What is the theme of "The Sphinx Without a Secret" by Oscar Wilde?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "The Sphinx Without a Secret," Wilde explores the theme of love. This is shown from the beginning of the story when the narrator meets with his friend Lord Murchison, a man who is "troubled" by his amorous feelings for Lady Alroy. It is interesting to note that Murchison's love for Alroy is based primarily on physical attraction and, in drawing attention to this, Wilde argues that love is as much about beauty as any other, deeper factor. Moreover, it is Murchison's love that drives the plot of the story: his "troubled feelings," for example, and his desire to marry Lady Alroy provide the story's interest.

Secondly, Wilde also considers the theme of mystery . Specifically, he explores the question of why mystery is so attractive and intriguing. This is shown through the character...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 413 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team