Oscar Wilde was a brilliant writer and satirist, but he was also an extremely well-versed philosopher and social critic, who stood outside of society's norms, challenged their moral beliefs, and stood up for his art and himself as a rational, individual man. In today's society, individuals with such character as Oscar Wilde are difficult to find. In today's society, it seems that rather than questioning the nature of truth, the world simply accepts things as they are, upholding faith over knowledge, and the value of collectives above that of the individual. However, it seems that filmmaker and satirist Woody Allen comes close to being a modern day Oscar Wilde. It can even be argued that in his personal life, as well as professional, Allen has the same sort of controversies surrounding him that Wilde experienced during his lifetime.
In looking at Allen's personal life, we see echoes of the sort of struggle that Wilde faced. When Allen divorced his then-wife, actress Mia Farrow because he had been having an illicit affair with the couple's adopted daughter, the stigma surrounding him was palpable, just as it had for Wilde during his "posing sodomite" trials. Somehow, however, both men were able to separate their art from their personal lives, and continue creating critically acclaimed, if not classic works.
In their art, the two men share a common bond in that they are both satirists, challenging the audience's conventional notions of society, religion and the individual. In the best part of his careerùthe period of time that began with 1973's Sleeper, and continued through 1997's Deconstructing HarryùAllen caused his audience to question their own place within the social structure. He often mocks religion, sex, love and death, all in the name of causing his audience to think This is a feat that we can also see was adequately accomplished in the best of Wilde's workùDorian Gray, for instance, makes us q