Titles in this set:
- The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- De Profundis
- The Happy Prince and Other Tales
- The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems
Oscar Wilde was a writer and playwright who contributed to literature and the annals of history in various forms. This volume of poems ranges from some of his earliest works to newer ones, including "E Tenebris" and possibly the most popular of his poems, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"
This range of poems depicts Wilde's growth as an artist and a person, as seen in his choice of subjects- from focusing on sensation and pleasure to moral complexity, from sorrow to death. Wilde's poetry included sonnets, ballads and other forms.
"The Ballad of Reading Gaol" was the last work published before his death in 1900. It describes the death of a fellow inmate, hanged for murdering his wife, and his serenity in the face of his impending hanging. It goes on to talk about the terrors conditions, and life at the Reading Gaol.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
As Dorian Gray descends into a life of crime and excessive sensuality. his body retains perfect youth and vigour. while his recently painted portrait develops into a terrible record of evil, which he must keep hidden.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, authored by Oscar Wilde, is a powerful moral allegory, a masterpiece of Gothic literature, and the best representation of the Faustian bargain ever written. It is one of Wilde's most significant works and a pioneering example of its kind. This captivating tale of terror and suspense has been incredibly popular for more than a century
Edited and published posthumously, "De Profundis" is a letter by Oscar Wilde to his friend and former student, Lord Douglas.
Written in 1897, while incarcerated at the Reading Gaol for 'gross indecency", the letter recounts Wilde's relationship with his friend and his imprisonment, lamentations of the infamy and disgrace. He goes on to accept his role in his fall from grace and starts delving into societal problems, quoting many prominent philosophical thinkers.
Wilde recounts his spiritual growth in the latter part of the letter and refers to Christ as a symbol of kindness. By the end of it, we see a Wilde who has both accepted his condition, yet firmly believes he was prosecuted unjustly and is seeking to find humility and fulfilment in his ordeal.
De Profundis was published by Wilde's literary agent, Robert Ross, five years after his death
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
First published in 1888, The Happy Prince and Other Tales is an anthology of five magical, yet haunting short stories by Oscar Wilde.
The stories, written in the style of fairy tales, teach the reader-young and old- about love, friendship, selfishness, and sacrifice, even if at the expense of one's life.
The story of the Happy Prince who was really sad, or the Selfish Giant who learned the meaning of love from the laughter of children, or even that of little Hans who believed in the gift of selfless friendship till his last breath, evoke deep emotions in the reader and are regarded as timeless classics.
The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
This collection of plays by Oscar Wilde includes three of his most famous plays including The Importance of Being Earnest, a three-act play that highlights the double standards prevalent in British society at the time.
In the second play, Lady Windermere's Fan, a four-act comedy, Wilde introduces us to a modernist take on the proper behaviour expected of women in the Victorian times. The play centres around Lady Windermere and her suspicion of her husband's interest in an older woman, who ends up saving the much younger lady from ruin by sacrificing herself.
In the last play, A Woman of No Importance Wilde parodies the English upper-middle-class society. This four-act play, first performed in 1893, opens with a set of people gossiping and continues on with its characters offering opinions on the accepted behaviour of men and women, and their disdain for Puritans.
The plays together offer an interesting snapshot of the Victorian society.
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