Tuesday, November 18, 2014
වෙසෙස් බූන්දි | Oscar Wilde: the Man who Challenged the Victorian Duplicity - [Dr. Ruwan M. Jayathunga | රුවන් එම්. ජයතුංග]
"There are moments, psychologists tell us, when the passion for sin, or what the world calls sin, so dominates a nature, that every fibre of the body, as every cell of the brain, seems to be instinct with fearful impulses. Men and women at such moments lose the freedom of their will. They move to their terrible end as automatons move. Choice is taken from them, and conscience is either killed, or, if it lives at all, lives but to give rebellion its fascination and disobedience its charm."
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was one of the outstanding playwrights, poets and a Classicist in the early 1890s. His witticism and philosophy reached beyond the shores of England. He was well known for his aestheticism and passion for life. Wilde was a man head of his times. Oscar observed much about human nature, especially his own, in an era when convention was not challenged, knowledge was taught and appearances were everything (Miller, 2013).
Oscar Wilde was overpoweringly influenced by his mother Jane Francesca Elgee who was a poet and a gifted linguist. Oscar attended Trinity and Oxford. He was a bright student with natural curiosity and enthusiasm for art. Oscar Wilde had international cultural influence and he was a product of globalization of the British Empire in the late nineteenth century (Chen, 2009).
Since his young days Oscar Wilde observed the guilt-ridden Victorian society that preached pseudo-morality. He ridiculed the social hypocrisy of the Victorian age, championed the individual, and pleaded for a more tolerant and forgiving society in his many books, plays, and letters (Otolaryngol, 2000). Eventually he became one of the iconic victims of 19th-century English Puritanism (Adut, 2005).
According to Macias (1993).Oscar Wilde produced a work which described his own problems without any ambiguity. Most of his novels and plays represented his inner fantasies, unresolved emotional conflicts and repressed hidden desires. He did not see immorality in these inner thoughts and in his fantasies. Instead he saw a colorful life filled with ecstasy. Each elegant word he wrote was an innate experience for him. His bliss, eagerness, hedonism, obsessions, anguish, disappointments and suffering often reflected through his work. From the dynamic successes and tragedies of his own life Oscar knew that everything worthy of existence is worthy of art, including its ugliness and suffering (Miller, 2013).
Oscar Wilde’s famous novel the Picture of Dorian Gray is one of the modern classics of Western literature. The Picture of Dorian Gray symbolizes Oscar’s profound fantasies and intra-psychic conflicts. Dorian Gray was Oscar’s prime fantasy. He had the fullest desire to live in these fantasies. He was involved in a lifelong fantasy that contradicted with his society’s norms.
According to Lynn and Rhue (1988) Fantasy Prone Personality is a disposition or personality trait in which a person experiences a lifelong extensive and deep involvement in fantasy. Oscar Wilde’s personality could be described as a Fantasy Prone Personality .Throughout his life he was trapped between fantasy and reality and he was shifting and struggling between these two boundaries. The Picture of Dorian Gray reveals Oscar Wilde’s enriched inner fantasies of beauty, endless youthfulness and sensuality. Also it reveals his uncertainties and fear of unknown.
In the Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde wrote.
"I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream -- I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal -- to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful."
The novel’s subtle theme -homo-eroticism became a subject of controversy. The Victorian moralists criticized the novel as a work of immoral and spiritual putrefaction. To the critics Oscar replied: “If a work of art is rich and vital and complete, those who have artistic instincts will see its beauty and those to whom ethics appeal more strongly will see its moral lesson”. Also he wrote: The sphere of art and the sphere of ethics are absolutely distinct and separate.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic gothic horror fiction. The Picture of Dorian Gray explores the fantasy of invincible vice only to discover that, while justice can be dodged there is no escape from conscience (Fitzpatrick, 2013). According to Carroll (2005) the Picture of Dorian is a psychodrama.
The Picture of Dorian Gray comes across as a very effeminate novel, both in its presentation and in the way the characters are described. (Muriqi, 2007).According to Fitzpatrick (2013) the Picture of Dorian Gray was Wilde’s brutal call for recognition of Victorian duplicity. However a parallel theme can be found between the Picture of Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde’s tragic destiny (Macias, 1993).
For Oscar the Picture of Dorian Gray was a self-fulfilling prophecy. His belief and behavior became parallel probably due to behavioral confirmation effect. As described by Thomas (1928) if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences. The three chief male ﬁgures in the novel all embody aspects of Wilde’s own identity, and that identity is fundamentally divided against itself (Carroll, 2005).
