Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46.
Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles.
As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London. (wikipedia. org)
Oscar Wilde, geb. 1854 in Dublin, studierte erst am Trinity College in Dublin, dann in Oxford, wo er sich mehr und mehr einem Ästhetizismus zuwandte, den er nicht nur in der Kunst, sondern auch im Leben zum Maß aller Dinge machte. 1884 heiratete er in London; zwei Söhne wurden geboren. In den folgenden Jahren entfremdete er sich zunehmend von seiner Frau und wurde sich wohl seiner homoerotischen Neigungen deutlicher bewusst. Gleichzeitig nahm sein Ruhm stetig zu; in rascher Folge entstanden Essays, sein einziger Roman 'Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray', die Märchen, Erzählungen und mehrere Theaterstücke. 1895 wurde er wegen seiner Liebesbeziehung zum jungen Lord Alfred Douglas in einen Prozess mit dessen Vater verwickelt, der ihm zum Verhängnis wurde: Wilde wurde zu Zwangsarbeit verurteilt und war nun gesellschaftlich, aber auch künstlerisch erledigt. 1897 aus seiner Einzelzelle entlassen, floh er nach Frankreich, unternahm noch einige Reisen und starb 1900 resigniert in Paris.