Monday 19th September- Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

In the first proper session of learning about playwrights, the aim of this session was to learn more about Oscar Wilde, including his life and some of his works. Beforehand, the only thing I knew about Oscar Wilde was that he died in 1900. I learned at the beginning that he was 46 when he died, so he was born in Ireland in 1854 and died in 1900. Family wise, his father, William Wilde was a doctor and knighted in 1864, meanwhile, his mother, Jane Wilde, was a political activist.

Wilde was sent to prison after being accused of being a homosexual by the Marquis of Queensbury after having an affair with his son. He was sent to Reading prison where he wrote ‘The Ballad of Reading Jail’. (1) Other plays Erica mentioned that were written by Wilde were: ‘An Ideal Husband’, ‘The Portrait of Dorian Grey’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.

We then started focusing on ‘The Importance of Being Earnst’ and specifically, the scene with Lady Bracknell interrogating Jack to see if he is a good fit to be her daughter’s husband. After reading through the scene, it is clear that Wilde is mocking the upper class, something that he did in many of his plays to get a message across, however, it was frowned on by many.

We then watched a clip of the 2002 film with Judie Dench playing Lady Bracknell, seen below:

 

 


References

1: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wilde_oscar.shtml

2: http://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com/plays/a-florentine-tragedy-iid-131738

3: http://www.oscarwildecollection.com/

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