Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales
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This paper examines how Oscar Wilde's reputation as one of the preeminent literary geniuses of the Victorian era remains an extraordinary accomplishment for an Irishman writing for and about English society. It looks at how, after his conviction on sodomy charges led to two years in prison and self-imposed exile to France, Victorian society vigorously denied Wilde's existence in their ranks and how Wilde?s role as an outcast within Victoria's conservative society represents a compelling force in his fairy tales. It analyzes his books, "The Happy Prince", "The Star-Child", and "The Young King", as well as "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", for elements of Wilde's theory of masculine love.
From the Paper:"In "The Young King" the protagonist is a very young man "for he was only a lad, being but sixteen years of age" (Pomegranate) with enchanting beauty "wild-eyed and open-mouthed, like a brown woodland Faun" (Pomegranate). This detail about the Young King corresponds with an age-frame where Wilde would have been discovering his own sexual preference. In "The Young King", the young man's metamorphosis, through a dream quest, reconciles his conflicting roles as the son of the poor goat-herder and his destiny as "the son of the Old King". Shimmering on the surface of this tale is Christ's message from the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5, 6 & 7). Wilde declares, in "The Soul of Man under Socialism", that the message of Christ to man was simply "Be Thyself". The young King's recognition of his true self within these conflicting roles reflects his attainment of the virtue asked for in Christ's message."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales (2004, November 29) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oscar-wilde-fairy-tales-53866/
"Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales" 29 November 2004. Web. 09 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oscar-wilde-fairy-tales-53866/>