Analysis of Oscar Wilde’s Plays

To accuse Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) of anything so active-sounding as “achievement” would be an impertinence that the strenuously indolent author would most likely deplore. Yet it must be admitted that Wilde’s presence, poses, ideas, and epigrams made him a potent influence, if not on the English literary tradition, at least on the artistic community of his own day. More visibly than any British contemporary, Oscar Wilde personified the doctrines of turn-of-the-century aestheticism—that art existed for its own sake and that one should live so as to make from the raw materials of one’s own existence an elegantly finished artifice. Wilde’s aestheticism, caricatured by W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan in their operetta Patience: Or, Bunthorne’s Bride (1881) and in Robert Smythe Hichens’s novel The Green Carnation (1894), mingled ideas from his two very different Oxford mentors, John Ruskin and Walter Pater, with the influence of the French Symbolists and, for a time, certain theories of the American painter James McNeill Whistler. However, Wilde’s Irish wit and eloquence made the articulation of this intellectual pastiche something distinctively his own.


Wilde’s literary works are polished achievements in established modes rather than experiments in thought or form. His poems and plays tend to look across the English Channel to the examples of the Symbolists and the masters of the pièce bien faite, though his Salomé, a biblical play written in French after the style of the then acclaimed dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck, was to engender a yet more significant work of art, Richard Strauss’s opera of the same title. If they are not intellectually or technically adventurous, however, Wilde’s works are incomparable for their talk—talk that tends to be Wilde’s own put into the mouths of his characters. The outrageous, elegant, paradoxical conversation volleyed by Wilde’s languid verbal athletes have given English literature more quotable tags than have the speeches of any other dramatist save William Shakespeare.

Oscar Wilde completed seven plays during his life, and for the purpose of discussion, these works can be divided into two groups: comedies and serious works. The four social comedies Wilde wrote for the commercial theater of his day, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, brought him money and prestige but not artistic satisfaction. There were three plays intended as serious works of art: Vera, The Duchess of Padua, and Salomé. None of these three plays gained popular regard, critical acclaim, or theatrical success in Wilde’s lifetime.

One can disregard the first two serious plays and lose little by the omission. Vera, published whenWilde was only twenty-five, is an apprentice piece that unsuccessfully mingles revolutionary Russian politics (particularly ill-timed, for Czar Alexander II had recently been assassinated, and the consort of his successor was sister to Alexandra, wife of the prince of Wales), improbable psychology, creaky melodrama, and what was already Wilde’s dramatic forte: witty, ironic speech. The Duchess of Padua is a derivative verse drama in the intricate, full-blown style that worked so well in the hands of the Jacobeans and has failed so dismally for their many and often talented imitators. When read, the play has its fine moments, but even at its best, it is nothing more than a good piece of imitation. In Salomé, however, Wilde offered the world a serious drama of unquestionable distinction, a work that further enriched Western culture by providing a libretto for Richard Strauss’s fine opera of the same title.


The English-speaking public, to whom Wilde’s four comedies are familiar enough, is less likely to have read or seen performed his Salomé, yet this biblical extrapolation, with its pervasive air of overripe sensuality, is of all of his plays the one most characteristic of its age and most important to the European cultural tradition. Wilde wrote his poetic drama in France, and in French, during the autumn of 1891. Wilde’s command of the French language was not idiomatic but fluent in the schoolroom style.

This very limitation became an asset when he chose to cast his play in the stylized, ritualistic mold set by the Belgian playwright Maeterlinck, whose works relied heavily on repetition, parallelism, and chiming effect—verbal traits equally characteristic of a writer who thinks in English but translates into French. Like the language, the biblical source of the story is bent to Wilde’s purposes. In the New Testament accounts of the death of John the Baptist (or Jokanaan, as he is called in the play), Salomé, the eighteen- year-old princess of Judea, is not held responsible for John’s death; rather, blame for the prophet’s death is laid on Salomé’s mother, Herodias. Furthermore, asWilde’s literary executor, Robert Ross, and a number of other critics have observed, Wilde’s Herod is a synthesis of a handful of biblical Herods and tetrarchs. AlthoughWilde’s license with the language and sources of his play is sometimes deprecated, it should not be faulted. As a poetic dramatist, a verbal contriver of a symbolic ritual, his intention was not to transcribe but to transfigure.

