The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde.
- First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations.
- Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways.
- Some contemporary reviews praised the play's humour and the culmination of Wilde's artistic career, while others were cautious about its lack of social messages. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.
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About the Author
The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet who delighted Victorian England with his legendary wit. He found critical and popular success with his scintillating plays, chiefly The Importance of Being Earnest, while his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, scandalized readers. Imprisoned for two years for homosexual behavior, Wilde moved to France after his release, where he died destitute.
Date of Birth:October 16, 1854
Date of Death:November 30, 1900
Place of Birth:Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:Paris, France
Education:The Royal School in Enniskillen, Dublin, 1864; Trinity College, Dublin, 1871; Magdalen College, Oxford, England, 1874