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The Importance of Being Earnest
SCENE—Morning-room in ALGERNON'S flat in Half Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.
[LANE is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, ALGERNON enters.]
ALGERNON. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?
LANE. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.
ALGERNON. I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play accurately—anyone can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.
LANE. Yes, sir.
ALGERNON. And, speaking of the science of Life, have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?
LANE. Yes, sir. [Hands them on a salver.]
ALGERNON [Inspects them, takes two, and sits down on the sofa. Oh! ... by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been consumed.
LANE. Yes, sir; eight bottles and a pint.
ALGERNON. Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne? I ask merely for information.
LANE. I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir. I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand.
ALGERNON. Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?
LANE. I believe it is a very pleasant state, sir. I have had very little experience of it myself up to the present. I have only been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person.
ALGERNON [Languidly.] I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.
LANE. No, sir; it is not a very interesting subject. I never think of it myself.
ALGERNON. Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you.
LANE. Thank you, sir. [LANE goes out.]
ALGERNON. Lane's views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.
LANE. Mr. Ernest Worthing.
[Enter JACK.] [LANE goes out.]
ALGERNON. How are you, my dear Ernest? What brings you up to town?
JACK. Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy!
ALGERNON [Stiffly.] I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight refreshment at five o'clock. Where have you been since last Thursday?
JACK [Sitting down on the sofa.] In the country.
ALGERNON. What on earth do you do there?
JACK [Pulling off his gloves.] When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.
ALGERNON. And who are the people you amuse?
JACK [Airily.] Oh, neighbours, neighbours.
ALGERNON. Got nice neighbours in your part of Shropshire?
JACK. Perfectly horrid! Never speak to one of them.
ALGERNON. How immensely you must amuse them! [Goes over and takes sandwich.] By the way, Shropshire is your county, is it not?
JACK. Eh? Shropshire? Yes, of course. Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?
ALGERNON. Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen.
JACK. How perfectly delightful!
ALGERNON. Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being here.
JACK. May I ask why?
ALGERNON. My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.
JACK. I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her.
ALGERNON. I thought you had come up for pleasure? ... I call that business.
JACK. How utterly unromantic you are!
ALGERNON. I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.
JACK. I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously constituted.
ALGERNON. Oh! there is no use speculating on that subject. Divorces are made in Heaven—[JACK puts out his hand to take a sandwich. ALGERNON at once interferes.] Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.]
JACK. Well, you have been eating them all the time.
ALGERNON. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter.
JACK [Advancing to table and helping himself.] And very good bread and butter it is too.
ALGERNON. Well, my dear fellow, you need not eat as if you were going to eat it all. You behave as if you were married to her already. You are not married to her already, and I don't think you ever will be.
JACK. Why on earth do you say that?
ALGERNON. Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don't think it right.
JACK. Oh, that is nonsense!
ALGERNON. It isn't. It is a great truth. It accounts for the extraordinary number of bachelors that one sees all over the place. In the second place, I don't give my consent.
JACK. Your consent!
ALGERNON. My dear fellow, Gwendolen is my first cousin. And before I allow you to marry her, you will have to clear up the whole question of Cecily. [Rings bell.]
JACK. Cecily! What on earth do you mean? What do you mean, Algy, by Cecily? I don't know anyone of the name of Cecily.
ALGERNON. Bring me that cigarette case Mr. Worthing left in the smoking-room the last time he dined here.
LANE. Yes, sir. [LANE goes out.]
JACK. Do you mean to say you have had my cigarette case all this time? I wish to goodness you had let me know. I have been writing frantic letters to Scotland Yard about it. I was very nearly offering a large reward.
ALGERNON. Well, I wish you would offer one. I happen to be more than usually hard up.
JACK. There is no good offering a large reward now that the thing is found.
[Enter LANE with the cigarette case on a salver. ALGERNON takes it at once. LANE goes out.]
ALGERNON. I think that is rather mean of you, Ernest, I must say. [Opens case and examines it.] However, it makes no matter, for, now that I look at the inscription inside, I find that the thing isn't yours after all.
JACK. Of course it's mine. [Moving to him.] You have seen me with it a hundred times, and you have no right whatsoever to read what is written inside. It is a very ungentlemanly thing to read a private cigarette case.
