Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s, he is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, the circumstances of his criminal conviction for homosexuality and early death at age 46. Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin, their son became fluent in German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats, he became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable social circles; as a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist.
Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, incorporated themes of decadence and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; the opportunity to construct aesthetic details and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London. At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel; the Marquess was the father of Lord Alfred Douglas.
The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis, a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life, he died destitute in Paris at the age of 46. Oscar Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row, the second of three children born to Sir William Wilde and Jane Wilde, two years behind William. Wilde's mother had distant Italian ancestry, under the pseudonym "Speranza", wrote poetry for the revolutionary Young Irelanders in 1848, she read the Young Irelanders' poetry to Oscar and Willie, inculcating a love of these poets in her sons.
Lady Wilde's interest in the neo-classical revival showed in the paintings and busts of ancient Greece and Rome in her home. William Wilde was Ireland's leading oto-ophthalmologic surgeon and was knighted in 1864 for his services as medical adviser and assistant commissioner to the censuses of Ireland, he wrote books about Irish archaeology and peasant folklore. A renowned philanthropist, his dispensary for the care of the city's poor at the rear of Trinity College, was the forerunner of the Dublin Eye and Ear Hospital, now located at Adelaide Road. On his father's side Wilde was descended from a Dutchman, Colonel de Wilde, who went to Ireland with King William of Orange's invading army in 1690. On his mother's side Wilde's ancestors included a bricklayer from County Durham who emigrated to Ireland sometime in the 1770s. Wilde was baptised as an infant in St. Mark's Church, the local Church of Ireland church; when the church was closed, the records were moved to Dawson Street. Davis Coakley mentions a second baptism by a Catholic priest, Father Prideaux Fox, who befriended Oscar's mother circa 1859.
According to Fox's own testimony in Donahoe's Magazine in 1905, Jane Wilde would visit his chapel in Glencree, County Wicklow, for Mass and would take her sons with her. She asked Father Fox to baptise her sons. Fox described it in this way: "I am not sure if she became a Catholic herself but it was not long before she asked me to instruct two of her children, one of them being the future erratic genius, Oscar Wilde. After a few weeks I baptized these two children, Lady Wilde herself being present on the occasion." In addition to his children with his wife, Sir William Wilde was the father of three children born out of wedlock before his marriage: Henry Wilson, born in 1838, Emily and Mary Wilde, born in 1847 and 1849 of different maternity to Henry. Sir William acknowledged paternity of his illegitimate children and provided for their education, but they were reared by his relatives rather than by his wife or with his legitimate children. In 1855, the family moved to No. 1 Merrion Square, where Wilde's sister, was born in 1857.
The Wildes' new home was larger and, with both his parents' sociality and success, it soon became a "unique medical and cultural milieu". G
Lord Alfred Douglas
Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, nicknamed Bosie, was a British author, poet and political commentator, better known as the friend and lover of Oscar Wilde. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme, though he tended in life, to distance himself from both Wilde's influence and his own role as a Uranian poet. Politically he described himself as "a strong Conservative of the'Diehard' variety". Douglas was born at Ham Hill House in Powick, the third son of The Most Hon; the 9th Marquess of Queensberry and his first wife, Sibyl Montgomery. He was his mother's favourite child, his mother sued for divorce in 1887 on the grounds of his father's adultery. The Marquess married Ethel Weeden in 1893 but the marriage was annulled the following year. Douglas was educated at Wixenford School, Winchester College and Magdalen College, which he left without obtaining a degree. At Oxford, he edited an undergraduate journal, The Spirit Lamp, an activity that intensified the constant conflict between him and his father.
Their relationship had always been a strained one and during the Queensberry-Wilde feud, Douglas sided with Wilde encouraging Wilde to prosecute the Marquess for libel. In 1893, Douglas had a brief affair with George Ives. In 1858 his grandfather, the 8th Marquess of Queensberry, had died in what was reported as a shooting accident, but was believed to have been suicide. In 1862, his widowed grandmother, Lady Queensberry, converted to Roman Catholicism and took her children to live in Paris. One of his uncles, Lord James Douglas, was attached to his twin sister "Florrie" and was heartbroken when she married a baronet, Sir Alexander Beaumont Churchill Dixie. In 1885, Lord James tried to abduct a young girl, after that became more manic. Separated from Florrie, James drank himself into a deep depression, in 1891 committed suicide by cutting his throat. Another of his uncles, Lord Francis Douglas had died in a climbing accident on the Matterhorn, his uncle Lord Archibald Edward Douglas, on the other hand, became a clergyman.
Alfred Douglas's aunt, Lord James's twin Lady Florence Dixie, was an author, war correspondent for the Morning Post during the First Boer War, a feminist. In 1890, she published a novel, Gloriana, or the Revolution of 1900, in which women's suffrage is achieved after a woman posing as a man named Hector D'Estrange is elected to the House of Commons; the character D'Estrange is based on Oscar Wilde. In 1891, Douglas's cousin Lionel Johnson introduced him to Oscar Wilde. In 1894, the Robert Hichens novel The Green Carnation was published. Said to be a roman à clef based on the relationship of Wilde and Douglas, it was one of the texts used against Wilde during his trials in 1895. Douglas has been described as spoiled, reckless and extravagant, he expected Wilde to contribute to funding his tastes. They argued and broke up, but would always reconcile. Douglas had praised Wilde's play Salome in the Oxford magazine, The Spirit Lamp, of which he was editor. Wilde had written Salomé in French, in 1893 he commissioned Douglas to translate it into English.
