As far as literature goes, its history has a place for Oscar Wilde. In the masquerade of aestheticism, did he partake in abominable practices?
Before plunging into debate on Wilde’s furtive shenanigans, it’s imperative to establish his relevance. His contribution to art and its aesthetics – theater and literature – praiseworthy, if not any. A century after his passing, he finds his name immortalized in the Irish folklore. Besides, he was a freethinker who existed in wrong time under wrong circumstances. However, the latest discovery of his diary paints an abominable picture of Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde: Lewd And Lecherous
Anyone who has tad knowledge of the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, knows his lecherous lifestyle. He was apprehended and subsequently convicted for sodomy and gross indecency. Thanks to the stern laws against homosexuality in the 19th century, Oscar was at the receiving end of it. Moreover, his associations with the male prostitutes were apparent enough to earn him prison time.
It was indeed during one of his trials that Wilde spoke of a ‘Love that dare not speak its name‘ – referring to homosexuality. Except, in his monologue, Oscar spoke of the union between two men in a platonic way rather than sexual. That had its contradictions from the accusations on him, of course. Two years of imprisonment and hard labor broke Oscar in ways unimaginable. He set sail to France upon release, never to return.
In the wake of his death at the clutches of destitution and disease, he was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II. It was only right that he was absolved of his crimes in the light of repeal on homosexuality laws. Needless to say, Oscar commands respect from LGBT circles for advocating their cause. In contrast to that, there are latest reports from Irish Central drawing incestuous angle to Oscar-Isola relationship.
— Radcliff Gregory (@TransBoundaries) February 19, 2017
After the untimely death of his sister, Isola, Oscar was grief-stricken. Time couldn’t heal the void she left. Oscar made frequent visits to her grave too. In 1881, he wrote ‘Requiescat‘ in fond memory of Isola. A great eulogy, perhaps misunderstood or may be not. The first draft was elusive of any suggestion to incestuous relationship between Oscar and Isola. The diary contains a previous draft that suggests otherwise.
“Had we not loved so well, not loved at all“, “none would have tolled the bell, none borne the pall“, it says. Dr. Angela Kingston trying to get the gist of Wilde’s words makes an audacious claim such as that. Amidst the agony Oscar feels, Kingston catches a sense of guilt, it seems. No further evidence to prove the claim, however. Oscar Wilde – still an enigma, never ceases to fascinate.