Oscar Wilde is one of the most interesting representatives of British literature. He was born in 1856 in Irish family. His father was an optician, an author of some books on Irish folklore. His mother was a poetess and was well-known in aristocratic society. After graduating from Oxford University Wilde delivered lectures on ethics and aesthetics in Europe and America. He was accused of immoral behaviour and got into prison. After it he left for Paris where he died in 1900. He is well-known for his extraordinary talent and humour. "The truth is rarely pure and never simple", "There is no sin except stupidity", "Art never expresses anything but itself" are only a few of his famous aphorisms. He always considered the aesthetic feeling of a person to be the moving force of human development. Wilde's fairy-tales always depicted the union between the good and the beauty. Every detail in his lyrical fairy-tales has symbolic meaning. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is one of his most famous novels. It is a story of a young man Dorian Gray. Under the influence of Lord Henry, his spiritual "teacher", Dorian becomes an immoral murderer. Despite this fact his face remains young and beautiful. But his portrait painted by his friend reflects Dorian's immorality and cruelty. Thrusting a knife into his portrait Dorian kills himself. His face becomes ugly while the portrait shines with perfect beauty. Oscar Wilde's literary heritage is very large and his works are often staged nowadays.