Wilde’s Very Own Jesus Christ

In De Profundis, Wilde writes that, if he were to write again, it would likely be on the subject of, as he says,  “Christ as the precursor of the romantic movement in life.” I’ve always felt that Wilde’s relationship to Christ was an interesting one, specifically in that Wilde seems to be able to view Christ from a purely artistic perspective, as he’s never seemed to mind much care about the possible heresies that may result from such an interpretation. While a more traditional Christian would have tiptoed around a more risqué interpretation of Jesus, and an atheist would have simply avoided interpreting Christ as being any more than a normal man; Wilde is neither, and thus has a rather unique perspective on Jesus’ teachings. I think that Wilde’s interpretation of Jesus as an artist tells us quite a bit about how Wilde views art as a whole, such as how Christ viewed children as examples for the old to follow, and not the other way around. It seems that Wilde (and if you agree with his interpretation, Christ) were somewhat ahead of the curve, as it seems that more and more the older generation is held to the standards of the younger, and not the other way around. It would seem that Wilde, according to both his writings and quotes from his three trials, treasured youth in a very artistic sense, as he seemed to believe that humans were not beings that accrued wisdom and virtue as they aged, but rather that people are born into this world as pure beings, and as they grow older, they become more and more corrupt. In a way, it is something of a mercy that Wilde died as young as he did, as I honestly don’t know if he would have been able to stand growing old.

One thought on “Wilde’s Very Own Jesus Christ”

  1. I like the comparison between Christ and Wilde being “ahead of their time” that you made. I think that along with viewing Christ as an example he could relate to, that Wilde really resonated with the idea of being predestined for a certain fate. I think that Wilde had to have known what the outcome of his trial would be. I do think that the idea of making Wilde a Christ -like figure is something more done by others interpreting his life and work rather than done by Wilde himself. I don’t think Wilde wanted to die for his lifestyle, but since he did, that people have drawn connections between him and Christ since then.

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