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Literature Study GuidesThe Critic As Artist

The Critic as Artist | Study Guide

Oscar Wilde

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Course Hero. "The Critic as Artist Study Guide." Course Hero. 8 Jan. 2021. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <>.

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In text

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Course Hero. "The Critic as Artist Study Guide." January 8, 2021. Accessed January 27, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Critic as Artist Study Guide," January 8, 2021, accessed January 27, 2023,



Oscar Wilde

Year Published





Argument, Philosophy

At a Glance

In the play The Artist as Critic by Oscar Wilde, two characters Gilbert and Ernest exchange ideas about the nature of art, aesthetics, and art criticism. Ernest makes statements and asks questions to which Gilbert responds by pontificating at length about his opinions. The play was published in 1891 at a time when the Victorian era was coming to a close and the modern era was being ushered in with new ideas about art. Wilde was a spokesperson for the aesthetic movement which promoted art for arts' sake. In the play he uses the character of Gilbert to express surprising opinions about art, criticism, society, and thought.

Perspective and Narrator

The Critic as Artist is a philosophical dialogue between two characters about the role of art critics in society.

About the Title

The title The Critic as Artist refers to the main character's opinion that art critics are actually artists who create the purest form of art. The Critic as Artist was written at a time when art appreciation was shifting away from realism and toward more experimental art forms.


This study guide for Oscar Wilde's The Critic as Artist offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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