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Shelves: classics , poetry , small-books This is my 4th time to read Oscar Wilde and the more I read his works, the more he becomes one of my favorite writers. Oscar Wilde was a married man and he had two children. Yet, he had homosexual affairs.
His sexual preference, considered lewd and taboo during the Victorian era, led him to his incarceration in a town prison or gaol in Reading, England. That explains the title. In the prison, he witnessed the execution of a man who killed his wife while drunk. A year later, when he This is my 4th time to read Oscar Wilde and the more I read his works, the more he becomes one of my favorite writers. A year later, when he was out of his cell, he wrote this sad and haunting poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol and it was so famous, his friends put some passages from it on his epitaph tombstone.
The effect of this poem to me was that for almost a week, I stopped reading. I could not stop the scenes in the poem that kept playing in my head: a dead wife whose throat is slit by a knife. The drunk husband standing in the corner of the room shocked amidst the eerie silence regretting what he did.
That adjective in quotation comes from the famous passage from the poem: "Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard. Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! We all do this right? Not killing our love ones with a sword of course but hurting the people we love. Sometimes we want to test how they would react because we know they will not stop loving us.
Sometimes, it is our sheer foolishness. Or maybe, just like the man who actually killed his wife, he was just drunk. It is haunting. The vivid description of the gaol. The cries of a man thrown into the jail waiting for his death. The pleas of Wilde and his surrender to God. The brilliant author not being allowed even a pen and paper to write his thoughts. Only because he committed homosexual affairs. Oscar Wilde, your fault was this: you were born at the wrong time.
A Balada do Cárcere de Reading
Oscar Wilde: Balada do Cárcere de Reading (...) Eu...
The Ballad of Reading Gaol