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Reputation of Oscar Wilde: Then and Now

Reputation of Oscar Wilde: Then and NowEssay question:

There is not a single culture that does not have its fair share of literary figures. Some of these figures are more celebrated than others and their fame is not static. The degree of fame varies from one time period to another depending on prevalent tastes and a host of social and economic conditions. These reputations are far from being uniform, with each of these figures having more than one “reputation”. Moreover, the process of reputation construction/formation is far from being a simple and straightforward process, as very little is involved in investigating the sources and accuracy of reputations. History is full of literary figures whose reputations in their days and in later days are much contested. As an example, we can refer to the renaissance Italian literary figures and statesmen Dante Alighieri and Niccolo Machiavelli, to the Egyptian writer and activist Nawal Al-Saadawi, to the Abbasid poet Abu Nuwas, to the English author D.H. Laurence, and the French thinker Voltaire. Choose one such figure and provide a study of his/her reputation and the issues involved in its making.

1) Highlight the issues involved in setting the chosen literary figure in his/her historical context.

2) Discuss how issues of historical interpretation affected the construction of the chosen literary figure’s reputation.

3) Comment on the issues involved in using historical evidence appropriately as far as the reputation construction of the chosen literary figure is concerned.

4) Investigate how social values/norms impact the reputation construction of this literary figure.

5) Reflect on how views on tradition and innovation relate to the chosen literary figure’s work and his/her reputation(s).

I have chosen Oscar Wilde. Write about his reputation in the context of the time he lived in and how his reputation has changed today due to our norms, his ‘crimes’ as a homosexual, his time in prison, the effect his reputation had on his works etc.
A Tentative Outline for AAIOOA TMA
I. Introduction:

Highlight the issues involved in setting the chosen literaryfigure (ie. writer, dramatist, or
poet) in his/her historical conte xt. Verybriefly introduce the person and discuss his/her historical
period.

(Noneed for toomanydetaiis abouthis/ha’ life andhktmylWWhism
W about samenne’s difl‘erent “reputations” and the important factors that
have hebed shape them!)
A. Discuss how this literary figme is influe nced by his/lie 1′ historical period and how lie/she has
impacted on his/he r’ historic al pe riod.
B. W Clearly mention the person’s reputations and tell how those reputations
are made.
II. BodyParagraph l:

A. Topic sentence: Discuss how issues of historical interpretation affected the construction of
the chosen literary figure’s reputation.
I . Discuss how different historical periods vie w him/he r’ differe ntly.
2. Discuss what differe nt reputations that person has had in differe nt times/place s.
(You must support your ideas with hard fleets/evidence fi’onr your sources Paper needs proper
documentation.)

III. Body Paragr aph 2:
A. Topic sentence: Comment on the issues involved in using historical evidence appropriately
as far as the reputation construction of the chosen literaryfigure is concerned.
1. Mention the types of the historical sources that have established this person‘s reputation.
2. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each source.
3. Discuss how one can make an objective and reliable judgment based on the different kinds of
somces.
(You must support your ideas with hard (acts/evidence fi’om your sources Paper needs proper
dowmentation.)

IV. Body Paragraph 3:
A. W Investigate how social valueslnorms have affected the reputation
construction of this literary figure.
1. Does lie/she conform to the norms and values of the society
2. How doe s his] her socie ty pere eive this person
You must support your ideas with hard facts/evidence fi’om your sources Paper needs proper
documentation.)

V. BodyParagraph 4:

A. W Reflect on how views on tradition and innovation relate to this literary
figure ’s work and his/her reputation(s).
1. Briefly define tradition and innovation.
2. Is the literary figure following the traditions of his/her soc iety or is lie/she dismissing them

V I. Conclusion:
Verybrie fly rue ntion the person‘s reputations and say which one is more accurate and true (based on

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