He is without a doubt the most quoted of all of Ireland’s writers and the most scandalous. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde has fascinated scholars and readers ever since the appearance of his first literary works.

He wrote boldly and bravely in a time of heightened sexual oppression and was no stranger to causing a stir amongst his contemporaries. His most famous works include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his famous society plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest and his beautiful poetry, above all The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

But did you know that these incredible works of literature would be used against Wilde and help send him to prison? Wilde was tried and persecuted for his homosexuality and sentenced to two years hard labour in prison as a result.

Find out more about this fascinating Irish writer by listening to today’s podcast. In this episode we’ll be looking at justice and legal vocabulary and passive grammar constructions. Don’t forget to download the FREE PDF guide with the transcript, vocabulary/grammar explanations and a collection and explanation of Wilde’s most famous quotes!

I have nothing to declare but my genius.

Oscar Wilde upon arriving at New York
“The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about,” #OscarWilde
Improve your English while learning about one of Ireland’s most famous writers @ www.cloverenglish.org


Quote: to make a quotation from a book, speech, an author etc. For example, “I have nothing to declare but my genius” is something Wilde said and when we repeat it we quote him. (Both a verb and a noun)

Scandalous: if something or someone is scandalous then they shock people with their behaviour

Cause a stir: this is a useful idiom which means to provoke a strong/excited response to something which can be both negative or positive. For example: “Lady GaGa’s outfit caused quite a stir at the award’s ceremony. Everyone was talking about it!” or “His opinions cause quite a stir because they are so unconventional and many people disagree with him.”

Try [someone]: determine judicially the innocence or guilt of someone

Sentence (verb): as a verb sentence means to give someone a punishment as a result of a judicial process for a crime they have committed. It goes with the preposition to. For example: “he was sentenced to two years in prison”.

Persecute [someone]: to attack someone for their religious beliefs/ political values/ gender/ ethnicity/ race or, in Wilde’s case, their sexual orientation.

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