The moment I think of Oscar Wilde I think of that scene in "The importance of being Ernest" where the prospective son-in-law tells the girl's mother that he has lost both his parents. The response is priceless - "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness".
Oscar Wilde is one of the top humorists of all time. Otherwise, though, it is difficult to define the man. If you want to consider him an optimist, then he comes out with "The basis of optimism is sheer terror" so, unless you consider him a man living in perpetual terror, you decide he cannot be one. Consider him a pessimist and he goes, "Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both." That, then, puts paid to the idea of a Wilde pessimist.
Again, when you think of his quote 'What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing' and decide he cannot be a cynic, he also says 'I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability'. If you can beat that for cynicism about mankind, you are welcome to try. Add to that the fact that he also holds that 'True friends stab you in the front', it is difficult to see him as anything but a cynic. You may disagree with him about friends but, when he said 'Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much', he was spot on.
Whatever else he was, modest he was not. Whether apocryphal or not, the story is that when the US Customs asked him if he had anything to declare, he is supposed to have said, 'I have nothing to declare except my genius'. But then, that is par for the course for the man who said, 'Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess'.
He probably really did believe that 'Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about'. Something that you wish more people did, even if it meant that most of human conversation would get cut out if they did. But then, it is true that 'Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation'. Which, in effect, means that nothing much is going to be said that will shake the world. So, there would be no need to lament, 'I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect', because reason, brute or otherwise, is very seldom brought to bear on any issue being discussed.
In times where people are willing to die (and kill) for their beliefs one can only wish that someone convinced them that 'A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it'. The problem, though, is that when people die or kill for what they call their 'cause', they have this pleasant sensation of doing something selfless, when the truth is that 'Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live'. But, then, most people tend to believe that 'In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane'.
Maybe the issue is also that 'The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything'. AND, consequently, '...the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience'. It is not that the young are necessarily incorrect or that the old are necessarily wise, but it is a fact that, on the average, the old have more experience to weigh their opinions with. Yes, true, there are foolish old men but, then, it is mainly because they started out as even more foolish young men and not because age made them foolish - which, in effect, means that the young are not immune to being foolish either. So, it would not be true to brush all of the experience of the old aside with the view that 'Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes'.
When the world around you has changed, though, experience may prove an ineffective guide but the trick is to know where it is, and where it isn't, when you get advice. Unless you believe that 'The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself'.
Oscar Wilde makes me happy, though, with his advice that 'The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation.' THAT has been the guiding light of my life, even if it so happens that 'There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it' and, consequently, one suffers the pangs of indulging while on a quest to avoid the pangs of deprivation.
AND, if you feel tempted to say 'Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go' and classify me among those who you would wish gone, all I have to say is 'To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance' and I AM a romantic that way.
After all, when 'The world is a stage but the play is badly cast' one can only be happy when he loves himself.