The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeOscar Wildes madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades.
Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jacks ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jacks country home on the same weekend the rivals to fight for Ernests undivided attention and the Ernests to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!
This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and readers notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wildes wry wit and elaborate plot twists.
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a popular play that is still widely performed in English-language theatres and also in many other languages. When first performed, the play was considered as a light comedy and classified as entertainment for Victorian society. However, the writing of the play relies on a creativity and richness that combine different styles. Oscar Wilde was gay in a society stifled by social conventions and governed by very tough laws on homosexuality. Nevertheless, some critics have argued that the playwright dared include homosexual connotations in the text. He often used this convenient formal frame to structure his society comedies.
Jack Worthing is a fashionable young man who lives in the country with his ward, Cecily Cardew. He has invented a rakish brother named Ernest whose supposed exploits give Jack an excuse to travel to London periodically to rescue him. Jack is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, the cousin of his friend Algernon Moncrieff. Jack discovers that Algernon has been impersonating Ernest in order to woo Cecily, who has always been in love with the imaginary rogue Ernest. The play ends with both couples happily united. The Importance of Being Earnest. Info Print Cite.
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February at the St James's Theatre.
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John Worthing, J. Algernon Moncrieff Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.
The audience at the St James would therefore have seen on stage a reflection, admittedly a distorted one, of a social ambiance that they either knew intimately or had heard a good deal about. Usage terms Public Domain. At the same time the action is continuously, uncontrollably and hilariously absurd. What is beyond dispute is his brilliance in devising scenes where the comedy is inbuilt and the dialogue resonates with repressed feeling. Photographs from an early performance of The Importance of being Earnest , Although we think, quite rightly, of The Importance as a unique comic achievement, Alexander and his fellow actors were all at home in the Victorian repertoire and well-practised in audience technique.
Look Inside. Jun 08, ISBN Jul 21, ISBN Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who bend the truth in order to add excitement to their lives. Jack invents an imaginary brother, Ernest, whom he uses as an excuse to escape from his dull country home and gallavant in town. However, their deceptions eventually cross paths, resulting in a series of crises that threaten to spoil their romantic pursuits.