The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is Oscar Wilde's most popular and successful play. First performed in London in 1895, it ran for eighty-six performances. Wilde's play is a farcical romp in which the protagonists don fake personas to shirk the burdens of their social obligations. They are Algernon Moncrieff and Ernest Worthing, young gentlemen leading double lives. Algernon inquires why the cigarette case belonging to "Ernest" bears the name "Jack." Earnest confesses that while in the country taking care of his young ward Cecily, he's Jack; here he claims to be taking care of his profligate brother Earnest in London. When he's in London, however, he becomes the rakish Earnest. Algernon admits to the same ruse: while in country, he tells his London friends he's visiting an invalid friend named "Bunbury."
Wilde's hilarious and biting play pokes fun at the social order of Victorian England, while showcasing the author's classic witty epigrams (short, often paradoxical sayings) for which he is famous. Tragically the success of the opening night also brought about Wilde's end: the father Lord Alfred Douglas (Wilde's lover) had planned to present a bouquet of rotting vegetables to Wilde to interrupt the play, but Wilde was warned in advance, and the Marquess of Queensberry was barred entry. This began the famous trial that would lead to Wilde's persecution for homosexuality, and his eventual imprisonment and untimely death. But all of this might have been worth it to witness the hordes of Victorian socialites laughing uproariously… about themselves.
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Satyanarayana BO Reddy
July 14, 2014
It is one of the best plays
April 01, 2014
December 03, 2013
It was a very enjoyable and funny story. The characters and the stage directions made the play so funny. A very good play that can be read again feeling as if it was the first time we had picked it up.
September 11, 2013
Witty and entertaining
August 09, 2013
An easy, short, but witty read.
June 21, 2013
May 23, 2013
A great play. Although old, it is not dated. Its comedy and social commentary is relevant and appreciated.
February 07, 2013
An excellent comical satirical portray of the high Victorian society. Made me laugh and i felt identified with some attitudes from the eccentric characters. It is short, definitely worth reading.
December 29, 2012
Trite, pat - classic Wilde that 'acts' itself off the page - fast paced, funny farce. Always worth a look
September 21, 2012
A briliant farce, which even today has you chuckling with ridiclous incidents.
August 01, 2012
Remember reading in high school and enjoying. Just finished reading and loved the various types of humor throughout. Fast and easy read.
July 30, 2012
One of the most intellectual comedic works you'll find. Example: "If you are not too long, I shall wait for you forever." Another: "If you like that sort of thing, then that's the sort of thing you'd like." A farce that should in everyone's library. John Worthing is the perfect straight man for Algy. It's a don't-miss!
July 25, 2012
Even though the book is called the importance of being earnest, now that I finished the book, I'll be bunburying in every opportunity I get. :3
June 21, 2012
Fantastic plot. I'll be reading a lot more of Oscar.
June 06, 2012
April 01, 2012
Huh hmmm kinda funny
March 16, 2012
Been burnbuying lately?
February 17, 2012
This is a hilarious book and I'd be happy to read it again. I've seen to versions of the film and I'd love to see it in a play!
January 08, 2012
Absolutely hilarious- this makes me laugh out loud at the hidden punchlines!
October 25, 2011
I first started reading this when I was in the eight grade. I found it interesting that my teacher would make us read it. Even though I have yet to finish it I think it is a good read for high schoolers.