The Selfish Giant

Author: Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde

Ravenna is a poem written in March 1877 and published a year later. Wilde used this composition to enter the English poetry competition Newdigate, winning the prize. In addition, it was recited at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on June 26, 1878.

In the spring of 1877 Wilde spent a vacation in Mediterranean Europe, a trip that enriched his worldview and provided him with themes for other writings. He visited places such as Greece and Italy, and during his stay in the latter country he visited the city of Ravenna, which inspired the poem.

This poem narrates a person’s encounter with the city, expressing his impressions of what he learns about it in the course of the trip. Ravenna was one of the main works of the writer who won the recognition of the people.


Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a controversial figure for his time, he was involved in controversies and even spent some time in jail due to his sentimental and sexual preferences. But he is not only remembered as a social icon, he is also recognized for his wit and narrative, aspects that made him stand out in literary society.

He achieved recognition for his outstanding facet as a playwright although he was also a great poet, receiving prestigious awards thanks to compositions such as Ravenna. In his poems he emphasized beauty, a theme that always captivated him.

This collection of more than 200 pages invites us to know and enjoy the prose of this writer. It includes short poems such as A Fragment, A Lament or A Villanelle and other long poems such as Ave Imperatrix or Charmides.

The Canterville Ghost

Oscar Wilde

The house where The Canterville Ghost inhabits was the old Canterville Chase, which has all the trappings of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wood paneling, the black oak-paneled library, and the hallway armor characterize the setting.

Wilde mixes the macabre with comedy, juxtaposing the traditional devices of English ghost stories, such as creaking floorboards, sound chains, and ancient prophecies.

The story begins when American minister Mr. Otis and his family move into Canterville Chase, despite Lord Canterville’s warnings that the house is haunted.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales

Oscar Wilde

In a city where there are many suffering poor people, a swallow who stayed behind after his flock flew to Egypt for the winter, encounters the statue of the late “Happy Prince”, who has never experienced true sadness, as he lived in a palace where he was not allowed to enter sadness.

Seeing various scenes of people suffering in poverty from his high monument, the The Happy Prince asks the swallow to remove the ruby from his hilt, the sapphires from his eyes and the gold leaf covering his body to give to the poor.

The nightingale and the rose

Oscar Wilde

The nightingale and the rose tells the story of a student who falls in love with a girl to whom he must give a red rose to dance with him. Unfortunately, the student does not find it.

A nightingale hears the student’s cry and, because he loves him, immediately starts looking for a red rose. Finally, he finds a red rose bush, but it will not produce a single flower unless the nightingale sings its song all night and then pokes his heart into one of its thorns.

The death of the nightingale produces a red rose and the student is very happy. He takes it to the girl, but she sends him away because the rose does not match her dress. Moreover, she is now courted by the chamberlain’s nephew, who has sent her jewels. The student, angry, declares that love is «nonsense» and returns to his books.