Oscar Fingal O 'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin, October 16, 1854. His father William was a renowned surgeon and a versatile writer, and her mother Jane Wilde, a poet and fierce Irish nationalist.
The future writer after having attended the prestigious Trinity College in Dublin and Magdalen College, it soon became popular for its tongue lashing for his extravagant ways and the versatile intelligence.
At Oxford, where among other things, he won the Newdigate prize with the poem "Ravenna", he met two of the greatest intellectuals of the time, Pater and Ruskin, who introduced him to the most advanced aesthetic theories and refine his artistic taste.
In 1879 he stayed in London where he began writing occasional essays journalism and publishing poems. In 1881, leaving the "Poems" which had five editions in a year. His clarity, his brilliant way of talking, his ostentatious lifestyle and his extravagant mode of dress made him one of the most fascinating features of the clubs in London. A reading tour lasted a year in the United States increase its reputation and gave him the opportunity to make better his aesthetic theory which revolves around the concept of "art for art".
In 1884 he returned to London after spending a month in Paris, married Constance Lloyd, a marriage more than facade dictated by sentiment. Wilde is gay and lives in fact this condition with great discomfort, especially because of the stifling Victorian morality that prevailed in England in the time. The construction of cardboard, built by Oscar Wilde could not last long however and in fact, after the birth of her children and Cyryl Vyvyan is separated from his wife because of the occurrence of its first real homosexual relationship.
In 1888 he published his first collection of stories for boys "The Happy Prince and Other Stories," while three years later appeared his only novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray", a masterpiece that gave him undying fame and where it is known yet today. The distinctive feature of the story and the many wonderful inventions (such as the oil portrait that ages instead of the protagonist), is that Dorian has undoubtedly many of the characteristic traits of the writer, which did not fail to provoke the ire of critics , which repent of Wilde's prose characters of decadence and moral disintegration.
In 1891, his "annus mirabilis", published the second volume of tales, "The House of Pomegranates" and "intention" a collection of essays including the famous "The decay of lying. Same year extends for the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt the drama "Salomé", written in France and once again a source of grave scandal. The theme is that of obsessive passion, detail which could not activate the claws of the British censorship, banning the performance.
But Wilde's pen sa hit in several directions and if the familiar bleak, however, is best expressed also in the picture, and subtly sarcastic virulent. The veneer of amiability is also the one that paints one of his greatest theatrical successes: the brilliant "Lady Windermere's Fan," where, under the guise graceful and barrage of jokes, you hide the vitriolic criticism of the company Victorian. The same as that used to queue up to see the play.
Galvanized by the success, the writer produces a considerable amount of valuable works. "A Woman of No Importance" back to pressing issues (having to do with sexual exploitation and social empowerment of women), and "An Ideal Husband" is no less focused on political corruption. His streak umorisitca explodes again with the catchy "The Importance of Being Earnest," another stab at the heart of current moral hypocrite.
These jobs were defined as perfect examples of "commedy of manners, thanks to their illustrations of manners and morals and a little dell'affascinante 'frivolous society of the time.
But the Victorian society was not so willing to be fooled and especially to see the contradictions revealed in a way so obvious and sarcastic. Since 1885, the glittering career of the writer and his private life were then destroyed. As early as 1893 his friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas, known as Bosie, shows its hazard causing him no small trouble and created a scandal in the eyes of the good society. Two years later he was just tried for the crime of sodomy.
Went to prison is being tried for bankruptcy, its assets are auctioned and his mother died shortly after.
Is sentenced to hard labor for two years, and during the period of imprisonment that he wrote one of his most moving works, "De Profundis," which is nothing more than a long letter to Bosie never forgotten (who had meanwhile moved a little by his companion, almost abandoned.)
It will be his old friend Ross, the only one outside the prison waiting for the release, to take a copy and get it published, as executor, thirty years after the death of Wilde.
The last work, written after a rapprochement with Bosie, is "Ballad of Reading Gaol" which ends in 1898 after being released from prison, during a stay in Naples. Back in Paris learned of the death of his wife and, after a couple of years traveling with his friend always Bosie, 30 November 1900, Oscar Wilde died of meningitis.
The novel is set in London in the nineteenth century. Speaks of Dorian Gray, a young man by the extraordinary beauty, purity, simplicity, capable of transmitting unique feelings to those around him. The story begins in the studio of painter Basil Hallward, a man endowed with special sensitivity and test strong feelings against this guy, which is executing the portrait. With him is Lord Henry Wotton, cynical mentor with particular elegance.
Lord Henry will have a decisive role in the life of Dorian, who know precisely Hallward in fact, extremely articulate with his talk, catching the attention of this guy making it, little by little, as the embodiment of his way of thinking . Dorian In fact, after a long conversation with Lord Wotton, begins to look at beauty as for something truly rare and important enough to try envy of his portrait, the work truly superb, holding a sort of pact with the devil ", thanks to which he would remain young and the picture would be aged in his place.
After a turbulent love affair with theater actress named Sybil Vane, which ended with the suicide of the girl, Dorian, seeing how the picture was ugly for the guilt and how the mutation of the body through the consciousness that manifests itself The young man tries to hide with its own magnificent appearance, hiding the picture in the attic and it gives a life of unrestrained luxury, is long periods of absence and suspect then suddenly reappear.
Every time he goes secretly in the attic to check and taunt her portrait aging increasingly day by day, but that also creates many regrets and fears. Until one day, tired of the weight that the portrait made him feel, tearing the picture with the knife, knife with which he himself had killed the painter friend Hallward, annoyed by her and give advice considering it because of its evils as creator of . His servants are next to the picture untouched, an unrecognizable and prematurely wizened Dorian Gray, died at the foot of the painting with a knife stuck in his heart.