Lesson 48 / Oscar Wilde

Hi and welcome back!
Oggi ascolterete e leggerete una breve biografia su Oscar Wilde, uno degli scrittori più rilevanti della letteratura inglese e di cui alcuni di voi hanno già studiato uno dei suoi più celebri racconti, “The Canterville Ghost“. Ecco un video che riassume la storia del fantasma di Canterville. Non dimenticate di annotare tutte le parole nuove che incontrate.

 

Prima di ascoltare e leggere la biografia di Oscar Wilde, vorrei parlarvi brevemente dell’Estetismo, un movimento artistico e letterario sviluppatosi durante la seconda metà dell’Ottocento e che trova il suo massimo splendore proprio nelle opere del suddetto scrittore. L’Estetismo si fonda sull’imperativo del “l’arte per l’arte“, considerata l’unico fine della letteratura. La prima delle opere d’arte diviene proprio la vita stessa, deformata in favore della bellezza. Lo scrittore esteta è un eccentrico che si diverte a stupire il pubblico con atteggiamenti trasgressivi. L’esteta disprezza la vita comune dei ceti inferiori, della volgarità borghese, di una società dominata dal materialismo e preferisce isolarsi in un mondo tutto suo, circondato solo dall’arte e dalla bellezza.
E adesso ecco una breve biografia di uno dei massimi rappresentanti dell’Estetismo.



Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was influenced by the aesthetic theories of Walter Pater. In London he attracted much attention owing to his eccentricity and his championship of aesthetic ideas
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In 1882 he went to America on a lecture tour (a journey that includes lectures on the places or buildings that you visit and the paintings or other objects that you see) and on his return to London his popularity increased both for the brilliance and incomparable witticism of his writings and for his striking personality.
He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and they had two sons, but in 1891 Wilde began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas.
In 1895 he was charged with homosexuality and sentenced to two years of hard labour in Reading Gaol.

 

The hardships and humiliations of prison life had a profound effect on him. In 1897, after his release, he left England never to return. He died in Paris on November 30th, 1900.
Wilde was a poet, short-story writer, novelist, critic and playwright. His fame mostly rests on his brilliant comedies such as “Lady Windermere’s Fan“, “A Woman of No Importance“, “An Ideal Husband” and “The Importance of Being Earnest“, which is regarded as his best plays.

 

 

Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas

Notable are his short narratives, such as “The Happy Prince and Other Tales” and “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories“. 
His only novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a masterpiece of “art for art’s sake” cult and reflects Wilde’s views on art and life. Of all his poems “The Ballad on Reading Gaol” is perhaps the best and records his resentment towards society which condemns without understanding. “De Profundis“, written in prison is a prose defence of his way of life.


Oscar Wilde was the most famous and symbolic figure of the “Aesthetic Movement”, a man who made a great sensation in the social and literary circles of the turn of the 19th century. He dressed extravagantly, had long, curled hair, and he usually carried a sunflower or a lily in his hand.  His only novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, remains the best example of the “aesthetic group”, a strange recast of the Faustus legend, filled with symbolism and with a detailed analysis of the passions of a split personality
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N.B. Le immagini e il video sono stati reperiti nel web, quindi considerate di pubblico dominio, appartenenti a google, a youtube e ai legittimi proprietari, e usati a scopo meramente didattico. Qualora si ritenesse che possano violare diritti di terzi, si prega di scrivere al seguente indirizzo easyenglish_2019@virgilio.it e saranno immediatamente rimosse.

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