Oscar Wilde essayist, dramatist, novelist, and poet was better known for his scandalous lifestyle than his literary theories and their execution in his dramas. Wilde was an aesthete. He saw art as something that was not supposed to be useful or practical in any sense, it was not created to buy or to sell, and it should not hold more value than a human life. This is what aesthetic authors such as Oscar Wilde try to portray in their non conventional works packed with comedy and tragedy such as and The Importance and Being Earnest. Wilde saw all things beautiful and disregarded anything that took away from the raw beauty. Wilde even tries to take heinous acts and make them beautiful, such as the unthinkable act of murder in "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", which he portrays in a more tasteful and artistic light. The aesthetic era regards everything in life as a work of art. Aesthetes are acutely aware of all of life's small tragedies but still attempt to bring comical light on all situations. Wilde attempts to express art, comedy, and tragedy in both "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" and the Importance of Being Earnest.
Art has always been present in the high cultures on London, and the world, during the past centuries. Being able to produce art takes immense skill; precise brush strokes are done by the steady hand of a master; soaking in the environment takes the mind of a genius; and the publicizing of the piece takes the skill of the salesman. This is all good and true if were talking about the most plainly known art, the painting, drawing, and etc. but what about the other arts? The dark arts, the art of murder. Yes even murder can be a piece of art; this is illustrated in the poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" which is about murder, as stated in the first six lines, which are often overlooked. The poem is based on a real life murder and has been said that the idea came to Wilde while he was on the stand for his own crime (Alkalay-Gut), the crime of being a homosexual.