The action of Wilde’s Salomé takes place by moonlight on a great terrace above KingHerod’s banquet hall. The simple setting is deftly conceived to heighten dramatic effects. On this spare stage, all entrances—whether Salomé’s, and later Herod’s and Herodias’s by the great staircase of Jokanaan’s from the cistern where he has been imprisoned— are striking. In addition, the play’s ruling motifs, moonlight and the recurrent contrasts of white, black, and—with increasing frequency as the play moves toward its grisly climax—red, emerge clearly.

As the play begins, a cosmopolitan group of soldiers and pages attendant on the Judean royal house occupy the terrace. Their conversation on the beauty of the Princess Salomé, the strangeness of the moon, and the rich tableau of the Tetrarch and his party feasting within sets a weird tone that is enhanced by the sound of Jokanaan’s prophesies rising from his cistern prison. Salomé, like “a dove that has strayed . . . a narcissus trembling in the wind . . . a silver flower,” glides onto the terrace. The prophet’s strange voice and words stir the princess as deeply as her beauty troubles the young Syrian captain of the guard, a conquered prince now a slave in Herod’s palace. At her command, the Syrian brings forth Jokanaan from his prison. The prophet’s uncanny beauty—he seems as chaste and ascetic as she has just pronounced the moon to be—works a double charm of attraction and repulsion on Salomé. His body like a thin white statue, his black hair, his mouth “like a pomegranate cut with a knife of ivory” all kindle the princess’s desire. His disgusted rejection of her love only fans the flames of lust. She must have him: “I will kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan,” she chants, as the Syrian who adores her kills himself at her feet and the prophet who despises her descends once more to his cistern.

At this point, Herod and Herodias, attended by their court, enter. Their comments on the moon (toHerod, “She is like a mad woman, a mad woman who is looking everywhere for lovers”; to Herodias, “the moon is like the moon, that is all”) introduce the significant differences in their equally evil natures. Herod is superstitious, cowardly, obliquely cruel, a tyrannical yet vacillating ruler; Herodias is brutal with the callous directness of an utterly debased woman. Salomé’s strange beauty tempts Herod just as Jokanaan’s tempts Salomé. Despite Herodias’s disapproval and Salomé’s reluctance, Herod presses the princess to dance. He offers her whatever reward she may request, even to the half of his kingdom. Having exacted this rash promise of the infatuated despot, Salomé performs her famous dance of seven veils and for her reward requires the head of Jokanaan on a silver charger.

As horrified by this demand as his ghoulish consort is delighted, the superstitious Herod offers Salomé a long and intricate catalog of alternative payments—the rich, rare, curious, and vulgar contents of an Oriental or fin de siècle treasure chest.With the sure instincts of the true collector, Salomé persists in her original demand. Unable to break his vow, the horrified king dispatches the Nubian executioner into the cistern. Presently, in a striking culmination of the play’s color imagery, the Nubian’s arm rises from the cistern. This ebony stem bears a strange flower: a silver shield surmounted by the prophet’s bloody head. Delirious with ecstasy, Salomé addresses her passion to the disembodied lover-prophet she has asked for, silenced, and gained. “I have kissed thy mouth, Jokanaan,” she concludes as a moonbeam falls on her. At Herod’s cry, “Kill that woman!” the soldiers rush forward, crushing her beneath their shields.

Even so brief an account as that above demonstrates that the play has potential in sheer dramatic terms, as the great Sarah Bernhardt realized when, though much too old for the title role, she agreed to play the role of Salomé in a proposed London production that was not to be. Salomé is a richly fashioned tapestry. The play’s prevailing mode, presentation of typically talkative Wildean characters articulating rather than acting on their emotions, gives way at three powerful moments—when Salomé dances, when the arm bearing Jokanaan’s head rises from the cistern, and when the silver shields crush the dancer and her reward—to pure act, unsullied by words.

