In 'The Decay of Lying' Oscar Wilde uses his decadent ideology in an attempt to reverse and therefore reject his audiences' 'normal' conceptualizations of nature, art and morality. Wilde's views of life and art are illustrated through the use of Platonic dialogue where the character Vivian takes on the persona of Wilde. Wilde's goal is to subvert the norm by reversing its values. Wilde suggests to us that society is wrong, not him. Calling on diverse examples - from Ancient Greek sculpture to contemporary paintings - Oscar Wilde's brilliant essay creates a witty, paradoxical world in which the only Art worth loving is that built on complete untruths.
Wit, intellectual, aesthete and raconteur, Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. His writing - including children's stories, poetry, philosophical essays, a novel and several hugely popular plays - made him the greatest celebrity of his day, and he remains one of the world's most frequently-quoted and well-loved writers.