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AS and A Level: Oscar Wilde

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  1. In the Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde portrays through the painting the contrast between seeing life as a piece of art, where a person is completely detached, or embracing the ugliness of life, which includes selfishness, vanity, and degeneration.

    Lord Henry raises the idea of experiencing life as a person would a piece of art. To live this way becomes very complicated because Lord Henry explains that the person must be completely involved and put his whole being into it but at the same time remain a spectator. Art becomes a complete example of this because a viewer examining a painting must totally put himself into the painting to reach its full meaning but in the end, he is only just viewing the painting and is not in reality the painting. 'To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders.

    • Word count: 2062
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray - plot summary

    Basil described Dorian as the most beautiful man on Earth. Lord Henry wants to meet Dorian Gray but Basil says that he would a bad influence on Dorian. Right then, the butler announces that Dorian has arrived. Dorian insists that Lord Henry stay and they sit while Basil paints Dorian. Afterwards, Lord Henry tells Dorian to live life to the fullest, as he is not going to stay young and beautiful forever. This has a deep effect on Dorian, who is intrigued by Lord Henry. Dorian becomes upset and states that he would give his soul to have the painting age and not him.

    • Word count: 2790
  3. How do the country characters cast light on the pretentions of society as exposed in The Importance of Being Ernest?

    Which contradicts the impression we may have about people from the country being uneducated. Gwendolyn also adds to this by saying 'Mamma whose views on education are remarkably strict' however there is a paradox to our expectations when her mother states that she does not agree with 'anything that tampers with natural ignorance' and that 'education produces no effect'. When Gwendolyn meets Cicely they both end up thinking that they are engaged to Earnest Worthing, when they discuss this they treat marriage as an extremely trivial matter by saying 'Their must be some slight error,' and 'some misconception'. Earlier on Gwendolyn also states that 'men propose for practice' again trivialising the matter.

    • Word count: 600
  4. A Picture Of Dorian Gray - from the Perspective of the Picture. (with commentary)

    Oh my! I can smell! I have a nose! You've given me a nose Mr...Phillip-Richard! Ohhh that is quite a stench, my nostrils are quivering with suspicious disgust, both of my eyes are watering! What is that? Is that paint? It is! Why can I smell paint? How odd. Mr Phillip-Richard, please give me a mouth, I have so many questions to ask you! Yes! That's it! You understand! You can hear me! ...Can you hear me? Why won't you answer me!? You mustn't be able to hear me. I need this mouth! Hurry! There.

    • Word count: 3977
  5. What are Wilde(TM)s dramatic purposes in his presentation of Mrs Allonby?

    The connection between the two dandy's Mrs Allonby and Lord Illingworth is evident towards the end of the scene when they are left alone on stage and undertake a flirtatious contest of intelligence initiated by Mrs Allonby which signifies to a large extent the way she behaves throughout the whole play and why her purpose is a dramatic one. The flirtatious banter adds a different dimension to the play and represents the perfect partnership and one that emphasises the drama created by the two characters especially Mrs Allonby throughout.

    • Word count: 921
  6. Remind yourself of the conversation between Gerald and Mrs Arbuthnot between lines 104 and 265 of act IV What is the importance of this section in the context of the whole play?

    The way Wilde presents the characters of Gerald and Mrs Arbuthnot throughout the play is extremely important and this conversation typifies the way that he achieves this not only in the extract but throughout the entire play. From the beginning of the extract it is clear that the actions of Mrs Arbuthnot dictate the way that Gerald lives his life. This is all the more important and dramatic because in 19th century Victorian society once a boy comes of age then he would be the dominant figure over the mother however the audience witnesses on a number of occasions the

    • Word count: 904
  7. In the play 'The Importance of Being Earnest", Oscar Wilde Presents a Society That is Far from 'Earnest'

    never get the impression that he would not leave his master if 'Agly' fell completely from the good graces of Lady Bracknell and into the dreaded disrepute of poor health becoming unable to provide wage. Lane will rarely inflect emotion upon his voice but seems still to be an uncomfortable butler as he is susceptible to a vocal trap laid by his effervescent master upon his life aside from butler-ing: he begins to regale (after being asked) a minute chunk of his own experience and is cut short by the snarky remark 'I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.'