The play’s psychological and symbolic suggestiveness are equally rich. One of Wilde’s great contributions to the Salomé story was to provide psychological underpinnings for the sequence of events. To Wilde’s invention are owed Salomé’s spurned love for the prophet and the mutual hostility that counterbalances the sensual bond between Herod and Herodias. As an expression of love’s ambivalence, Salomé is “the incarnate spirit of the aesthetic woman,” a collector who (much in the spirit of Robert Browning’s duke of Ferrara, it would seem) does not desire a living being but a “love object” handsomely mounted. Richard Ellmann finds something more personally symbolic in the tragedy. Jokanaan, says Ellmann, presents the spirit-affirming, bodynegating moral earnestness ofWilde’s “Ruskinism”; Salomé, who collects beauty, sensations, and strange experiences, who consummates her love for the prophet in “a relation at once totally sensual and totally ‘mystical,’” stands for the rival claims of Pater. Herod, like his creator, vainly struggles to master these opposing impulses both within and outside himself. Lady


Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband

Wilde’s first three comedies, although each has its particular charms and defects, are sufficiently similar to one another, and sufficiently inferior to his fourth, The Importance of Being Earnest, to be discussed as a group rather than individually. Always lazy about writing (which was an arduous process for a verbal artist with his high standards) but perpetually in need of money to pay for the great and small luxuries that were his necessities of life, Wilde agreed in 1891 to write a play for George Alexander, the actormanager of St. James’s Theater. The result was Lady Windermere’s Fan, a modern drawing- room comedy set in high society and frankly aimed to engage the interest of the London playgoing public. The financial results were gratifying enough to encourage Wilde to write three more plays in the same vein, though he never much respected the form or the products. Only in The Importance of Being Earnest was he to overcome the inherent weaknesses of the well-made society play, but each of the other three pieces is fine enough to win for him the title of best writer of British comedies between Richard Brinsley Sheridan and George Bernard Shaw.

Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband all center, as their titles suggest, on relationships between men and women, or more precisely between gentlemen and ladies. The plays were up-to-the-minute in providing fashionable furnishings and costumes to charm both segments of their intended audience. Late Victorian society people enjoyed seeing themselves reflected as creatures of such style and wit, while the middle classes delighted at being given a glimpse into the secret rites of the world of fashion. In fact, one might suspect that Wilde’s stated concern for the Aristotelian unity of time in these plays springs less from belief in that classical standard than from the opportunity (or even necessity) that placing three acts of high life in a twenty-four-hour period provides for striking changes of costume and set.

In each of these elaborate “modern drawing-room comedies with pink lamp shades,” as Wilde termed them, one finds recurrent character types: puritanical figures of virtue (wives in Lady Windermere’s Fan and An Ideal Husband, an heiress soon to be a fiancé in A Woman of No Importance), mundanely fashionable hypocrites, and exceptional humanitarians of two types—the dandified lord (Darlington, Illingworth, and Goring) and the poised and prosperous “fallen woman,” two of whom (Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere’s Fan and Mrs. Chevely in An Ideal Husband) go in for wit and the other of whom (Mrs. Arbuthnot of A Woman of No Importance), though equally unrepentant, specializes in good works. Clever, epigrammatic conversation is what these characters do best; guilty secrets and the situational intricacies they weave are the strings for Wilde’s verbal pearls.

In Lady Windermere’s Fan, the initial secret is that Mrs. Erlynne, the runaway mother of whose continued existence Lady Windermere is utterly ignorant, has returned to London to regain a place in society and is blackmailing Lord Windermere, who seeks to protect his wife from knowledge of the blot on her pedigree. Misinterpreting her husband’s patronage of a mysterious lady with a hint of a past, Lady Windermere is led to the brink of unconsciously repeating her mother’s error by eloping with another man, thereby prompting Mrs. Erlynne to the one maternal gesture of her life: The older and wiser woman sacrifices her own reputation (temporarily, it turns out) to save that of her daughter.

