Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s wit educates us on more than just The Importance of Being Earnest. This play exposes us to the classist ideals of aristocracy. Laugh at the conventions of society’s wealthy and dare mock those who are most easily mocked. Two men, Algernon and Jack, create a fictitious man named Earnest. Earnest is terminally ill and helps Algernon and Jack to escape the annoyances of their social surroundings at any given time. The real trouble sparks when two women fall hopelessly in love with Earnest. How can two women fall in love with a man who does not exist? Cecily claims that “a man who is much talked about is always attractive. One feels there must be something in him, after all” (Act II).

The Importance of Being Earnest is an ode to good writing that neither fancy music nor sophisticated stage effects can ever account for. This play is more than classic: it is timeless. His parodies have yet to lose meaning. And Lady Bracknell is an absolute hoot:
“Kindly turn round, sweet child…There are distinct social possibilities in your profile…The chin a little higher, dear. Style largely depends on the way the chin is worn. They are worn very high, just at present” (Act III).

I strongly encourage you to put aside 4 hours this week and indulge in Wilde’s satirically splendid work.

*image courtesy of


Elisa said...

Yay! You read TIOBE finally!!! :D

Just a comment - Earnest isn't ill, it's Bunbery that is, and Wilde isn't actually being satirical - though it's hard to tell with all the humor lol. I love this play!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it too :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this review! I've added it and a link back to you into my article with 10 facts about Oscar Wilde.