    • Word count: 1391
  8. Reread An Extract From Chapter Sixteen, Which Begins, "A Cold Rain Began To Fall, And The Blurred Street-Lamp Looked Ghastly In The Dripping Mist" as Far As, "... Said Dorian, Turning On His Heel, And Going Slowly Down The Street." Discuss How Wilde Prese

    This change in environment indicates to the reader that we will be seeing a different side to Dorian. Previously, he had been surrounded by luxury and beauty, but now in this real raw environment, it indicates to us that Wilde will be unearthing the fa´┐Żade that is Dorian Gray, depicting another viewpoint of the main character. The chapter commences with, "A cold rain began to fall". The use of pathetic fallacy reveals the change that may be stirring within Dorian's soul. The mist represents the uncertainty of emotions with Dorian, where will lead himself? Combined with the cold rain, he is experiencing a mixture of feelings; sadness at the fact his life has taken these dark, corrupt corners, while also feeling guilt at the act of murdering Basil.

    • Word count: 1331
  9. What Does The Reader Learn About The Three Main Characters In The Opening Chapter Of, "The Picture Of Dorian Gray"?

    This explains that for some reason, Basil previously faded away from society most probably and the fact that it caused, "public excitement", shows that Basil was probably well known and could have been admired by the general public. Furthermore, while looking at the artwork he created, he smiles, however it fades and closed his eyes, covered his eyes, "as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream which he feared he might awake". This line indicates that perhaps Basil is slightly troubled at the moment, the word, "feared", is used, possibly to show that his mind contains thoughts he would rather not have.

    • Word count: 1461
  10. What Does Chapter 5 Add To The Novel?

    This is done in different ways. Sibyl is introduced immediately in the chapter, "Mother, mother, I am so happy! Whispered the girl...I am so happy ... and you must be happy too!" The fact that she is described initially as a, "girl", gives the indication that she is not yet fully mature and that quite rightly, Dorian will not be the person he seems to be. We learn that she is infatuated with her new love interest, "I love him", she states simply.

    • Word count: 1250
  11. discuss the ways in which Wilde presents the characters of Jack and Algernon in the opening of Act One

    The room is also 'luxuriously and artistically finished' which is yet another clue to Algernon's wealth. By giving this description at the start of the act, Wilde is giving us the opportunity to make immediate assumptions on the character of Algernon. But as language is the key to the play as whole, it's going to be a much more accurate way of summarising Algernon as a character. The first inkling we get of Algernon is that he is quite an extravagant person because of his use of language and he also can be quite melodramatic.

    • Word count: 1454
  12. Oscar Wilde

    The greatest English realists were Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Bront?, Oscar Wild and many others. THE PICTURE OF OSCAR WILDE: A BRIEF LIFE (1854-1900) Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Irelandand grew up there. He was the son of a surgeon, Sir William Wilde and the writer Jane Francesca Elgee (known as "Speranza"). Oscar Wilde was born into a most stimulating environment. Speranza held a weekly Salon, which attracted the best and brightest of Dublin's artists, writers, scientists, and miscellaneous intellectuals (11).

    • Word count: 5747
  13. How does Oscar Wilde exploit Victorian ideas of good manners to comic effect in the opening of "The Importance of Being Earnest"?

    This adds to the establishment of an unrealistic world in a more explicit way, since it directly contrasts Victorian life. Lane?s first line, for example, regarding Algernon?s piano playing, is an insult coated in polite, elegant language. We can see the play?s lack of realism in the way Algernon and Lane behave over Lane?s inaccurate entry in the household books. Lane has entered considerably more wine than was actually drunk to cover the fact that he himself has been drinking huge amounts of expensive champagne on the sly.

    • Word count: 590
  14. Discuss how Wilde presents the relationship between Dorian and Basil Hallward here and at one other point in the novel

    Basil reveals to us in the twelfth chapter that he has always seen Dorian as nothing more than a beautiful piece of Art and with that comes moral purity as within the realms of aestheticism how is it possible for there to be anything more than the beauty of the piece itself? It is this which Basil and Dorian?s relationship has always been based upon. Basil describes Dorian in chapter twelve as having a ?pure, bright, innocent face? out of love and utter disbelief that Dorian could be anything more than beautiful.

    • Word count: 1064
  15. How is the role of love dealt with in "An Ideal Husband"?

    However, his definition of love is a bit gender-biased. When he claims man?s love to be more human and accepting than a woman?s, he sets up a ground with which most wouldn?t agree. Though the rest of his speech deals with love as a highly exaggerated phenomenon, it still rings with a little bit of truth. Sir Robert?s love for Lady Chiltern is wild and passionate, as he himself says at the end of his speech. SIR ROBERT: ?The error all women commit? as I have lost it now.? Lady Chiltern?s love is highly placed in Sir Robert?s mind, one

    • Word count: 1113

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