365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

152. The Portrait of Mr. W.H.

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This semester, I am taking a senior seminar that focuses almost exclusively on Oscar Wilde. Now, when I entered the class, all I really knew about him was that he was an eccentric, hilarious wit of a man who wrote funny plays and was one of the more quotable figures of history.

What I have learned since starting this class is that Wilde could be surprisingly serious behind his hilarity. Even while cracking jokes, he finds ways to insert a fascinating thesis. Of course, he does it in ways that make me want to shake him and scream, “CAN’T YOU JUST BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? MUST YOU BE SO VAGUE?!” but they are still quite brilliant.

What am I talking about? Well, for one thing, “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” is a story of a small group of men dedicated to finding the mystery behind to whom Shakespeare’s sonnets were addressed.

Give it a read – it doesn’t take long – and see if you can draw your own conclusions about Wilde’s thesis (or not).

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Written by Caroline Mincks

March 2, 2010 at 1:48 AM

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