The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious ...
The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play. The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover, planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work. The Importance of Being Earnest has been revived many times since its premiere. It has been adapted for the cinema on three occasions. In The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), Dame Edith Evans reprised her celebrated interpretation of Lady Bracknell; The Importance of Being Earnest (1992) by Kurt Baker used an all-black cast; and Oliver Parker's The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) incorporated some of Wilde's original material cut during the preparation of the original stage production.
This is one of those all-important plays that depart a good message, but also make you laugh in the process. The characters and themes in this play are wonderful and colorful. The biting wit of the dialog makes this play a winner in my mind. I love everything about this play, and while I haven't seen the movie at all, I hope that it would be something like this when I actually do see it.
Apr 19, 2007
Excellent Play - A MUST READ!
In my 10+ years of live theater exploration, no play has stuck in my mind as much as Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. I'll admit to having seen a movie version prior to reading the play, and even that the movie was the REASON I later picked up the play, since then, I have re-read it several times. Even after seeing one interpretation of it, I was very able to establish my own ideas on the play, both in regards to meaning, and in production ideas. The Importance of Being Earnest was my first Wilde play, and while I have read others since then, and would call myself an avid Oscar Wilde fan, The Importance of Being Earnest is my absolute favourite. The rich setting can be imagined, the wittyness of the dialogue, and in fact of entire plays, and Wilde's inherant social comedy are important factors of all Wilde plays, and this one is no different. People of all ages can appreciate the humour and wit present in the play - in fact, I would say anyone from ages 10-100 can appreciate this play for the wonderful work of literature it is!
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.