Summary Of De Profundis

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Michael Fallon EN220 13/11/14 De Profundis Background: De Profundis is a letter written by Oscar Wilde between January and March in 1897 during his final stages of imprisonment in Reading. The letter was written for Lord Alfred Douglas, which he had a intimate relationship with and who is referred to as “Bosie” in the opening sentence by Wilde. In the first half of the letter Wilde describes their past relationship and lifestyle which ultimately led to Wilde’s incarceration. In the second half of the letter, Wilde focuses more on his spiritual development due to the hardship of the prison. During his time in prison his health began to worsen and a new warden believed writing would help improve his morale but was confined under strict supervision. He was never granted permission to send the letter but was allowed take it with him upon his release and intrusted the letter to an ex-lover, Robert Ross as long as a copy would be sent to Douglas. The letter was later published by Ross in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death and was given the name De Profundis. Structure-First Part: The first part of the letter Wilde examines the time he shared with Lord Alfred Douglas and his behaviour and how it effected his work and that when Douglas was around he would struggle to get any work done. He recounts the time in September ’93 where they spent time together and describes there day to day ritual and highlights the lifestyle they had of dining at restaurants on a daily occasion

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