Oscar Wilde Biography

Oscar Wilde Biography

Born to Irish intellectual parents, Oscar Wilde made a mark for himself as a writer, poet and playwright in a short span of forty six years. Thereafter he went on to become one of the finest playwriters of London.


  • Oscar Wilde was born to a surgeon father and poetess mother on 16th October, 1854.
  • He received education at the Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • He was awarded the Newdigate Prize for his poem “Ravenna” while he was still studying at Magdalen.


  • After Oscar Wilde completed his graduation, he went to Chelsea where he published his first collection of poems, “Poems”.
  • Thereafter he lectured on art in the U.S, Canada, Britain and Ireland.
  • He also worked as an editor for “The Lady’s World” magazine to sustain the needs of his family. He promptly renamed the magazine as the “Woman’s World”.
  • It was at that time that he wrote a collection of fairy tales for his two sons that is known as “The Happy Prince and Other Tales”.
  • Wilde was a follower of the Aesthetic Movement that was on the rise in England at that time. He also authored a novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” in which he synthesized his ideas of art and the growing decadence of the society in those days. However, as it was based on homosexuality, it was not received well by the audience.
  • Oscar Wilde also gained credit as a playwright with the composition of his play like “Lady Windermere’s Fan” and several other comedies like “A woman of no importance”, “An ideal husband” and “The importance of being earnest”.
  • He is best known for his work, “The importance of being earnest”, which is a satire on the rich classes of society.
  • While in imprisonment, Wilde wrote a letter “De Profundis”, in which he sought to discuss philosophy, contrary to his style of previous writing that was based more on pleasure and wit.
  • After being released, he was deeply troubled by the inhuman conditions of the prisoners which he himself had experienced. This was brought out in his work “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”


  • Oscar Wilde had gained accolades for himself within the Victorian society. He is remembered for his wit, especially his satires.
  • He was also an active participant of the Aesthetic Movement that was gaining momentum in England at that time. The influence of his ideas on Aestheticism can be seen  in his writings.

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