Wilde, Oscar

Cultural Dictionary

Wilde, Oscar definition


An Irish-born author of the late nineteenth century, who spent most of his career in England. Wilde was famous for his flamboyant wit and style of dress. His best-known works include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the play The Importance of Being Earnest. He urged art for art's sake.

Note: Wilde was convicted of homosexual activity and spent about two years in prison. The poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (jail) is based on his experiences there.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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