Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest

ISBN 13: 9781482511796

The Importance of Being Earnest

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9781482511796: The Importance of Being Earnest
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From www.classicly.com: The Importance of being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is Oscar Wilde's most popular and successful play. First performed in London in 1895, it ran for eighty-six performances. Wilde's play is a farcical romp in which the protagonists don fake personas to shirk the burdens of their social obligations. They are Algernon Moncrieff and Ernest Worthing, young gentlemen leading double lives. Algernon inquires why the cigarette case belonging to "Ernest" bears the name "Jack." Earnest confesses that while in the country taking care of his young ward Cecily, he's Jack; here he claims to be taking care of his profligate brother Earnest in London. When he's in London, however, he becomes the rakish Earnest. Algernon admits to the same ruse: while in country, he tells his London friends he's visiting an invalid friend named "Bunbury." Wilde's hilarious and biting play pokes fun at the social order of Victorian England, while showcasing the author's classic witty epigrams (short, often paradoxical sayings) for which he is famous. Tragically the success of the opening night also brought about Wilde's end: the father Lord Alfred Douglas (Wilde's lover) had planned to present a bouquet of rotting vegetables to Wilde to interrupt the play, but Wilde was warned in advance, and the Marquess of Queensberry was barred entry. This began the famous trial that would lead to Wilde's persecution for homosexuality, and his eventual imprisonment and untimely death. But all of this might have been worth it to witness the hordes of Victorian socialites laughing uproariously... about themselves. From www.about.com: The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde's most well-known and best loved play, as well as being an enormous success in his lifetime. For many people it is the apogee of the playwright's work. Like Wilde, the play is the very embodiment of fin de sieclé British dandyism. However, this seemingly frivolous play has a much darker side. Its critique of Victorian society--though delivered in a velvet glove--is every inch a clunking-iron fist. The play is a satire both of the hypocrisies of the society in which Wilde lived, and the damaging effect that these hypocrisies can have on the souls of those live under their rule. Wilde was to become one of those souls shortly after the first performance of the play when he initiated a libel trial that was to lead to his imprisonment for being a homosexual. The Importance of Being Earnest marks a central moment in late-Victorian literature, not only for its wit but also for its role in the shift from a Victorian to a Modern consciousness. The play began its career as a biting satire directed at the very audience who received it so delightedly, but ended its initial run as a harbinger of Wilde's personal downfall when his lover's father, who would later bring about Wilde's arrest and imprisonment, attempted to disrupt the production. In addition to its focus on the textual history of the play, this Broadview Edition of Earnest provides a wide array of appendices. The edition locates Wilde's work among the artistic and cultural contexts of the late nineteenth century and will provide scholars, students, and general readers with an important sourcebook for the play and the social, creative, and critical contexts of mid-1890s English life. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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A collection of literature anthologies and reference books for Key Stage 3 onwards.

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This is a full cast production with sound effects and original music produced at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780486264783: The Importance of Being Earnest

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0486264785 ISBN 13:  9780486264783
Publisher: Dover Publications, 1990
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9780393927535: The Importance of Being Earnest (Norton Critical Editions)

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9780140436068: The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

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