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It was a literary success and society scandal. The editor of the magazine where it appeared thought it indecent, bordering on obscene for its "moral decadence.

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Critics attacked Wilde. He defended himself and his novel and his view of art but did temper some of the writing when the full-length version of the book appeared the following year.

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The trouble was that rather than circle the old maypole of moral virtue and good deeds, The Picture of Dorian Gray incorporated decadence, depravity, duplicity, and shallow beauty. Wilde seemed to prevail and emerged from the scuffle determined to inject his ideas into dramatic plays which would also allow him to launch his social commentary.

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Wilde started with a biblical play, which was prohibited in England but performed in France, then after several comedic plays, he produced the opus for which he is still revered, The Importance of Being Earnest While the play was dominating the stage, Wilde managed to find court and disaster at the very height of his success. The great playwright was a attracted to men, rather than women, and that was a very difficult complication at that point in history. In fact, a crime punishable by imprisonment. Wilde responded to the slander by charging the Marquess with libel, an affront punishable by up to two years in prison.

Difficulty found our friend Wilde when evidence of his "depravity" was unearthed during the Marquess's trial, and he soon found himself the prosecuted rather than the prosecutor.

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He was found guilty of gross indecency with men and sentenced to two years in prison. While in prison, he wrote a lengthy letter, De Profundis. The letter -- written in but withheld from publication until -- describes his trials, journey, and despair, and marks a flection point where he turns away from a pleasure-filled and hedonistic style of living and toward a more reflective, purposeful, and spiritual course. When released from prison, Wilde left England for France, never to return.

Short Stories of Oscar Wilde.

Like too many other great writers and artists, he died destitute. And young. He was only 46 years of age. The significance of these themes still resonates today, ensuring that Wilde remains perpetually relevant. For Wilde fans wishing to explore the story behind the icon, De Profundis , a long letter written by Wilde during his time of imprisonment, is a must-read. Convicted of indecency for his homosexual activities, Wilde was sentenced to two years of hard labor. Upon his release from prison, Wilde left Britain and Ireland , never to return to either. This extended poem describes, in moving detail, the brutality of prison life and the depths of his suffering during this time.

A few short years later Wilde died at the mere age of 46, destitute. Marianna is a languages student and travel blogger with an eye for the unusual, a heart for exploration, a stomach for food adventures, and a penchant for a pun.

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Remembered as much for his imprisonment for homosexuality and early death, as for his literary talent, Wilde cuts a fascinating figure, and his work still inspires millions in the UK , Europe , and world today. The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde was a more prolific writer of drama.