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Prose Study (Oscar Wilde)

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Introduction

English coursework (Oscar Wilde) In an essay of 3-4 pages discuss how Oscar Wilde uses stereotypes and concepts from traditional fairy-tales and in invert them in his short stories. In the majority of Oscar Wilde's fairytales there are numerous stereotypical characters and concepts. In an exemplary fairytale there is the philanthropic character, who is very important to the format of fairytale, for instance a Prince or King, This individual usually, forms an advantageous partnership with a bi-character such as Princess, Queen, Frog, or a Wizard, this may work in reverse in some fairy tales where e.g. the Princess is the leading character and the King is the sub-role. The enemy of the protagonist is called as a villain whose only existence in a fairytale is to try and prevent the leading character and his/hers acquaintances from saving the day or more importantly the world. The evil being is primarily associated with negative images for example bad manners, ruthless personality, or the trademark evil express of amusement. In contrast the valiant hero/heroine is linked with a clean depiction. Witches, Dragons, and Wolves are more often than not portrayed as Villains. Fairy-tale writers use techniques in which they lead the reader to believe that the hero/heroine will prevail in the battle against evil, because the story gives the impression that the villain is superior to the central character. ...read more.

Middle

This show how people judge based on small assumptions of physical appearance only. Eventually the Happy Prince loses all his fine possessions, as he has given them away to those whose needs are greater, and two townsfolk spot the statue. They decide to take it down; they compare its value to that of beggars: "As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful". The Arts Professor believes that without beauty the statue is useless. This indicates that they didn't place the statue above the city as a symbol representing something with a deep philosophical intent, but merely as an appealing decoration for the city. Wilde also shows some fickleness and its consequences in 'The Nightingale and the Rose' where the nightingale observes a young student who is in love with his teacher's daughter. He wants to give her a rose which symbolises his love for her, but cannot afford one. The nightingale sympathises for the young student, he decides to go through agony and in the end sacrifice his life to get that rose for him. The student receives the rose, and goes to the professor's daughter to ask her if she will accept his rose, but she frowns and says that she has been given far better gifts from another man. The student walks away in disgust and throws the rose into the gutter where gets flattened by a cart-wheel. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the 'Selfish Giant' we also see Wilde's strong belief in God, when the giant dies and allowed entry in Paradise by God, because the giant has become a better individual. I think Wilde does this because he himself believes that good things come to those who deserve it, and he wants to encourage the readers to believe in that too. This is especially aimed at younger readers. Though Wilde's stories are fairy tales they bare a resemblance to modern day life. In the beginning of storytelling fairy tales were used as a form of entertainment and written for that purpose as well. Where Wilde's tales differ is when the tales carry a message hidden behind a great storyline, this not only done to give the reader a good read but also to teach and educate things that they perhaps didn't know or had a different perspective of. Nowadays stories always have these messages in them, but Oscar Wilde was one of the first to introduce this style of story-formatting, as readers crave for more than just a good story. The drama and intensity was also quite unusual elements Wilde added in his tales. These days drama is an essential ingredient to almost every genre of literature, Wilde was one of the first to discover this, which is one of many reasons why his tales are still loved and admired across the world to this day. ...read more.

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