. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a book about this.
- Old Beggar Test: In the short story "The Star-Child", a child is found in a forest just after a shooting star is seen in the sky. One of the woodcutters who finds the child takes him home and convinces his wife to help raise him along with their own children. The boy is handsome, but grows to be rude and arrogant. His birth mother appears on the scene in the guise of a beggar, and he rejects her. Then he turns ugly and is rejected by his friends, prompting him to go in search of his mother. Along the way, he is enslaved and aids a man with leprosy three times, though each time his master beats him for it. After the third occasion, he magically recovers his good looks and meets the leper and the beggar woman again. It turns out the leper is his father in disguise, just as his mother appeared to be a beggar woman, and both of them the wealthy rulers of a kingdom (and he of course is their son and heir).
- 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."
- Pretty Boy: Bosie.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: De Profundis, a 50,000-word letter written in prison from Wilde to his onetime lover Lord Alfred Douglas, is the "The Reason You Suck" Speech raised to the level of great art. Simultaneously played straight and inverted, in that for Wilde it's also a "The Reason I Suck" Speech.
- 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.