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Wilde's IntentionsThe Artist in his Criticism$
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Lawrence Danson

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186281.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

‘The Portrait of Mr W. H.’

‘The Portrait of Mr W. H.’

Chapter:
(p.102) 5 ‘The Portrait of Mr W. H.’
Source:
Wilde's Intentions
Author(s):

Lawrence Danson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186281.003.0006

This chapter analyses Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Mr. W.H., a fiction about the putatively real biographical basis of William Shakespeare's sonnets. It suggests that this essay is elusive in its simultaneous expression and erasure of Wilde's own sexual desire. The chapter explains that this work is Wilde's most extensive exploration into the art of forgery, and argues that the material facts of its composition, as well as its form and rhetoric, contribute to the sense that mysteries begin with their solution.

Keywords:   Mr. W.H., Oscar Wilde, fiction, William Shakespeare, sonnets, sexual desire, forgery

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