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 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
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 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.
- 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.