In A Woman of No Importance, Gerald Arbuthnot, a youth reared in rural seclusion and apparent respectability by his mother, happens to encounter the man who is his father: worldly Lord Illingworth, who when young and untitled had seduced Gerald’s mother and, on learning of her pregnancy, refused to marry her. This complex situation allowsWilde to expose several human inconsistencies. Previously uninterested in the child he had begotten and also unwilling to marry the beautiful young mother, Lord Illingworth is now so full of paternal feeling that he offers to marry the middleaged woman to retain the son. Gerald, who has just vowed to kill Lord Illingworth for attempting to kiss a prudish American girl, on hearing of Illingworth’s past treachery to his mother wants her to let the offender “make an honest woman” of her. Mrs. Arbuthnot professes selfless devotion to her son but begs Gerald to forgo the brilliant prospects Illingworth can offer and remain with her in their provincial backwater.

In An Ideal Husband, the plot-initiating secret is a man’s property rather than a woman’s, and political intrigue rather than romantic. Sir Robert Chiltern, a highprincipled politician with a rigidly idealistic young wife, encounters the adventuress Mrs. Chevely, who has evidence that Chiltern’s career and fortune were founded on one unethical act—the selling of a political secret to a foreigner—and who attempts to use her knowledge to compel him to lend political support to a fraudulent scheme that will make her fortune. Acting against this resourceful woman is Chiltern’s friend Lord Goring, an apparently effete but impressively capable man who can beat her at her own game. In brief, then, all three of these plays are formed of the highly theatrical matter that, in lesser hands, would form the stuff of melodrama.

Wilde’s “pink lamp shade” comedies are difficult to stage because of the stylish luxury demanded of the actors, costumes, and sets, but the plays are not weaker for being so ornate: They accurately mirror a certain facet of late Victorian society. Similarly, the pervasive wit never becomes tiresome. The contrived reversals, artful coincidences, predictably surprising discoveries, and “strong curtains” may seem trite—but they work onstage. The defect that Wilde’s first three comedies share is the problem of unreconciled opposites, implicit in Salomé. In Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband, part of Wilde is drawn to admire wit, style, vitality, and courage regardless of where they may be found, and part of him has a serious social or moral point to make. Even with this divided aim, Wilde wrote good comedies. When he solved the problem, he wrote a masterpiece: The Importance of Being Earnest.

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde’s greatest play, represents the high-water mark of his career. It was originally written in four acts, but while it was in rehearsal, Wilde accepted the advice of actor-manager George Alexander and reduced it to three acts, which is now the standard version. The play begins in the luxurious London fl at of Algernon Moncrieff, who is expecting his aunt, Lady Bracknell, and her daughter, Gwendolen Fairfax, for tea. He is surprised by the arrival of his wealthy friend Ernest Worthing, who has come up to town to propose to Gwendolen. Algy is curious about his friend’s cigarette case, left behind after his last visit, inscribed by “Cecily” to “her dear Uncle Jack.” Algy discovers that his friend’s name is really John (or Jack) Worthing. Algy refuses to believe Jack’s assertion of his real name: “You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying your name isn’t Ernest.” Jack explains that he has invented a wild, irresponsible younger brother called Ernest in order to justify his frequent visits to Lon-don to escape the moral duties imposed upon him by his guardianship of his 18-year-old ward, Cecily Cardew. This inversely corresponds to what Algy calls his “Bunburying,” named after his own “double,” an imaginary invalid, whose poor health requires Algy’s presence in the country whenever he needs an excuse to leave London.

Importance of Being Earnest Guide

Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen enter, and Algy takes his aunt into the music room so that Jack may proceed with his proposal. Jack haltingly declares his intentions to Gwendolen, who takes the initiative, proclaiming to him, “Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you,” and adding that her ideal “has always been to love some one of the name Ernest. There is some-thing in that name that inspires absolute confidence.” Since she refuses to con-sider “Jack” or “John” as acceptable alternatives, Jack is unable to tell her the truth. Lady Bracknell rejects Jack’s suitability as a member of the family after she learns from him that he has “lost” his parents: “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like careless-ness.” Jack explains that he has no known parents but was found as a baby, in a black leather handbag, in the cloakroom of Victoria Station, by Mr. Thomas Cardew, a wealthy and kindly old man who then adopted him and gave him the last name of “Worthing” because he had a first-class train ticket for Worthing. Lady Bracknell advises Jack to “try to acquire some relations as soon as possible” and sweeps out of the fl at with her daughter. Frustrated by events, Jack decides to eliminate the fictitious “Ernest.” Gwendolen escapes from her mother briefly to declare her lasting devotion to Jack and asks for his country address, which Algy, already interested in meeting Cecily, notes with delight.