ALGERNON. Oh! it is absurd to have a hard-and-fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
JACK. I am quite aware of the fact, and I don't propose to discuss modern culture. It isn't the sort of thing one should talk of in private. I simply want my cigarette case back.
ALGERNON. Yes; but this isn't your cigarette case. This cigarette case is a present from someone of the name of Cecily, and you said you didn't know anyone of that name.
JACK. Well, if you want to know, Cecily happens to be my aunt.
ALGERNON. Your aunt!
JACK. Yes. Charming old lady she is, too. Lives at Tunbridge Wells. Just give it back to me, Algy.
ALGERNON [Retreating to back of sofa.] But why does she call herself little Cecily if she is your aunt and lives at Tunbridge Wells? [Reading.] 'From little Cecily with her fondest love.'
JACK [Moving to sofa and kneeling upon it]. My dear fellow, what on earth is there in that? Some aunts are tall, some aunts are not tall. That is a matter that surely an aunt may be allowed to decide for herself. You seem to think that every aunt should be exactly like your aunt! That is absurd! For Heaven's sake give me back my cigarette case. [Follows ALGERNON round the room.]
ALGERNON. Yes. But why does your aunt call you her uncle? 'From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack.' There is no objection, I admit, to an aunt being a small aunt, but why an aunt, no matter what her size may be, should call her own nephew her uncle, I can't quite make out. Besides, your name isn't Jack at all; it is Ernest.
JACK. It isn't Ernest; it's Jack.
ALGERNON. You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to everyone as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn't Ernest. It's on your cards. Here is one of them. [Taking it from case.] 'Mr. Ernest Worthing, B 4, The Albany.' I'll keep this as a proof your name is Ernest if ever you attempt to deny it to me, or to Gwendolen, or to anyone else. [Puts the card in his pocket.]
JACK. Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country, and the cigarette case was given to me in the country.
ALGERNON. Yes, but that does not account for the fact that your small Aunt Cecily, who lives at Tunbridge Wells, calls you her dear uncle. Come, old boy, you had much better have the thing out at once.
JACK. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.
ALGERNON. Well, that is exactly what dentists always do. Now, go on! Tell me the whole thing. I may mention that I have always suspected you of being a confirmed and secret Bunburyist; and I am quite sure of it now.
JACK. Bunburyist? What on earth do you mean by a Bunburyist?
ALGERNON. I'll reveal to you the meaning of that incomparable expression as soon as you are kind enough to inform me why you are Ernest in town and Jack in the country.
JACK. Well, produce my cigarette case first.
ALGERNON. Here it is. [Hands cigarette case.] Now produce your explanation, and pray make it improbable. [Sits on sofa.]
JACK. My dear fellow, there is nothing improbable about my explanation at all. In fact it's perfectly ordinary. Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives at my place in the country under the charge of her admirable governess, Miss Prism.
ALGERNON. Where is that place in the country, by the way?
JACK. That is nothing to you, dear boy. You are not going to be invited.... I may tell you candidly that the place is not in Shropshire.
ALGERNON. I suspected that, my dear fellow! I have Bunburyed all over Shropshire on two separate occasions. Now, go on. Why are you Ernest in town and Jack in the country?
JACK. My dear Algy, I don't know whether you will be able to understand my real motives. You are hardly serious enough. When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It's one's duty to do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce very much to either one's health or one's happiness, in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes. That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
ALGERNON. The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
JACK. That wouldn't be at all a bad thing.
ALGERNON. Literary criticism is not your forte, my dear fellow. Don't try it. You should leave that to people who haven't been at a University. They do it so well in the daily papers. What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know.
JACK. What on earth do you mean?
ALGERNON. You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to town as often as you like. I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose. Bunbury is perfectly invaluable. If it wasn't for Bunbury's extraordinary bad health, for instance, I wouldn't be able to dine with you at Willis's to-night, for I have been really engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week.
JACK. I haven't asked you to dine with me anywhere to-night.
ALGERNON. I know. You are absurdly careless about sending out invitations. It is very foolish of you. Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations.
JACK. You had much better dine with your Aunt Augusta.
