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Book Review: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Genre: Play, Theatre
Book Name: The Importance of Being Earnest
Author: Oscar Wilde
Pages: 104
Publication Year: 1899

Once I had completed reading A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, I got interested in reading other classic playwrights. And that is how I picked up the book The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, written around the same time as the first one. While the former was of a more serious genre, this classified into humor genre.

Interesting and cut to the point, it showcases the triviality of placing importance on a name for the match-making. However, this is relevant even now. If not merely the name, many a times education in a specific institution holds much more value in the marriage market. In the play, love is simply reduced to the importance of the name of a person and such a frivolous matter may change the love simply because the other person was merely assuming a fictitious name. Love changed. And why so? The person wanted to escape social obligations and niceties and assumed another name/character on a temporary but on-going basis. However, let me not spill out the beans any more, but the ending of this play is just great. No doubt, this one is still popular even after more than 100 years.

P.S: It is available free of cost on Amazon Kindle version. So what you waiting for! Shop and enjoy…

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Oscar Wilde’s 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 Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest s 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!

About the author:
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) established his reputation. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of “gross indecency” with other men. On his release from prison, he lived in obscurity, and died in poverty.


Rating: 10/10
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