Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Arts and Sciences



Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in English

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Michael Trask


Oscar Wilde was a fascinating literary figure who took center stage in England near the end of the nineteenth century. He not only created popular art, but discussed and defined art in original and inventive ways as well. An observance of five of Wilde’s more popular works, including four essays and his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, was performed with the intention of deciphering his complex views on the subject of art. While Wilde arguably arrogantly attempts to alienate art from society, it can ultimately be discerned that he believed the purpose of art was to inform and enlighten society. Wilde hoped all would consider and challenge themselves through observing art in order to achieve an enhanced perspective and a wider view.