Douglas's French was poor and his translation was criticised. Douglas was angered at Wilde's criticism, claimed that the errors were in fact in Wilde's original play; this led to a hiatus in the relationship and a row between the two men, with angry messages being exchanged and the involvement of the publisher John Lane and the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley when they themselves objected to Douglas's work. Beardsley complained to Robbie Ross: "For one week the numbers of telegraph and messenger boys who came to the door was scandalous". Wilde redid much of the translation himself, but, in a gesture of reconciliation, suggested that Douglas be dedicated as the translator rather than credited, along with him, on the title-page. Accepting this, somewhat vainly, likened a dedication to sharing the title-page as "the difference between a tribute of admiration from an artist and a receipt from a tradesman". In 1894, Douglas came and visited Oscar Wilde in Worthing, much to the consternation of the latter's wife Constance.
On another occasion, while staying with Wilde in Brighton, Douglas fell ill with influenza and was nursed by Wilde, but failed to return the favour when Wilde himself fell ill in consequence. Instead Douglas moved to the Grand Hotel and, on Wilde's 40th birthday, sent him a letter saying that he had charged him the bill. Douglas gave his old clothes to male prostitutes, but failed to remove from the pockets incriminating letters exchanged between him and Wilde, which were used for blackmail. Alfred's father, the Marquess of Queensberry, suspected the liaison to be more than a friendship, he sent his son a letter, attacking him for leaving Oxford without a degree and failing to take up a proper career. He threatened to "disown and stop all money supplies". Alfred responded with a telegram stating: "What a funny little man you are". Queensberry's next letter threatened his son with a "thrashing" and accused him of being "crazy", he threatened to "make a public scandal in a way you little dream of" if he continued his relation
A euphemism is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive terms for concepts that the user wishes to downplay. Euphemisms may be used to mask profanity or refer to taboo topics such as disability, excretion, or death in a polite way. Euphemism comes from the Greek word euphemia which refers to the use of'words of good omen'. Eupheme is a reference to the female Greek spirit of words of positivity, etc.. The term euphemism. Reasons for using euphemisms vary by intent. Euphemisms are used to avoid directly addressing subjects that might be deemed negative or embarrassing. Euphemisms are used to downplay the gravity of large-scale injustices, war crimes, or other events that warrant a pattern of avoidance in official statements or documents. For instance, one reason for the comparative scarcity of written evidence documenting the exterminations at Auschwitz, relative to their sheer number, is "directives for the extermination process obscured in bureaucratic euphemisms".
The act of labeling a term as a euphemism can in itself be controversial, as in the following two examples: Affirmative action, meaning a preference for minorities or the disadvantaged in employment or academic admissions. This term is sometimes said to be a euphemism for reverse discrimination, or in the UK positive discrimination, which suggests an intentional bias that might be prohibited, or otherwise unpalatable. Enhanced interrogation is sometimes said to be a euphemism for torture. For example, columnist David Brooks called the use of this term for practices at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, elsewhere an effort to "dull the moral sensibility". Phonetic euphemism is used diminishing their intensity. Modifications include: Shortening or "clipping" the term, such as Jeez and what the— Mispronunciations, such as frak, what the fudge, what the truck, oh my gosh, darn, oh shoot, be-yotch, etc; this is referred to as a minced oath. Using first letters as replacements, such as SOB, what the eff, S my D, POS, BS.
Sometimes, the word "word" is added after it, such as S-word, B-word, etc.. The letter can be phonetically respelled. For example, the word piss was shortened to pee in this way. Ambiguous statements Understatements Metaphors Comparisons Metonymy Euphemism may be used as a rhetorical strategy, in which case its goal is to change the valence of a description from positive to negative; the use of a term with a softer connotation, though it shares the same meaning. For instance, screwed up is a euphemism for fucked up. There is some disagreement over whether certain terms are not euphemisms. For example, sometimes the phrase visually impaired is labeled as a politically correct euphemism for blind or a blind person. However, visual impairment can be a broader term, for example, people who have partial sight in one eye, those with uncorrectable mild to moderate poor vision, or those who wear glasses, groups that would be excluded by the word blind. Expressions or words from a foreign language may be imported for use as a replacement for an offensive word.
For example, the French word enceinte was sometimes used instead of the English word pregnant. This practice of word substitution became so frequent that the expression "pardon my French" was adopted in attempts to excuse the use of profanity. Euphemisms may be formed in a number of ways. Periphrasis, or circumlocution, is one of the most common: to "speak around" a given word, implying it without saying it. Over time, circumlocutions become recognized as established euphemisms for particular words or ideas. To alter the pronunciation or spelling of a taboo word to form a euphemism is known as taboo deformation, or a minced oath. In American English, words that are unacceptable on television, such as fuck, may be represented by deformations such as freak in children's cartoons. Feck is a minced oath popularised by the sitcom Father Ted; some examples of rhyming slang may serve the same purpose: to call a person a berk sounds less offensive than to call a person a cunt, though berk is short for Berkeley Hunt, which rhymes with cunt.
Bureaucracies spawn euphemisms intentionally, as doublespeak expressions. For example, in the past, the US military used the term "sunshine units" for contamination by radioactive isotopes. An effective death sentence in the Soviet Union during the Great Purge used the clause "imprisonment without right to correspondence": the person sentenced never had a chance to correspond with anyone because soon after imprisonment they w