Useful notes on how to get through a viva at Oxford. Anecdote by Miss Joyce Hawkins, in Hesketh Pearson, The Life of Oscar Wilde.
IN his viva voce examination for ‘Divvers’ at Oxford, Oscar Wilde was required to translate from the Greek version of the New Testament, which was one of the set books. The passage chosen was from the story of the Passion. Wilde began to translate, easily and accurately. The examiners were satisfied, and told him that this was enough. Wilde ignored them and continued to translate. After another attempt the examiners at last succeeded in stopping him, and told him that they were satisfied with his translation. ‘Oh, do let me go on,’ said Wilde, ‘I want to see how it ends.’