The protagonist Dorian Gray is an orphan. He is described as an attractive and handsome blond man. He meets a talented artist named Basil Hallward. They become friends and Basil Hallward decides to paint the portrait of Dorian Gray. Hence Basil and Dorian Gray become very close to each other.
Dorian’s meeting with Lord Henry- a nobleman and believer of the new Hedonism becomes a turning point in his life. Lord Henry is an uncompromising critique of the Victorian society that filled with deception and hypocrisy. Dorian admires his friendship with Lord Henry. Despite Basil’s advice Dorian Gray gradually becomes close to Lord Henry. Under Lord Henry's influence innocent and naive Dorian Gray turns in to an emotionally detached epicurean. He starts perusing sensual pleasures disregarding social norms and customs. Thus the innocence was lost and selfish egocentric creature was born. Dorian Gray is giving up life for internal youth.
The gift of internal youth, his lust and selfish desires corrupts his soul up to the core. His elevated ego, evil mind and self interested arrogant lifestyle gravely hurt many people around him. Gradually he transforms in to a cold un-empathetic unremorseful person who has no respect for life and virtues. Like Narcissus, Dorian Gray falls in love with his own image and ultimately the self love causes his demise.
Dorian Gray admires the artistic talents of a young beautiful actress Sybil Vane. Unspoiled and innocent Cybil falls in love with Dorian. But this love is short lived. Dorian Gray’s coldness, insensitivity and illusory behavior dives Sibyl to commit suicide.
When Dorian Gray is hurting people and heading towards self destruction Basil Hallward determines to confront Dorian’s irresponsible behavior. It was a mortal attempt. During the argument Dorian Gray becomes extremely angry and stabs Basil Hallward to death. The evil that Dorian commits has no impact on him. He has no guilty conscience. Therefore his picture becomes his conscience. It absorbs all the sins committed by Dorian Gray. The portrait grows old while Dorian remains forever young.
Dorian Gray exposes the immorality of self-absorption, as Dorian’s portrait becomes more disfigured with each one of Dorian’s selfish acts. This self-absorption, then, appears to be an inevitable consequence of aestheticism (Duggan, 2010).
Dorian lives according to what Lord Henry professes without hesitation, and what Lord Henry inspires Dorian, through persuasive rhetoric, is an attitude indifferent to consequence and altogether amoral (Duggan, 2010). His hedonist lifestyle corrupts his mind. Nonetheless Dorian is unable to cope with psychological maturation. His narcissism, dysmorphophobia and immaturity become more severe over time. Dorian’s downfall is caused by the narcissistic defenses against time-dependent maturation and intellectual regression.
As Carroll (2005) indicates Dorian’s problem is not merely that he indulges in “excess.” His problem is that he fails to create or sustain affectional bonds. He betrays all the people who are closest to him; he destroys them or leads them to ruin. After many years causing harm to others Dorian Gray becomes tied of his eternal life. He is frustrated and tied of being alive. He becomes a victim of immortality. Guilt-ridden Dorian Gray decides to destroy the picture.
But this murder--was it to dog him all his life? Was he always to be burdened by his past? Was he really to confess? Never. There was only one bit of evidence left against him. The picture itself-- that was evidence. He would destroy it. Why had he kept it so long? Once it had given him pleasure to watch it changing and growing old. Of late he had felt no such pleasure. It had kept him awake at night. When he had been away, he had been filled with terror lest other eyes should look upon it. It had brought melancholy across his passions. Its mere memory had marred many moments of joy. It had been like conscience to him. Yes, it had been conscience. He would destroy it. (The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)
He destroys the picture and inevitably kills himself. Dorian has a glimpse before his death of the horror of his own soul (Carroll, 2005).
Dorian Gray is often read as an explicit proclamation of the worthiness of living life in accordance with aesthetic values. This is due in part to the flourishing Aesthetic Movement of Victorian England at the time of the novel’s publication, as well as Oscar Wilde’s association with the movement itself (Becker, 2002; Duggan, 2010). The Aesthetic Movement believed that art in its various forms should not seek to convey a moral, sentimental or educational message but should give sensual pleasure (Anderson, 2011). The emergence of narcissism in Dorian and its correlation with his newly adopted aesthetic philosophy is integral to Wilde’s novel as it emphasizes the frequent hostility between aestheticism and morality that Wilde cautions against. (Duggan, 2010).
