Learning Exercise

The Trials of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was one of Great Britain's most famous playrights. However, his career and family life was destroyed by his uncoventional love for another man.
Course: Western Civilization.

This is a site for law students. It includes notes about important constitutional issues, links to Supreme Court... see more


Instructions: Once on the site "Exploring Constitutional Law," scroll to the bottom of the page and Click "Famous Trials." Click the "Trials of Oscar Wilde." Read the following sections: Wilde's Letters to Douglas, Queensberry on Wilde, Poems of Lord Douglas; Wilde's Writings on Trials, Libel Trial Transcript, First Criminal Trial, Second Criminal Trial, Prison Writings, Homosexuality and the Law. Write a 5-7 page paper answering the following questions: 1.Who were the leading figures in Wilde Trials? 2.What laws were broken? 3.Who brought the case to trial and on what grounds? 4. Why were there two trials? 5. What was the verdict? 6. How did the trial and verdict affect Oscar Wilde's career and family? 6. What does the trial tell us about the moral and social conventions of 19th century Great Britain? 7. Could the trials have been avoided? Explain. 8. What are your views about this case and its consequences?


Great Britain; 19th Century European History

Learning Objectives

1.To acquaint students with the basics of English law. 2.To acquaint students with a trial of a famous British figure with an international reputation.