The second act is set in the garden of the Manor House, Jack’s country home. Cecily is being instructed by her governess, Miss Prism, a spinster who long ago once wrote a sentimental novel, the manuscript of which she mislaid, a fact that will figure later in the play. Dr. Chasuble, an unworldly cleric, lures Miss Prism away for a walk, leaving Cecily alone to greet a stranger who is announced as “Ernest Worthing.” Cecily is already taken with the name and the reports of Ernest’s wickedness: “I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather frightened. I am so afraid he will look just like everyone else.” Enter Algy masquerading as “Ernest,” and the couple hit it off at once. After they go into the house, Miss Prism and Dr. Chasuble return in time to greet Jack, who is unaware of Algy’s presence and is dressed in deep mourning: “Ernest,” he claims, has died suddenly in Paris. He asks Chasuble to rechristen him Ernest. He is startled when Cecily reappears to inform him of “Ernest’s” arrival and horrified to see Algy in the role. But Jack cannot unmask his friend without revealing his own deceit. Algy and Cecily declare mutual affection for each other, although he is disconcerted to discover that she finds him appealing in great part because of his name. He decides to become baptized as Ernest immediately. Gwendolen arrives unexpectedly, and the two women quarrel over which of them is actually engaged to “Ernest.” The truth is revealed when the men enter, and the women unite in a sense of outrage. They withdraw while Jack and Algy trade recriminations, many of which reach the heights of triviality since they revolve around Algy’s continual consumption of muffins, Jack’s favorite teatime treat.

The third act, set in the morning room of Manor House, has the couples reconciled and a happy ending certain until the appearance of Lady Bracknell, who firmly forbids further communication between Jack and Gwendolen. She does, however, consent to the engagement of Algy and Cecily upon learning that Cecily has three addresses, a family firm of solicitors with “the highest position,” and a large fortune. But Cecily must have her guardian’s consent to the marriage until she legally comes of age at 35, and Jack refuses to give it unless Lady Bracknell will reconsider his engagement to Gwendolen. She refuses, prompting Jack to say, “Then a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward to.” Enter Miss Prism, who, it is revealed, was once employed by Lady Bracknell and 28 years earlier had mysteriously disappeared with the baby boy entrusted to her, leaving behind only the pram and the manuscript of her novel. She admits that she absentmindedly left her novel in the pram and deposited the baby, in her black leather handbag, at Victoria Station. Jack excitedly produces the handbag and embraces Miss Prism, crying, “Mother!” A shocked Miss Prism reiterates her status as a respectable spinster and repulses him. Lady Bracknell steps in to solve the mystery of Jack’s parentage: He is the elder son of her late sister, Mrs. Moncrieff, and is Algernon’s elder brother. To the ecstasy of Jack and Gwendolen, it is further revealed that Jack, as the elder son, was named after his father, General Ernest John Moncrieff. The couples, including Miss Prism and Canon Chasuble, embrace, and a final exchange between Jack and Lady Bracknell, brings the title pun home:

Lady Bracknell: My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality.

Jack: On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.

In his Forewords and Afterwords W. H. Auden, in writing on Wilde’s plays, observes: “The solution that, deliberately or accidentally, he found was to subordinate every other dramatic element to dialogue for its own sake and create a verbal universe in which the characters are determined by the kinds of things they say, and the plot is nothing but a succession of opportunities to say them.” Wilde’s plays certainly contain gems of dialogue, such as “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes” (Lady Windermere’s Fan). But The Importance of Being Earnest is more than just a showcase for Wilde to display his genius for epigrammatic verbal gymnastics. The play’s subtitle, “A Trivial Play for Serious People,” suggests that satire disguised as farce is going to be presented. What follows is a wildly irreverent, topsy-turvy series of circumstances that lampoon Victorian melodrama with its twist on the theme of the foundling, found in Charles Dickens’s novels, as well as in the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan; a plot centered on the name Ernest that simultaneously mocks the Victorian concept of determinism exemplified in the word earnest; and the comedic situation taken one step further by having the male protagonists possess fictional doubles. The result is a faultlessly constructed comic masterpiece.

