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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy written by Oscar Wilde.

The play was conceived in 1894 and performed on stage on February 14, 1895 in St. James’s Theatre in London. The performance nearly ended in scandal, because the Marquess of Queensberry, suspecting Wilde of corrupting his son, Alfred, wanted to disrupt the performance, but the playwright warned the police about this right on time.

The name of the comedy is a pun – the word Earnest, meaning serious, is consonant with the name of Ernest, which has the semantic meaning of serious, noble, honest, and which is represented by the two characters in the play. At the same time they are not serious people.

The play belongs to the group of grand comedies written by Wilde in the first half of 1890 to please philistine tastes. The action and the characters in such plays faded into the background concentrating attention on the development of the dialogue.

The main event of the play is the suit of two egoists, John Worthing and Algernon Moncrief, to the two girls. The plot is filled with farcical and melodramatic elements, for example, both characters in order to be liked by their ladies, pretend to be some Ernest, but finally they are exposed. In the final, it appears that John and Algernon are siblings, and in fact, one of them is actually named Ernest.

At first glance, Wilde does not discuss any serious problems in the play, but in fact an important place in the play is given to the theme of vulgarity and bigotry. Wilde doesn’t forget to mention political subjects.

The language of the play is full with the author’s neologisms (Bunburism is the name of Mr. Banbury invented by Algernon, womanthrope is misogynist).

The play was warmly received by audiences and critics. Bernard Shaw called it extremely funny and Herbert Wells called it fresh.

In the play The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde removes the last borders between the moral and immoral, honest and dishonest; this hilarious comedy of life is played out even outside the sphere of the ideal, and its invisible shortage is the only moment that gives the play a critical tone of irony that was so significant in the previous comedies.

The genre kind of The Importance of Being Earnest by most researchers is defined as a farce, but they also emphasize its individual and authoring features. As part of the deceptively familiar farcical structures Wilde shows an imaginary life of his ideal state. Of course, this is not a political treatise, because such severe categories as morality, religion, justice, and others are deliberately reduced to absurdity.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy written by Oscar Wilde.

The play was conceived in 1894 and performed on stage on February 14, 1895 in St. James’s Theatre in London.

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100002732
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CREATED ON
November 8, 2016
COMPLETED ON
November 9, 2016
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$11
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