ALGERNON. I haven't the smallest intention of doing anything of the kind. To begin with, I dined there on Monday, and once a week is quite enough to dine with one's own relations. In the second place, whenever I do dine there I am always treated as a member of the family, and sent down with either no woman at all, or two. In the third place, I know perfectly well whom she will place me next to, to-night. She will place me next Mary Farquhar, who always flirts with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant. Indeed, it is not even decent ... and that sort of thing is enormously on the increase. The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one's clean linen in public. Besides, now that I know you to be a confirmed Bunburyist I naturally want to talk to you about Bunburying. I want to tell you the rules.
JACK. I'm not a Bunburyist at all. If Gwendolen accepts me, I am going to kill my brother, indeed I think I'll kill him in any case. Cecily is a little too much interested in him. It is rather a bore. So I am going to get rid of Ernest. And I strongly advise you to do the same with Mr.... with your invalid friend who has the absurd name.
ALGERNON. Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury, and if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury. A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
JACK. That is nonsense. If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen, and she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry, I certainly won't want to know Bunbury.
ALGERNON. Then your wife will. You don't seem to realise, that in married life three is company and two is none.
JACK [Sententiously.] That, my dear young friend, is the theory that the corrupt French drama has been propounding for the last fifty years.
ALGERNON. Yes; and that the happy English home has proved in half the time.
JACK. For Heaven's sake, don't try to be cynical. It's perfectly easy to be cynical.
ALGERNON. My dear fellow, it isn't easy to be anything now-a-days. There's such a lot of beastly competition about. [The sound of an electric bell is heard.] Ah! that must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian manner. Now, if I get her out of the way for ten minutes, so that you can have an opportunity for proposing to Gwendolen, may I dine with you to-night at Willis's?
JACK. I suppose so, if you want to.
ALGERNON. Yes, but you must be serious about it. I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.
LANE. Lady Bracknell and Miss Fairfax.
[ALGERNON goes forward to meet them. Enter LADY BRACKNELL and GWENDOLEN.]
LADY BRACKNELL. Good afternoon, dear Algernon, I hope you are behaving very well.
ALGERNON. I'm feeling very well, Aunt Augusta.
LADY BRACKNELL. That's not quite the same thing. In fact the two things rarely go together. [Sees JACK and bows to him with icy coldness.]
ALGERNON [To GWENDOLEN]. Dear me, you are smart!
GWENDOLEN. I am always smart! Aren't I, Mr. Worthing?
JACK. You're quite perfect, Miss Fairfax.
GWENDOLEN. Oh! I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions. [GWENDOLEN and JACK sit down together in the corner.]
LADY BRACKNELL. I'm sorry if we are a little late, Algernon, but I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn't been there since her poor husband's death. I never saw a woman so altered; she looks quite twenty years younger. And now I'll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.
ALGERNON. Certainly, Aunt Augusta. [Goes over to tea-table.]
LADY BRACKNELL. Won't you come and sit here, Gwendolen?
GWENDOLEN. Thanks, mamma, I'm quite comfortable where I am.
ALGERNON [Picking up empty plate in, horror.] Good Heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially.
LANE [Gravely.] There were no cucumbers in the market this morning, sir. I went down twice.
ALGERNON. No cucumbers!
LANE. No, sir. Not even for ready money.
ALGERNON. That will do, Lane, thank you.
LANE. Thank you, sir. [Goes out.]
ALGERNON. I am greatly distressed, Aunt Augusta, about there being no cucumbers, not even for ready money.
Excerpted from The Importance of Being Earnest by OSCAR WILDE. Copyright © 1990 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|Lady Windermere's fan||1|
|An ideal husband||71|
|The importance of being earnest||175|
Posted January 14, 2011
I am very proud to say I read this play and to an extent, enjoyed it. I first heard of Oscar Wilde from another book and when I found this book by him as a possible choice for some required reading, I was ecstatic. Besides the name, Oscar Wilde was unknown to me. I had no knowledge of prior work, history, or even that he wrote plays, not novels. I was truly going out on a lim with this book. I was and was not disappointed in this book.
