Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This essay establishes the Christian myth within Wilde’s three plays, calling attention to the gender politics that he fought against in the Victorian era. Through Salomé, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband I will prove the Christological myth that each play adopts and establish Wilde’s ability to make the religion “transformational.” Wilde’s productions of characters like Salomé, Mrs. Allonby, Mrs. Arbuthnot, and Hester are examples of the “fallen woman” of Victorian England. The treatment of women by women will illuminate the passiveness of the Victorian Woman and their compliance with the patriarchal norm. This norm continues through the two “society plays”: A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband, where aspects of progressive women versus married ones is concentrated on. Wilde uses his ability of language to show societal norms to convey Christological backgrounds. These plays portray multiple types of women: those who comply with the patriarchy and those who do everything in their power to usurp it. Wilde displays these differences through his storytelling, manipulating certain aspects of the Victorian era to expose negative traits of a patriarchal society.
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Randazzo, Marco. The Fallen Woman: An Exploration of the Voiceless Women in Victorian England through Three Plays of Oscar Wilde. 2020. Chapman University, MA Thesis. Chapman University Digital Commons, https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000162