Transgression and unity, language of Oscar Wilde

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 1991
Thesis identifier
  • T6987
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This study in general examines aspects of transgression and unity in Oscar Wilde's particular use of language. Chapter One examines the art of Decadence as an art of difference and explores, in relation to literary style, Oscar Wilde's and the Decadents' attempts to step beyond material, intellectual and spiritual boundaries. Chapter Two examines verbal and non-verbal expressions in Salomé which reflect various kinds of constraints, the individuals' desire to transgress these constraints into selfunity and the implications of such acts of transgression. The chapter also explores, under the light of the same stylistic analysis of Salomé, verbal and non-verbal expressions in The Duchess Of Padua, A Woman Of No Importance and Lady Windermere's Fan which all present elements of boundaries, transgression and self-preservation. Chapter Three celebrates characters in The Importance Of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband as triumphant over their world and explores the role of form in their perversity of social standards. It examines aspects of familiarisation, defamiliarisation, inclusion and exclusion, and the use of plural style in the language of the main characters. Chapter Four explores concepts of transgression and unity in De Profundis which are expressed at the level of both content - principle of dialectic - and form - use of rhetoric - and exemplified by the characters of Christ and children. The chapter then explores models of transgression and unity and the use of language in Wilde's short stories: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale And The Rose, The Fisherman And His Soul and The Birthday Of The Infanta. Chapter Five concludes the study by exploring the relation between Wilde's style and his views of the world. It advances the idea that Wilde's style in general is dependent on his view of the world: continuous movement and change till the world progresses towards a utopia.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 1991
Former identifier
  • 236996