David Hare is an exceptional dramatist, complex and challenging. This is certainly the case with The Judas Kiss, a rather long play. I think that Hare tired to accomplish several goals with this play including giving the viewer an appreciation for the dense complexity of Wilde's personality as well as exploring the relationship that certainly was a primary catalyst in his destruction.
Oscar Wilde, as developed by Hare, was aware of the sweep of history and the power of the social structures that uphold our civilization. Thus he sees that these forces of history, classicism, nationalism, moralism, religiosity, and heterosexual centered conceptions of love relationships were dominant forces and those who oppose these forces begins to play a role, possibly a role separate from their inner self conception, and there is no escaping the role once the role has been assumed. Wilde has assumed this role and wide eyed he sees that the only choice he has is how he plays his role in this sweeping narrative.
Wisely, Hare builds motives upon motives, for we are also lead to think that Wilde has been manipulated into assuming this role by his young lover, Bosie, as a juvenile attempt to seek revenge on his overbearing father. But we learn that Wilde is not easily manipulated and if he appears to have been manipulated, the truth lies deep and remains a wonderful mystery in the play.
The character of Wilde is the subject of this play even though his relationships, his friendships, his marriage, his trial, his imprisonment, and his exile build the armature on which Hare explores Wilde at his most vulnerable and complex. This is a rewarding play.