Eighteenth century literature is very strange to me, especially plays. The way of talking and the humor, I find hard to connect to. The characters are far to formal to the extent of being unrealistic. I do not know if that is just my culture and up bring of unbelievable informality or an overly cocky author trying to establish he position as a highly educated person. All conversation in this play seamed stiff and planned out. This for me was especially apparent when it should have been informal conversation if not very informal. Conversations between the to main characters (Algernon and Jack who are friends) just did not flow for me. Their characters did not flourish. Throughout this play I found that one specific characteristic was present in a characters and all to often became the hole character. I felt that they were all one dimensional, "paper" characters. That may have been what Wilde was after in this "Trivial Comedy for Serious People" but it was lost on me.
Although I did not enjoy the characters, I did find the story line and plot very interesting and original. I love how this play and the characters put so much emphasis on a name, a single word. I find this fascinating and that main reason I enjoyed this play. I think Oscar Wilde, with this play, captured the essence of the human love for words, spoken and written. Not only do we feel great emotion with words, we put so much importance in them. There are connotations, alternate meaning and, "forbidden" words. These have so much meaning to us. Meaning that we have put into them. The two main female characters do this with a name, Earnest. They have their minds made up that they will only marry a man with the name of Earnest. This is the plot of the story and for how simple it is, I find it very elegant and lovely.
With my likes and dislikes about this play, I must come to the parts I hate, about this book. Ending are meant to wrap it up. They make or break a book. There is no perfect ending but there are many bad endings. The Importance of Being Earnest has one of the worst I know. I hate to bad mouth a renowned piece of literature but for this, I truly feel I must. The fraise "Fairy Tail Ending" dose not cover this "perfect" of an ending. I would not mind if it ended happily but in the way it does, it makes me sick. To fully understand how poor the ending is you must read the book.
I know I have given a rather poor review for this book, but I must reinvigorate I did enjoy it. The Importance of Being Earnest is a fine read and I feel should be read. Some parts must be fought though but the final destination is good.
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Posted December 11, 2005
I Consider it a Very pleasant chance to study Oscar Wilde's The importance of Bieng Earnest.It Is hard for any playwright or novelist or whatever person to make people laugh through words.However this difficulty was really dissolved,and it was neither difficult nor impossible for Oscar Wilde To attract people's attention and to make them laugh through his works.I Consider , myself, The importance of being Earnest one of the most remarkable works of satire and criticism not only in the Victorian age,but also nowadays,since it discloses many aristocratic behaviors that seems to be very weird and funny at the same time.the several interpretations of this play may be considered as an enough reason for explaining the wit and cleverness of Oscar Wilde.Which,in fact, was translated into words and Acts.Through studying this play,it was clear for me and for my colleagues that Wilde's most important concern is to criticize and assail the Victorian principles and moralites.Wilde Chose some examples of Upper Class poeple to play the role of trivializing a whole culture and philosohpy of life.Characters such as Algernon and Jack are an essential example to reveal Wilde's criticism.They are the effiminite men,who,in the one hand, make pleasure and food as serious and vital as any other mportant and grave issue.on the other hand, they trivialize what is used to be common and widely respecatble in the social view like marriage and love and so on.Oscar Wilde makes his characters play the role of corrupting maxims and saying.Marriage, for instance, has a very common saying about it :'Two is a company three is a crowd', However in the play, this maxim is modified and subverted.it besomes :'in married life, three is a company, and two is none'.the third element in marriage life is business.By mentioning business,one may remark that people in the Victorian age worship money and business more than any other thing.since money provide a full and complete pleasure and comfortable life of them.The feminine Characters in the play, such as Cecily and Gwendolen,though they are well educated but this over intellectualism is standing side by side to their silliness and tiviality.It is really amazing to judge Someone through his name-as what these girls do in fact-.They fall in love with Algernon and Jack not because of their characters,but because of the 'vibrations' produced by their 'unreal' name,Ernest.This trivial motive that stand behind love, is considered on the one hand as a corruption of the moral notion' Love'.it shows love as a trivial emotion that must be criticized.and on the other hand,the silliness of these girls concerning their ' romantic' love,shows how trivial a dandy can be. Lady Bracknell is another important character in the play.She is given some of the wittiest statements of Oscar Wilde himself.She is a great example of the domineering and snobbishing woman,who wants to make her daughter manipulative like her.She wants Gwendolen to be married to a very rich and known man.Her list of 'eligible men' gives us a clear image about her character.She makes the notion of love appear as a deal of business and as a contract that must be beneficial.Her disapproval for the match between her daughter Gwendolen and Jack,is not of his character as an ignorant and a man who smokes,but in the contrary, she disagree with the match because of Jack's unconventional origin.He explaines for L.Bracknell that he was found in a railway station,and that is enough for her to forbid the marriage.This image shows how important the good breed of a person is,because if he is of a good breed and a decent origin so he is automatically acceptable.Otherwise he would be rejected and mocked by people,as what L.Bracknell does in fact with Jack.
