The Portrait of Mr. W. H. is a story written by Oscar Wilde and first published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1889. It was later added to the collection Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories, though it does not appear in early editions.
The story is about an attempt to uncover the identity of Mr W.H., the enigmatic dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnets. It is based on a theory, originated by Thomas Tyrwhitt, that the Sonnets were addressed to one Willie Hughes, portrayed in the story as a boy actor who specialized in playing women in Shakespeare's company. This theory depends on the assumption that the dedicatee is also the Fair Youth who is the subject of most of the poems. The only evidence for this theory is a number of sonnets (such as Sonnet 20) that make puns on the words 'Will' and 'Hues.'
Famous quotes containing the word portrait:
“Long before Einstein told us that matter is energy, Machiavelli and Hobbes and other modern political philosophers defined man as a lump of matter whose most politically relevant attribute is a form of energy called self-interestedness. This was not a portrait of man warts and all. It was all wart.”
—George F. Will (b. 1941)