Oscar Wilde
dramatist, poet,
novelist and essayist,
spokesman for the
school of “Art for art's
sake”, the leader of
the Aesthetic
• The basic theory of the aesthetic – “art for art‘s
sake” The chief representative of the movement
in England was Oscar Wilde, with his The
Picture of Dorian Gray. Aestheticism places art
above life, and holds that life should imitate art,
not art imitate life. According to aesthetes, all
artistic creation is absolutely subjective as
opposed to objective. Art should be free from
any influence of egoism(利己主义[i:]). Only
when art is for art's sake can it be immortal. It
should be restricted to contributing beauty in a
highly polished style.
Art for Art’s sake
• That art is nothing to do with morality (art is
not moral immoral but amoral), that the best
of art is pure art, that the duty of an art critic
is to tell his own impressions of a work of art,
and that the function of art is to attract, to
please and to provide enjoyment. But he
elaborated on this theory of art for art’s sake,
and even declared that it is not art that
reflects nature but it is nature that is the
reflection of art.
The pioneer dramatists
• a. The most celebrated dramatists in the
last decade of the 19th century were
Oscar Wilde and George Bernard
Shaw ,who ,in a sense, pioneered the
modern drama .
• b. Wilde expressed a satirical and bitter
attitude towards the upper-class people ,in
his masterpiece ,The Importance of Being
Earnest .
Oscar Wilde and his works
道林·格雷的画像》(The Picture of Dorian Gray,1891年)
《快乐王子和其他故事》(The Happy Prince and Other Tales,1888年)
《石榴屋》(A House of Pomegranates,1891年)
《瑞丁监狱之歌》(The Ballad of Reading Gaol,1898年)
《社会主义下人的灵魂》(The Soul of Man Under Socialism,1891年。)
《深渊书简》(De Profundis,1897年。又译《自深深处》、《王尔德狱中记》
• 《薇拉》(Vera,1880年)
《温德密尔夫人的扇子》(Lady Windermere`s Fan,1892年。
帕都瓦公爵夫人》(The Duchess of Padua,1893年)
《无足轻重的女人》(A Woman of No Importance,1892年)
(1893年Theatre Royal Haymarket首演)
《真诚最要紧》(The Importance of Being Earnest,1895年)
《理想的丈夫》(An Ideal Husband,1895年。又译《好丈
The analysis of the Importance of
Being Earnest
• Question:
• 1. Who is Ernest? What is the relationship
between Jack and Ernest?
• 2. Why does Jack finally agree to have
dinner with Algernon tonight?
• 3. What do you think of Jack and Algernon?
Do you like their witty words? Why or Why
• Wilde expressed a satirical and bitter
attitude towards the upper-class people by
revealing their corruption, their snobbery,
and their hypocrisy in his plays, especially
in his masterpiece, The Importance-of
Being Earnest (1895).