Dorian Gray embraces the Epicurean way of life. Wilde believed that Epicureanism can liberate one from fears of death and the supernatural. However the philosophy of Epicureanism -an ethic of individual pleasure as the sole or chief good in life was rejected by the early Christianity and some of the Eastern religions. Epicureanism was rejected and considered as a sin.
Most of the 19th Centaury literary critics saw the Picture of Dorian Gray as a work of moral impurity. Some Victorian Moralists tried to prosecute him under the law against obscene publications dating from 1857.Wilde defended his novel arguing;
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
Wilde vaguely discussed homoeroticism in his novel and he implies that there is a gay relationship between Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray. Although Aestheticism can disguise homoerotic feelings between the men, the novel Picture of Dorian Gray does not contain any explicit statements of homoeroticism (Muriqi, 2007). Conversely Basil becomes intimate with Dorian Gray. It was more than a platonic love.
"Don't speak. Wait till you hear what I have to say. Dorian, from the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul, brain, and power, by you. You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream. I worshipped you. I grew jealous of every one to whom you spoke. I wanted to have you all to myself. I was only happy when I was with you. When you were away from me, you were still present in my art.... Of course, I never let you know anything about this. It would have been impossible. You would not have understood it. I hardly understood it myself. I only knew that I had seen perfection face to face, and that the world bad become wonderful to my eyes -- too wonderful, perhaps, for in such mad worships there is peril, the peril of losing them, no less than the peril of keeping them… (The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)
Oscar Wilde takes unique attempts to conceal the homoeroticism in the Picture of Dorian Gray almost certainly to avoid legal consequences. Wild becomes discreet narrating the life of Dorian and his relationships with men. As indicated by Muriqi (2007) Secrecy and shame were significant issues in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Young Dorian Gray was Wilde’s romanticized gay image and his inner fantasy. He wrote the novel in 1890 and ironically less than a year (in mid 1891) an English poet - Lionel Johnson introduced Wilde to Alfred Douglas. Alfred Douglas or "Bosie" was a young aristocratic blond man and he instantly became Oscar Wilde’s central attraction. Alfred Douglas was 22 and Wilde 15 years his elder. Wilde may have unconsciously perceived Alfred Douglas (Bosie) as Dorian Gray. They became attracted to each other until Wilde’s death.
Wilde was immensely attached to Alfred Douglas and he wrote: "My Own Boy, Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing.” Alfred Douglas referred to Wilde as "the most chivalrous friend in the world" Oscar Wilde knew that this relationship wracks his marriage and social status. But he was fatally attracted to Alfred Douglas.
Dorian Gray was an orphan without parental affection. Alfred Douglas had stormy relationships with his father and numerous times his mother left home following her husband’s physical abuse. Symbolically Alfred Douglas was an orphan too. He saw a lover and a father figure in Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde was having a double life. He lived like Basil Hallward and Lord Henry of his novel. As Wilde stated “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks of me.
Oscar described his relationship with Alfred Douglas as thus.
"The love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dare not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.
In the novel Basil says that "as long as I live, the personality of Dorian Gray will dominate me". Correspondingly Alfred Douglas’s personality dominated Oscar Wilde until his death. Like Dorian Gray Alfred Douglas became corrupted and at times emotionally blackmailed Oscar.
Although Wilde discreetly expressed the homosexuality in the Picture of Dorian Gray with Alfred Douglas he had an open relationship. They lived in hotels in London. Their affair became a public secret.
Alfred Douglas was mainly responsible for Oscar’s downfall. He introduced Oscar to gay prostitutes who later testified against him. Alfred Douglas dragged Oscar to take legal action against his father -John Sholto Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry and it was a serious mistake which backfired and Oscar Wilde was charged with gross indecency.
Oscar Wilde hugely challenged Victorian sensibilities. As he discussed in the Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar and Alfred Douglas tried to adjust their personal moral and ethical codes to suit their own needs and desires. But it was catastrophic. Like in the novel Basil Hallward (Oscar) perished after the imprisonment and self exile. Dorian Gray (Alfred Douglas) declared bankrupt and died in 1945.
