Thesis (Selection of subject)Thesis (Selection of subject)(version: 368)
Thesis details
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The Irish Prince: Irishness in the Works of Oscar Wilde
Thesis title in Czech: Irský princ: irský aspekt v díle Oscara Wilda
Thesis title in English: The Irish Prince: Irishness in the Works of Oscar Wilde
Key words: Oscar Wilde|Irsko|pohádky|drama|poezie|irská literatura
English key words: Oscar Wilde|Ireland|Irishness|fairy tales|drama|poetry|Irish literature
Academic year of topic announcement: 2017/2018
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
Thesis language: angličtina
Department: Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (21-UALK)
Supervisor: doc. Clare Wallace, M.A., Ph.D.
Author: hidden - assigned and confirmed by the Study Dept.
Date of registration: 03.04.2018
Date of assignment: 04.04.2018
Administrator's approval: not processed yet
Confirmed by Study dept. on: 13.04.2018
Date and time of defence: 29.01.2020 00:00
Date of electronic submission:11.12.2019
Date of proceeded defence: 29.01.2020
Submitted/finalized: committed by student and finalized
Opponents: prof. Mgr. Ondřej Pilný, Ph.D.
Oscar Wilde’s place in the English Victorian society has been more or less firmly established by critics and the general reading public alike. Usually, he is seen as a rebel playwright and one-time novelist defragmenting the English society from the inside and presenting its numerous flaws and weaknesses. Wilde, however, stood outside this very society as much as he was inside it. Born in Ireland, he brought to London with him a perspective different from those of the natives. Though he tried to become more English, he never became an inherent part of the society which ultimately expelled him from its core and threw him into gaol. Yet, by leaving Ireland and focusing on his art he ceased to be a part of the Irish society as well – a fact loudly voiced by the politically active part of the diaspora whose expectations for the son of Speranza, one of the most notorious nationalist poets, had been left somewhat unfulfilled. The aim of this thesis is to analyse Wilde’s short fiction, an early drama and poetry in terms of his Irishness and present his Irish identity through his writing. As recent criticism reveals, Wilde’s Irishness is in his work more palpable than it might seem on the surface. It is perhaps less obvious in his most famous plays and the novel which were, after all, written primarily for the English audience. In his less known works, however, he seems to have allowed himself a more personal space and in which his personal ideas, emotions and conflicts are suggested.
In the first chapter, a general introduction to the topic will be given and some of Wilde’s non-fiction briefly discussed, as it provides the most complex picture of his personal opinions and thoughts. The second chapter will study Wilde’s collections of fairy-tales The Happy Prince and Other Tales, and most importantly A House of Pomegranates and Other Tales as it is this collection of which Wilde himself proclaimed that it was “intended neither for the British child nor the British public.”[1] The second chapter will deal with his early, and probably least-known play Vera, or the Nihilists and the influence of Speranza whom some critics consider the template for the title character of the play. In the fourth chapter, Wilde’s collection of poems ‘Eleutheria’ and ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ will be discussed and Wilde’s persona as an Irish poet will be presented. When considering Wilde’s Irishness it is inevitable to touch upon his relationship with England as well, as it is in many cases the root from which this Irishness stems. Because it is often thus interlocked, a separate chapter concerning his ‘Englishness’ will not be included as it is probably more suitable to discuss this topic in each individual case.
The thesis will make use of several secondary sources including critical literature, but also Wilde’s essays and criticism, bibliography and history of Ireland as these are vital sources for uncovering and understanding certain aspects of Oscar Wilde’s Irish persona. By focusing on the non-canonical and less often debated works, I hope this thesis will also contribute a slightly different perspective to the general discussion.

[1]David Stuart Davies, Afterword in The Happy Prince and Other Stories (London: CRW Publishing, 2008) 299.
Buckler, William. ‘’The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ in Contextual Perspective’. Victorian Poetry 28.3 (West Virginia University Press, 1990). JSTOR,
Coakley, Davis. Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Irish. Dublin: Town House, 1994.
Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.
Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde: a collection of critical essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, c1969.
Foster, Robert Frederick. Modern Ireland. London: Penguin Books, 1989.
Frankel, Nick. ‘‘Ave Imperatrix’: Oscar Wilde and the Poetry of Englishness’. Victorian Poetry 35.2 (West Virginia University Press, 1997). JSTOR,
Gillis, Alan A., and Aaron Kelly. Critical Ireland: new essays in literature and culture. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001.
Heaney, Seamus. The redress of poetry: Oxford lectures. London: Faber and Faber, 1995. Print
Hoffer, Mathew. Oscar Wilde in America: The Interviews. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland: the literature of the modern nation. London: Vintage, 1995.
McCormack, Jerusha Hull. Wilde the Irishman. London: Yale University Press, 1998.
Raby, Peter. The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Sandulescu, Constantin-George. Rediscovering Oscar Wilde. Gerrards Cross: Smythe, 1994. Print. The Princess Grace Irish Library series
Wilde, Oscar. Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde. Ed. Anne Varty. Ware: Wordsworth Editions
Ltd., 1994.
Wilde, Oscar. Selected journalism. New York (NY): Oxford University Press, 2004.
Wilde, Oscar. Collected Works. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1997.
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