It is not possible to reveal the totality of character of Oscar Wilde, since as his writings reveal, his complexity are not exclusively discernible on the surface. Victorian environment required and compelled him to conceal part of his nature, some just beneath the surface, while others lying much deeper within crying to be exposed to the light of the world and change society.
Thus, it became necessary for the purpose of this paper to make use of several references that would give at least a reliable if not thorough insight into the man that was Oscar Wilde. Several references were used to gain information on the life of Wilde: "The Long Conversion of Oscar Wilde" (2003) by Andrew McCracken, Oscar Wilde (1975) by Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde (1987) by Richard Ellrnann, and Bosie (1963) by Rupert Croft-Cooke.
In the analysis of literature and fairy tale writing, and specifically analysis of Wilde's method and style, the author used such references as: British Writers (1982) by Kilver Ian Scott, Elements of Literature (1997) by Kristine E. Marshall, The Dictionary of Literary Biography (1985) edited by T. Thomas, Social Myth and Fictional Reality: The Decline of Fairy-Tale Thinking in the Victorian Novel, a dissertation by A. Hastings and A. Waller, The Portable Oscar Wilde (1977) edited by Richard Aldington, Oscar Wilde, Victorian Fairy Tales, and the Meanings of Atonement (1999) by Elizabeth Goodenough. Writings of Wilde himself offered invaluable information for this research, namely: Creating the Sensual Child: Paterian Aesthetics, Pederasty, and Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales (2002) by Naomi Wood, The Letters of Oscar Wilde (1962) edited by edited by H. Rupert Hart-Davis, More Letters of Oscar Wilde (1985) edited by H. Rupert Hart-Davis. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1992). Other references and sources include: "The Making of the Motion Picture Wilde." by Samuelson Entertainment.
This paper will focus on Oscar Wilde's fairy tales. This paper attempts to determine whether as a homosexual, Wilde reflected through his fairy tales, his sense of isolation and melancholia in relation to his society. This paper will also determine whether homosexual themes were contained in Wilde's fairy tales, and if these themes also occurred in his later works. To do this, the paper will first give an overview of the life and career of Oscar Wilde. This will be followed by how his life and other literary figures influenced his writing. After understanding his literary influences, the paper will discuss examples of queer sensitivity in his writings. This would include the attitude of Victorian society to homosexuality.
A. The Life of Oscar Wilde
Oscar O. Wilde is considered as among the foremost dramatists, novelists and poets of the Victorian era, although it was not well into the 20th century that he became highly popular. The son of wealthy parents, he was educated in Trinity College and Oxford where he began to gain notoriety for his effeminate pose. Although his notoriety grew and his reputation was tarnished for his arrest as a homosexual, he did not start outright as such with his sexuality. In fact, he married Constance Lloyd and had two sons, one of whom died in World War I and the other became a writer using the pseudonym Vyvyan Holland. He was introduced to homosexual activities by Robert Ross and soon Wilde was having secret liaisons with male prostitutes most of them ephebic teenagers. Wilde's literary genius dazzled the Victorian public