A Research on the Death Theme in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Research on the Death Theme in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

十九世纪唯美派作家奥斯卡王尔德不仅在戏剧、小说题材上独树一帜,其童话故事也颇具风格。在王尔德的九篇童话中,死亡结局的主人公占到了八篇,可见王尔德对死亡主题的钟情。本文以作者及其作品的简要概述为开端,接着试图分析王尔德代表童话中三类不同的死亡主题:《打鱼人和他的灵魂》中奉献的死亡,《快乐王子》中重生的死亡,以及《星孩》里意外的死亡。最后进行总结,无论是反讽社会黑暗还是挑战社会道德,王尔德童话中的死亡主题都充满美学色彩且引人深思。

关键词:奥斯卡王尔德;童话;死亡主题

Contents

  1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………1
  2. Demonstration……………………………………………………………………3

2.1 Three categories of death in Wilde’s fairy tales…………………………………3

2.1.1 The dedicated death in The Fisherman and his Soul …………………………3

2.1.2 The reborn death in Happy Prince…………………………………………… 5

2.1.3 The accidental death in Star-Child…………………………………………… 7

2.2 Three connotations of death in Wilde’s fairy tales………………………………8

2.2.1 Social connotation…………………………………………………………… 9

2.2.2 Moral connotation……………………………………………………………11

2.2.3 Aesthetic connotation…………………………………………………………14

3. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………16

Works Cited………………………………………………………………………….17

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………18

A Research on the Death Theme in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales

1. Introduction

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), one of the most famous Irish writers who enjoyed various identities such as playwright, novelist, essayist and poet, boasts inextricably not only of his works but also of the aesthetic movement of the 1880s and 1890s in England. Art for art’s sake; life for art’s sake; homosexuality; dandy and witty paradoxes, people admired him both at his age and more afterwards. His plays and fairy tales give him the same prestige as Bernard Shaw and Anderson. Plays such as Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892), Salomé (1893), A Woman of No Importance (1892), The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), An Ideal Husband (1895) make him the spokesman of genius of play. His fairy tales, in small number as they are, has a far-reaching impact on future generations. It was also after his first fairy collection, The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888), that people recognized his peculiar writing style. In this collection, there are five fairy tales: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend, and The Remarkable Rocket. Among them, The Happy Prince and The Nightingale and the Rose bear the most prestigious fame. His second collection was named as A House of Pomegranates (1891) which only included four fairy tales: The Young King, The Birthday of the Infanta, The Fisherman and His Soul, and The Star-child. However, compared with the first one, the second collection was more complicated in that it was “written both for children and the adult who still has a joyful heart like children” (qtd.in Belford, 181). Wilde himself also regarded his fairy tales as “studies in prose”. These nine fairy tales put Wilde on a dazzling place in the fairy tale literature, showing his unique children and aesthetic perspective.

In Wilde’s time, both his works and his personal life became the hottest topic. Before 1950s, the studies of him almost concentrated on his personal affairs especially his homosexual entanglement. In the 1960s and 1970s, more attention was focused on his works. Gradually people found them so different from those traditional ones with much larger themes such as morals, aesthetics, religion, death, homosexuality and so on. One hundred years after his death, these studies reached a climax. However, compared with Oscar Wilde’s other works, his fairy tales received less attention which came much later. At first, the studies on his fairy tales were quite limited so that only several essays could be found in 1888, the year his first collection was published. Between 1891 and 1894, only 11 commentaries were published on A House of Pomegranates. He then sent his first collection to his teachers Ruskin and Walter Pater to ask for their opinions. After reading Wilde’s fairy tales, both of them gave him highest affirmation, which in return made Wilde more confident in his writing. After 1970s, abundant researches sprang up like mushrooms. Famous ones such as The Language of Allegory in Oscar Wilde’s Tales by Maria Edelson in 1988; Oscar Wilde, Victorian Fairy Tales, and the Meanings of Atonement by Elizabeth Goodenough in 1999; and On the Loom of Sorrow:Eros and Logos in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales by Clifton Snider in 2004. In China, the studies on Oscar Wilde has experienced two general period. The first one lasted from 1909 to the end of 1940s during which most of his fairy tales were translated into Chinese by Zhou Zuoren and Ba Jin. The first version of Happy Prince was translated as The Prince of Peace by Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren. Highly praised by Lu Xun, the feature of Wilde’s fairy tales was commented as “not the same style used for children” (4), which was the traditional written method earlier used by Andersen. Another Chinese literature master Zhao Jingshen believes that Wilde’s fairy tale can be appreciated as a prose poem for it has so much luxuriant rhetoric. The second period started form 1980. With far more translations and reprints, the analysis of the text from different perspectives became more in-depth, gradually breaking the boundaries of geography and typical thinking. Moral, aesthetics, religion and the paradox of sensuality and redemption have formed different study themes of Wilde’s fairy tales in recent years.

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