According to many biographers before meeting Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde had homosexual impulses. But he was married to Constance Mary Lloyd and had two children. He was profoundly influenced by his mother. She even ordered him to stay in England and face the trial. Macias ( 1993) was of the view that Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality, his stage sense, his dandyism, as well as his taste for provocation and scandal are seen in the context of an unconditional relationship with a powerful mother whom he attempted to find in his quest for substitutions love objects.
By implication in his other work Oscar Wilde conversed about homoeroticism. His 1895 play “The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People” was recognized as a farcical comedy. He targeted Victorian morality. In this play Oscar reveals some of his life secrets and hidden desires.
The Importance of Being Earnest is an ingenious play, which uses its surface content to garnish a powerful manifesto on the way one should live life- the dandy way (Thacker, 2011). The two protagonists of the play are Algernon Moncrieff who lives in London and Jack Worthing who lives in the country. Both are tired of their tedious lives and explore adventure. Algernon and Jack are dandies who live double lives. Similarly Oscar Wilde was a dandy who lived in hotels in London with his male partners most of the times and sporadically with his family home in Tite Street.
According to Thacker (2011) dandies have to live double lives to escape from persecution by their society; they are in love with themselves, principally their appearance and its effect on others; and they indulge in the high and low extremes of life. Wilde unconsciously exposed his double life using the famous expression that was used in the play - Ernest in town and Jack in the country. Wilde was a Bunbury who made up excuse to get out of his home and to be with Alfred Douglas. In the play Algernon and Jack were bunburying to get out of their homes and responsibilities.
Earnest’s character contains both Jack and Algernon. Earnest becomes their alter ego. A person with an alter ego is said to lead a double life. In this context Oscar Wilde was leading a double life with an alter ego. In psychoanalytical milieu Oscar is maintaining a sense of omnipotence to face the narcissistic crisis.
In his play the Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde confronts Victorian social rules and discusses homoeroticism and sexual liberation in an elusive manner. In a subtle way Wilde indicates the homoerotic behavior in Lady Lancing.
According to the play, Lady Bracknell describes how the French maid made a great deal of change in a very short time in Lady Lancing and after these changes even her own husband did not know her. In reply to her Jack says that “and after six months nobody knew her," Here Wilde indicates that Lady Lancing experiences a dramatic transformation (in her sexual orientation?) after meeting with the French maid and she becomes a new person.
Wilde uses most female characters, mainly Lady Bracknell and Gwendolyn, to represent the pressure Victorian society puts on others to behave and control oneself (Thacker, 2011).In addition Wilde highlights that the Victorians showed little sympathy to illness and death. For instance referring to Mr. Bunbury’s chronic illness Lady Bracknell says: Well, I must say, Algy that I think it is high time that Mr. Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or die. Wilde throws bold criticism on Victorian morals. At the end of the play through Jack Worthing Oscar Wilde declares: It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Oscar believed that he was telling the truth via his work.
Throughout his life Oscar Wilde struggled with his identity and sexual orientation. He knew that he had an inclination towards homosexuality. For Wilde, identity consists of two main elements, sensual pleasure and moral pathos, and in his moral universe these two elements are usually set in opposition to one another. Sensual pleasure associates itself with egoism, worldly vanity, and cruelty. Moral pathos is sometimes associated with devoted love, but it manifests itself primarily as pity for the poor and as tenderness toward children. Erotic passion allies itself with sensual pleasure (Carroll, 2005).
Oscar Wilde’s sexual orientation was recorded as bisexual. According to McKenna (2003) Wilde was aware of his homosexuality at the age of 16. In developing his theory of male sexual preference, Freud asserted that heterosexual as well as homosexual preferences required explanation, that neither could be assumed to be innate (de Kuyper, 1993). Freud suggests that infantile sexuality is bisexually orientated the final object choice due to repression of either homosexual or heterosexual desires(Heenen-Wolff, 2011).Nevertheless Freud found homoeroticism compatible with normal psychological functioning (Kirby, 2008).
In his other work too Oscar Wilde discreetly indicates his unconscious fantasies of homosexuality. His short story the Happy Prince was first published in 1888. Although it was a children’s story it has a profound gay theme. In this short story Oscar narrates love between a male Swallow and the statue of the late Happy Prince. Although he was called Happy Prince in reality he had never experienced true happiness until he met the Swallow. A strong homosexual undertone could be detected in the relationship between the Swallow and the Happy Prince.
