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Oscar Wilde

            Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) was an amazing author, playwright and critic who was capable of incredible insight into Victorian society. He questioned the ways of the society and attacked the narrow-mindedness and complacency. Wilde wrote many works that dealt with the suffering and loss of innocence, usually and particularly of females. In many texts throughout Wilde's lifetime he presents different female characters with distinct characteristics of strengths and weakness". In the play "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1893) Oscar Wilde introduces a woman named Mrs. Margaret Erylnne. This is a "woman with a past", and Wilde depicts her coming into the life of her daughter and he illustrates how Mrs Erlynne's experiences have allowed her to become practical, sophisticated and witty. Wilde presents Mrs Erylnne as a character who, while fully realising what is expected of her, refuses to conform to other people's standards of conduct. In the story "The Nightingale and the Rose" the Nightingale exhibits selflessness and embodies a self sacrificial love. Ironically the little Nightingale is taken for granted and eventually caves into individual destruction. This undercuts the value of her love, making it seem impotent, intimating the darker side of life. In the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" Sibyl Vane, too embodied the characteristic of self-sacrifice, she kills herself because of her love for Dorian Gray. Dorians painted image, asserts itself as his conscience and hounds him with the knowledge of his crimes, there he sees the cruelty he showed to Sibyl Vane.
             Through the play "Lady Windermere's Fan" Wilde depicts society and the characteristics of men and women within it. He presents a fallen woman in society, Mrs Erlynne. It is very unlike Oscar Wilde to present a particularly strong woman that remains composed throughout the whole play. Wilde uses Mrs Erlynne to represent the women that are capable of being strong and independent.

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