Defined by their social status and revealed through their manners, Wilde’s characters—the witty men-about-town; the daunting, caustic dowager and her marriageable daughter; the precocious ingénue who is an heiress; the morally upright spinster governess; the imperturbable valet—would have been recognizable figures to the audiences of the 1890s. This was due to the influence of such actor-managers as Henry Irving, George Alexander, and Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who, by offering the domestic plays of such dramatists as Thomas Roberston, turned West End London theater away from crude farces, bawdy burlesques, and sensational melodramas. Opera was no longer the only respectable entertainment. Theaters, like those of the Restoration period, catered to a privileged leisure class that was either rich and aristocratic or fashionably bohemian. First nights were brilliant affairs, including that of The Importance of Being Earnest, which opened on Valentine’s Day 1895 at the St. James’s Theatre and was a tremendous popular and critical success.

Wilde’s triumph was short lived. After unsuccessfully bringing a libel suit against the marquess of Queensbury, the father of his young lover Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, who accused Wilde of corrupting his son, Wilde was arrested and stood trial for indecency and immorality. In May 1895 he was found guilty and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labor. In Reading prison he wrote a long letter to Douglas, published in 1905 under the title De Profundis. Released from prison in 1897, Wilde immediately and permanently left England for France, where he died in Paris in 1900.

Wilde’s plays were precursors to the drawing-room comedies of such playwrights as Noël Coward. Wilde’s comedies continue to be performed and enjoyed by contemporary audiences, yet it is The Importance of Being Earnest that has, in particular, secured for Wilde a place in the history of the theater for having given the world one of the most singularly witty and clever comedies of all time, an achievement that is anything but trivial.

Principal drama
Vera: Or, The Nihilists, pb. 1880, pr. 1883; The Duchess of Padua, pb. 1883, pr. 1891; Lady Windermere’s Fan, pr. 1892, pb. 1893; Salomé, pb. 1893 (in French), pb. 1894 (in English), pr. 1896 (in French), pr. 1905 (in English); A Woman of No Importance, pr. 1893, pb. 1894; An Ideal Husband, pr. 1895, pb. 1899; The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, pr. 1895, pb. 1899; A Florentine Tragedy, pr. 1906, pb. 1908 (one act, completed by T. Sturge More); La Sainte Courtisane, pb. 1908.

Other major works
Long fiction: The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890 (serial), 1891 (expanded).
Short fiction: “The Canterville Ghost,” 1887; The Happy Prince and Other Tales, 1888; Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories, 1891; A House of Pomegranates, 1891.
Poetry: Ravenna, 1878; Poems, 1881; Poems in Prose, 1894; The Sphinx, 1894; The Ballad of Reading Gaol, 1898.
Nonfiction: Intentions, 1891; De Profundis, 1905; Letters, 1962 (Rupert Hart-Davies, editor).
Miscellaneous: Works, 1908; Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, 1948 (Vyvyan Holland, editor); Plays, Prose Writings, and Poems, 1960.

Belford, Barbara. Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius. New York: Random House, 2000.
Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1987.
McCormack, Jerusha Hull. The Man Who Was Dorian Gray. New York: Palgrave, 2000.
McGhee, Richard D. “Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Oscar Wilde.” In Marriage, Duty, and Desire in Victorian Poetry and Drama. Lawrence: Regents Press of Kansas, 1980.
Small, Ian. Oscar Wilde: A Recent Research, A Supplement to “Oscar Wilde Revalued.” Greensboro, N.C.: ELT Press, 2000.

Categories: Drama Criticism, Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, Literature, Theatre Studies

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