• synonyms
wilde, oscar in Culture

Wilde, Oscar

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.

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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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.