Oct 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Oct 24, 2018 | Essays | 0 comments


The poem is written at a time when homosexuality was considered not only illegal but also inhuman. The author was criticizing the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, because he was a practicing homosexual. In paragraph one and two, Housman describes the reason that Wilde is being imprisoned. He states that he is being put into prison because of the color of his hair. While, it may seem unlikely that there exists a law against one’s hair color. The author is indeed making an attempt to explain that homosexuality is an innate, natural characteristics rather than one that is learned. Just as we never question the color of anyone’s hair, he questions why one should be jailed for his sexual orientation; one, which occurs naturally.

The author shares in the grief and misery of what the world has come to, jailing people because they practice what comes naturally to them. “Oh a deal of pains he’s taken and a pretty price he’s paid” (P. 1338, par. 3). The poem also shows the difficulty that Wilde had other homosexuals had, trying to hide what came naturally to them. They could simply not be open about their nature because, in the past homosexuality would have earned them a hanging, and in the day of the author time in prison where they were treated miserably and harassed so that they were only shadows of their former selves at the time of release. He cites in (P. 1338, Par. 3) to dye it or hide his poll of a mentionable shade. This describes the changes the young man has had to make, opting to change his true self in favor of a more acceptable character, that is, one who is not homosexual.