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Thread: Oscar Wilde

  1. #11
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    There is no way he is an F type given the way he treated his wife, brutal!
    I'm still not sure of his type. I read The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, which is a tediously complete account of his sex life and how it may have influenced his writing. I need to go and read a more well-rounded biography, since The Secret Life focused on the sexual at the expense of all else. The Secret Life also habitually refers to Oscar Wilde as "Oscar," which I found pretty grating.

    Regardless, Oscar Wilde was definitely a literary and verbal genius. He grew up interacting regularly with some of the best conversationalists of the period, and was clearly a master of conversation and witticisms.

    It's also clear that soon after he married (if not before), Wilde rejected the morality of his culture, and instead adopted a value system that venerated seeking out sex with men whenever possible (that of the underground gay "Uranian" society of his day). The Uranians held that homosexual love was higher and more spiritual than heterosexual love, if far more dangerous and fraught. In what became Wilde's value system, rejecting love (sexually) was the sin, and expressing it a virtue.

    So, it's not clear to me how much of what looks like horrifically selfish behavior on Wilde's part is the result of the only alternative value system available, and how much are a testament to Wilde's ability to overlook and rationalize to himself the harm he did others, and to justify it as necessary collateral damage from pursuing a "spiritual" good. It does seem clear that he spent a lot of time seeking out sex with younger men, and justified his behavior in various ways.

    At some points he repented of his actions, but never for long. It's clear he had a self-destructive streak that expressed itself in several areas (pursuit of sex, drinking, spending money and his disastrous libel suit). One wonders if some of his drinking and pursuits of sex were to avoid thinking on other matters. I suspect he felt torn between value systems, which would also explain some of his vacillations at various points.

    So, in some ways his actions speak of a very selfish Fi, for example:

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Life loc1273
    The secret of this doctrine of desire lay in the abandonment of all self-control, a surrender to a mood of endless, eternal and shifting desire. The mystery of moods, he told Harry, was infinitely fascinating. 'To be a master of these moods is exquisite, to be mastered by them more exquisite still.'
    His art was also mostly about expression or exploration of the self:

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Life loc1453
    Oscar always considered himself first and foremost a poet. [...] Poetry was the medium through which Oscar expressed his most powerful and profound thoughts and emotions, and most of his poems are intensely personal and intensely autobiographical.
    It's also amazing how transparently autobiographical most of his plays are, as well.

    So, I do think it's arguable that he's an ENTP, who adopted the Fe system of the available gay subculture of his day. However, I think it's at least as arguable he was an ENFP, given his emotional focus and his need to aggrandize his sexual pursuits as spiritual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Life loc6450
    Besides which, Oscar's love for Bosie was part of a wider Uranian Cause which saw itself as embattled and besieged by what George Ives called 'all the powers of evil and ignorance.' [They were...] warriors and lovers willing and prepared to embrace death rather than surrender. Oscar saw his trials and imprisonment not only as a necessary tortures, rites of purification on his revelatory ascent towards the summit of the high hill, but also as trials and tests by fire and water of his Uranian faith. He had lived his Uranian faith and now he was ready to die for it. 'To have altered my life,' he wrote to Robbie Ross three years later, 'would have been to have admitted that Uranian love is ignoble. I hold it to be noble—more noble than other forms.'
    And the above definitely sounds to me like a Feeling-based commitment to a cause.

    As I said, I'm not 100% convinced what his type was, but I think it's an interesting topic. However, just arguing "he's witty because only ENTPs are witty" isn't by itself convincing (as people have done in other threads about Wilde). Also, mistreatment of others isn't confined to any single type, either. I do think his treatment of his wife was appalling... just not clear to me if it was done because of selfishness, commitment to another cause, self-delusion, survival instinct or some combination of all of the above.

  2. #12
    Stansmith
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    I get more Ti-Fe than Fi-Te from what I've read so far. He's also either a 4w3, or a 4w3-fixed 7, in my opinion.

  3. #13
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    I've always thought of him as a 3w4, thought I agree with @Stansmith about the 7-fix. His tone and general desire to be scandalous and glittery reminds me of other 3w4's I know as well.
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  4. #14
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    ENFP 7w8 3w4 9w1 sx/so
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  5. #15
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    Strikes me as 4w3 sx/so. Very into the aesthetic and drama of his life. Incredibly magnetic. MBTI, I don't know.

  6. #16
    Stansmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I've always thought of him as a 3w4, thought I agree with @Stansmith about the 7-fix. His tone and general desire to be scandalous and glittery reminds me of other 3w4's I know as well.
    Good point. How do you think someone with a 4w3-fix would behave in comparison?

  7. #17
    Anew Leaf
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    The vibe I get from him is that the 3w4 just tickles past 4w3. Where the image viewed by others surpasses the view he has of himself in a way. Such as his lovely line "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

    Definitely sx/so. I want to say ENTP over ENFP.

  8. #18
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    Good point. How do you think someone with a 4w3-fix would behave in comparison?
    Do you mean to ask how a 3w4 with a 7-fix would differ from a 4w3 with a 7-fix? I think that's what you mean, because a 3w4 couldn't have a 4w3 fix (because their heart type is already 3w4).

    I think a 4w3 with a 7-fix would obviously be very similar to a 3w4 with a 7-fix but potentially more concerned with authenticity, introspection, and true identity. I think Wilde is a 3w4 rather, because I don't believe he valued authenticity as much as he did flash and mirrors. Being perceived as witty and successful (albeit different) seem to have been his main aims, no matter who he had to become.

    His quotes also just scream 3w4 to me, I can't explain that specifically though unfortunately. Just a feeling.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    I haven't read anything in depth on Oscar Wilde, but I gathered he was a soc/sx 4w3, 7-fixed, Ne-dom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    As for the enneagram he's definitely type 4, but is he 4w3 or 4w5? If he is ENTP I would rather think 4w5 and if he is ENFP I would think 4w3. Or is this too stereotyped?
    Maybe a bit stereotyped. I currently type as 4w5 (100% sure) and Ne-dom (pretty sure). I'm not sure of my secondary function--I wouldn't be a typical ENFP, but there's abundant evidence of both Fi- and Ti-usage. It's non-differentiated as far as I am concerned, but I am aware that my 5-wing might only be making me think I'm a Ti-user.

    Perhaps Wilde was in a similar position?

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    There is no way he is an F type given the way he treated his wife, brutal!
    Feelers can't be cruel??

  10. #20
    Almöhi Stephano's Avatar
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    F=subjective decisions,
    T=objective decisions

    not
    F=softy
    T=mean

    Oscar Wilde was gay. He was even in in prison for that. Maybe that explains why he treated his wife bad.
    4w3 - 7w6 - 1w9 : The Idealist

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