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What key issues and themes does Oscar Wilde convey through his texts?also any...

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mossymac | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 14, 2010 at 7:32 PM via web

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What key issues and themes does Oscar Wilde convey through his texts?

also any particular literary devices he uses or how these themes relate to his life?

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kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:35 PM (Answer #1)

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Oscar Wilde's is a curious modernism where the category of the neo-romantic is very much at work. His humour is also a typically Irish humour. As far as Wilde's plays are concerned, his major style is one of social satire, critiquing social issues, the practice of false manners and hypocrisy, the fraudulent identities, the relation and rapport of the sexes, the social conventions of love and so on. If we look at Importance of Being Ernest, the theme of a fluid unfixed identity, the critique of a Platonic myth of love and bond, the pattern of poetic justice in the world and the issues of heredity in personality development--these are the issues handled in the text. In many of Wilde's stories, he uses the parabolic and fabular tropes as in The Happy Prince and The Rose and Nightingale. Written in French, a play like Salome is testimony to his surrealist style and dark themes of envy and sexuality. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde's only novel is an autobiographical text which apart from other things, deals with his problematic sexuality and homoeroticism.

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