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Posted April 7, 2000
After reading The Importance of Being Earnest in my modern novel class, I became an Oscar Wilde fan. You have to love his wit, dialogue, and clever use of language. A very funny, entertaining, and light play.
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Posted July 12, 2013
Very smart conversations are had in this book. I think some of it was lost on me through the language. I liked this book regardless. The men were funny. The women were also funny. This was a kind and gentle book. I liked reading it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2013
This book is probably more appropriate for teens and adults. It is written in a play format. It isn't thought provoking, but it is rather amusing. Essentially, the basic plot are the complications that arise when people insist on developing alter egos. In a way, as far as discussion, you could interest people in discussing the difficulties other well-known characters or people have had that have double identities (for instance, Superman/Clark Kent). Jack Worthing wishes to marry Lady Fairfax. The problem is, her mother doesn't approve of his orphaned background--he was found in a lady's handbag at the train station. Meanwhile, he is planning to kill off his alter ego Ernest--who is young ward is interested in. Complications arise when his friend Algernon decides to impersonate Ernest. The plot held together well and had very nice twists. The mystery of Jack's origins is solved. At first, I had difficulty in understanding whether the banter between people was supposed to be considered funny or insulting...but once I realized they were trying to be witty, I was able to enjoy it more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2012
Posted January 1, 2012
Posted May 17, 2011
'The Importance of Being Earnest' is perhaps the most magnificent theatrical display of identity crisis since Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' and just as humorous. In this play, two friends, Mr. Jack Worthing and Mr. Algernon Moncrieff who find themselves to be similarly engaged in the art of creating a pretend character who frequently needs their attention and calls them from home. Jack Worthing creates a fictitious brother, "Ernest" as an explanation to his young ward Cecily and members of his household for his frequent visits to the city. In turn, Algernon invents a friend, Mr. Bunbury, who requires his attentions in the countryside. While in the city, Jack assumes the identity of Ernest and his friend Algernon suspects that Ernest is not truly who he seems to be. Jack confesses to his lie and reveals that he has a beautiful young ward named Cecily in the countryside, prompting Algernon to visit Jack's house. Meanwhile, Jack proposes to Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn Fairfax and by the time he arrives in his country home, he finds Algernon posing as Jack's made-up brother "Ernest" and trying to win Cecily's affections. When Gwendolyn goes to Jack's country house to see the man she knows as Ernest, confusion and hilarity ensue as the two men pretending to be Ernest learn the importance of being earnest.
This play is a must-read for fans of theater, comedy, or just literature in general. Clever, witty, and sophisticated without being meretricious, this is amusing to say the least and exemplary of good writing. Full of brio, this play is complex without being a soap opera and has themes as entertaining and classier than any contemporary reality TV show has to offer. It is short enough to be a great beach read for people desiring a more substantial yet light read.
