The Classical Wilde

While Oscar Wilde is famous for his wit and literary inventiveness, he was also a serious scholar of the classics. The New York Review of Books on his time at Oxford.

"'I won’t be a dried-up Oxford don, anyhow,' Oscar Wilde said. 'I’ll be a poet, a writer, a dramatist. Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious.' ... But to some of those who knew him at the time, Wilde’s emphatic rejection of the scholarly life must have come as something of a surprise. ... He [Wilde] had, after all, shown a remarkable flair for the classics from the start. At the Portora Royal School, just before his tenth birthday, he won the classical medal examination with his extempore translations from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (the tragedy he loved above all others) and the Carpenter Prize for his superior performance on the examination on the Greek New Testament."

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