'When I was alive and had a human heart,' answered the statue, 'I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans-Souci where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.' (Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde)
The love between the Swallow and the Happy Prince grows. Both of them are content and become closely connected. The Swallow decides to stay with the Prince without flying to Egypt. But he knows that the winter is approaching and his death is inevitable. Finally the Swallow sacrifices his life for the love of the Prince.
The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker's door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings. But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince's shoulder once more. ‘Good-bye, dear Prince!' he murmured, 'will you let me kiss your hand?'……..
……….. 'It is not to Egypt that I am going,' said the Swallow. I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?' And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet. (Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde)
The Happy Prince was a symbolic story between two individuals who were gay. There are subtle representations of femininity in the Happy Prince and Oscar’s scrutiny implies that the Happy Prince is someone with a female psyche in a male body or a Uranian.
Both never experienced joy in their lives and until they met with each other. Their encounter with each other helped them to discover their true sexual orientation and they become strongly bonded. The Swallow makes the Prince’s life blissful. But the winter (the Victorian social rules and the legal structure) is approaching to swallow their loving relationship. The Swallow had a chance to fly to Egypt (flee from the Victorian society) but the Swallow decides to stay with his Prince and face the consequences. The harsh winter (the Victorian social rules and legal structure) kills the Swallow.
Wilde’s other story the Selfish Giant too was based on his homoerotic fantasies. Although it was a children’s story, allegorically it indicates Homosexualism in the Victorian era.
According to the story the Selfish Giant (the Victorian moralists) built a wall (Victorian prohibition against homosexuality and other social restrictions that led to persecution of the gays) around his beautiful garden (in the English society) to keep children (the LGBT community) out. It was always winter in the garden for no other season would venture there (as Oscar indicates following social restrictions and repression the LGBT community is being persecuted ant they suffer relentlessly and found no joy in their lives). Then one morning, a child (Oscar may be referring to himself) brought spring back, and the giant's heart melted along with the snow (this may be his inner wish that the Victorian society would understand the LGBT rights and end persecution by removing the anti gay laws).
He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still Winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. 'Climb up! little boy,' said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the little boy was too tiny.
And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out. 'How selfish I have been!' he said; 'now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground forever and ever.' He was really very sorry for what he had done. (The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde)
Oscar Wilde saw the selfishness that prevailed in Victorian society and once stated: Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one. In this story Oscar appeals to the Selfish Giants of the Victorian society to have a compassion for the LGBT community who led secretive as well as distressed lives.
Oscar’s internal psychic structures and ego-driven fantasies created invaluable thematic materials in his mind. These psychic representations emulated in his work. Oscar vicariously lived through the characters that he created.
The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan elucidated that the human psyche functions within three orders: the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic. Lacan placed the concept of the imaginary alongside the categories of the real and the symbolic. Hence the essential determination of the imaginary is the primary relation of the ego to the image of the similar (Gekle, 1995). Oscar decorated most of his stories with imagery and symbolic representations. In addition some of the stories like Dorian Gray represent Oscar’s narcissistic fantasies.
As Lacan suggests that narcissistic fantasies are misleadingly seductive because they-in occluding the internal rifts and antagonisms of the subject's being-alleviate his or her anxieties about the contingent basis of existence (Ruti, 2008). Oscar made attempts to maintain a sense of omnipotence and to compensate his transitory narcissistic crisis states. His narcissistic crisis states mainly occurred following social pressures that fell upon him.
Through these stories Oscar Wilde discreetly expressed the homosexual fantasies and impulses that he was struggling to hide from the Victorian moralists. However his attempt was failed. After being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 Oscar Wilde was incarcerated for two years.
The prison life consumed his health and most of his literal ability. After his release the persecuted genius Oscar Wilde became a social outcast. His native country banished him. Wilde died in Paris in 1900 at the age of 46. The Victorian society could not endure Wilde's outrageous paradoxes. He became a victim of repressive and judgmental social forces. His life was a perfect example of Icarus tale. He flew too close to the sun, and he fell to earth.
As indicated by Di Segni Obiols (2006) since 1895 when Oscar Wilde was put on trial, almost 80 years passed until the beginning of the process that led to delete homosexuality from DSM (APA) and contributed to its despenalization. His aphorism– “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars was a remarkable expression of his spiritual emancipation. Perhaps Oscar foresaw his destiny and many years after his death he would be considered as a gay martyr and hailed as a hero by the LGBT community.
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Dr. Ruwan M. Jayathunga | රුවන් එම්. ජයතුංග