If you didn’t know he was there, you’d walk right past him. Right there behind a wrought iron fence on the corner of Merrion Square, Oscar Wilde. Sit down and relax with Oscar. You might even sit up on the large stone with Oscar. Let him amuse you…
“I can resist everything but temptation.”
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
“True friends stab you in the front.”
You just may hear his witty wisdom whisper in the cool breeze of the Irish Spring.
Oscar was a scholar at Trinity College, just up the street. And although women were not admitted to the college until 1903, Oscar Wilde often wrote about them. “Every woman is a rebel.” As a well known publican at many of his favorite public houses, Oscar noticed the winds of change were blowing for women at the time.
Near the end of his life, a suffrage movement was rising and Trinity College was ripe for rebellion. The provost of Trinity at the time was a fellow named George Salmon. Clearly he did not support the thought of women being admitted, and once said, “Women will enter this college over my dead body.” Ironically, George died a month after women were allowed in Trinity and today the majority of school student population are women.
Notice that the granite statue is painted, a wry smile looking across the street at his home in Dublin. I’m guessing that the artist was portraying the colorful yet tragic life of the young Oscar Wilde.
If Grafton Street is a bustling mess, wander over and get a breath of fresh air with Oscar. You’ll see, it’s not so wild on the Wilde side.