Posted March 29, 2007
When I first picked up The Importance of Being Earnest, written b oscar wilde, i ad m doubts, cause 18th century plays werent my thing. but i read it anyway, remembering the hilarity of the first movie. Th play is set in England in the Victorian Era, and centers on two characters: Algernon 'Algy' and John Worthing 'Jack'. These two are complete opposites, while Algy is the one with a witty reply to whatever is said 'e.g. 'All women become like their mothers, thats their shame. Men dont, thats our shame'', Jack is the serious faced one who is clearl not funny, but made me laugh anyways. The play is about Jacks double-life as Ernest Worthing, and when Algy disguises himself as Ernest is when everything messes up. I recommend this play to anyone who has $1.25 and a little time onn their hands. The only thing that I should warn you about is that it has some weird language not commonly used today, and is also very short, so if you want a book for a long flight.. dont buy this play.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 5, 2006
Sheer wit! A wonderful plotline, with artistic and entertaining dialouge to fulfil every promised and unexpected twist. How he did it, I do not know, whilst most of us can say a witty thing only on the spur of the moment, this HAS BEEN WRITTEN DOWN! The bare fact of the thing - that people can have daggers for tongues merely by memorizing a script - is astounding in itself not to mention the humor and punchline of the play in its entirety. Happy Bonberry-ing!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2003
The Importance of being Earnest is a great book, I enjoyed reading every minute of it. I think it is funny, interesting and very creative. In addition, it has a wonderful storyline, significant characters, and a unique title. Oscar Wilde did a wonderful job writing it. The book is easy to read and very entertaining. I honestly could not put the book down because form the beginning it grabbed my attention and held on to it until the very end. Wilde is a master of surprises; the book is a delight to read because it was filled with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. The storyline is very easy to follow however in keeps the readers guessing because it is filled with a lot of unforeseen situations, as the story unfolds the readers gain more knowledge about the characters. The storyline was well written from start to finish, there is absolutely no boring moments in the book. By the end of the book, all questions are answered and an enlightening discovery is unveiled. All of the characters in the book have a significant role. They have well developed personalities and lot of sarcasm. Wilde gave each character a significant role in addition to making them witty and humorous. I found all of the characters to be amusing during the course of the play. As the play moves along most of the characters discover that they are connected to each other in a significant way. I think the title of the book is very unique and very attractive to readers, when I glanced at it for the first time I became very curious about what is so important about being earnest and I am sure other people said the same thing. Wilde selected a title that captured the essence of the entire book and I think that is magnificent. In conclusion, I think the book is a masterpiece, I like everything about it. I look forward to reading more books by Oscar Wilde in the future. I gave this book a four star rating and I am going to recommend it to my close friends and family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2003
In Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' there were many examples of human nature and reality displayed throughout the reading. We liked this book because it was easy to understand and it made us laugh. Although it was written over a hundred years ago, there are many parts in the book that still apply to human nature today. For example, Lady Bracknell was so serious 'or earnest,' that she never really enjoyed the good things in life. On the other hand, Jack and Algernon were more light hearted in going about their life. Because of this, they were rewarded with love. People who take life too seriously don't seem to enjoy themselves, whereas those who are care free and don't worry too much seem to get the benefits. In our world today, we are influenced by those around us, as were the characters in this book. Algernon and Jack always seemed to be going behind each other¿s backs to make themselves feel like they were better than one another. Because of these acts they became suspicious of one another's secrets, which eventually lead them to finding out the truth. In the end they both got what they wanted and learned a little more about themselves that they never knew before. The themes found in this book are still applicable to life today while you get a good laugh, making it enjoyable to read. We definitely recommend this book to all!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2003
I go to an amature drama group. It is coming to our 80th anniversary and we want to do something spectacular. Several plays have been suggested but my friend's favorite was 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Since I am on study leave for my GCSE's I thought I'd download the script and have a read. I Knew Oscar Wilde was good, but I never knew he was this good! This play has everything! Humour, Romance, twists and (best of all) a part I could be chosen for! My favorite quote from the play is 'Jack: I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her. Algernon: I thought you had come up for pleasure? I call that buisness.' I really recomend this book to anyone who wants a good laugh. This is comedy at it's best. I hope we get to do it...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2002
I never knew of Oscar before I was asked to play Lane and Merriman in the Importance, and I can say as a 13 yr old english actor I have never had so much fun and enjoyment out of a single play. the wit is inbetween the lines and Lady Bracknell among others has some fantastic lines including the infamous 'HANDBAG' one. I thoroughly enjoyed this script from one of the best!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2000
'Splendiferous and delightful!' This shows off Wilde's wit and flamboyance perfectly! The best piece of literature I've have ever had the pleasure of reading. Quite impossible to put down! SUPERB!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2000
What else can I say? It is just so wonderful to read. I have never seen it acted but if the actors were good this would be a great play to see live, (unlike some plays I have read) I pick up a copy of this play and read it about once a year, if I have nothing else to do for the next two hours I can get it done in no time. It is light hearted and fantastic, I love it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2009
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Posted August 29, 2011
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Posted August 29, 2011
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Posted February 26, 2014
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