Good Essay On World Literature
Classic literature is replete with nuances of captivating statements and ideas about life. Indeed, the literary work of the past centuries reflects a refreshing usage of language and tools of literature in describing society and human relationships. Oscar Wilde is one such classic poet. This paper considers his concepts of beauty in his work entitled Ballad of Reading Gaol. Also, it compares his concept of love with the Romantic Ideal notions. Additionally, it provides a snapshot of a comparative analysis of Wilde’s theory and Wordsworth’s on the issue of bad and good literature.
Comparison of Oscar Wilde’s concept of beauty to the Romantic ideal of beauty as opposed to the sublime.
In the introductory paragraph, Wilde presents a contradictory picture of a man who apparently murdered his lover. Incidentally, he was staring at the sky while holding her. Indeed, he is seemingly regretting his action. Certainly, this scenario shows that Wilde’s concept of beauty is sadistic. The lover kills his lover.
Wilde is not sure whether the man did a little or great thing. He describes the situation in double cases. For instance, he quips that though he was in pain in his soul, he could not feel it. In this stance, it is evident that Wilde concept of beauty is somewhat senseless. Thus, love can be absurd.
According to Wilde, love demands revenge. In the second paragraph, he writes that the man who killed ‘the thing he loved’ had to die. In addition, he seems to propose that everyone kills what they love. Incidentally, they do it in different ways. For instance by flattering words, a bitter look, or with a sword. Eventually, the people exterminate the murderer and his body left to the flies to feast.
Indeed, the romantic ideal is that one protects and preserves what he loves. Indeed, he must defend the things they love with bravery and great courage. In addition, love does no harm to its lover. Oscar proposes that the very opposites of these ideals occur almost among everyone. The act of the man killing his lover is a stark affront to the taste of virtue, and good will expected in the Romantic ideal.
Wilde concludes his narrative by appealing to God’s kind laws in bringing justice to the earth. He compares the soul that yields to God with the treasure chest, which after opening filled the leper’s house with sweet smelling aroma.
How Wilde’s theories of good and bad literature compare to Wordsworth’s theorizing of poetry in the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads.
Wordsworth considered poetic composition as a primary form of expression. Thus to him, prose was a secondary form of expression. According to the Poetic Foundation, Wordsworth mainly wrote his poems in prose in order to establish a schema for his poetic beliefs and political ambitions. The Preface to the Lyrical Ballad is one of Wordsworth’s works. Apparently, it had a lasting interest among the people of his time. The other was A Guide through the District of the Lakes. (William Wordsworth par 1).
Indeed, Wordsworth's theories of poetry seemed to revolve mainly around human relationship with nature. Thus, they involved plenty of epistemological and spiritual speculations. For him, poetics always determined politics (William Wordsworth par 2).
On the other hand, Wilde considers good literature as having some undertones of paradoxes and contradictions. In addition, a good literature must capture reality in the aptest and most expressive words and not just the layman language. For instance, he uses the word 'casque' to describe the environment.
The things, which might account for the differences
Several things account for the differences. For instance, their perspectives on literature. Notably, Wilde takes a more abstract approach, drawing reality from notions. On the other hand, Wordsworth takes a more pragmatic and literal approach. Indeed, he considers poetry as reality in itself. In fact, according to the Poetry Foundation, the critics and revisionists claim that the works of Wordsworth are not only poems but recollections of history. Thus, they have historical significance and are useful for studies in history.
Moreover, the literary styles and emphasis of the poets help to understand why they differ. For instance, Wilde employs sarcasm and irony in his work while Wordsworth seems to take a plain and direct style.
In conclusion, Wilde and Wordsworth’s poems capture significant perspectives of reality. Indeed, they serve, as a tool through which the writer can relate abstraction with actual life issues. As such, they provide an excellent ground for assessing the varying standpoints, which people may have concerning life.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Author: Oscar Wilde)
William Wordsworth: 1770–1850. (No author).2015. Poetry Foundation. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.