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The Importance of Being Earnest


The Importance of Being Earnest


“It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but truth..."

The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde's most brilliant tour-de-force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions since its first performance in London's St. James' Theatre on February 14, 1895.

Together with Lady Windermere’s Fan, it is considered one of Wilde’s masterworks.

Its critique of Victorian society, though delivered with a velvet glove, is a satire both of the hypocrisies of the society in which Wilde lived, and the damaging effect these hypocrisies can have on the souls of those who live under their rule.

Algernon and Jack are friends, and each has invented an imaginary person as an excuse for getting out of engagements.

Jack's person is Ernest, a brother with a wild past.

The two conspire to woo the ladies they love, and through a series of happenstances, must smoothly deceive to get want they want.

From the play's effervescent beginnings in Algernon Moncrieff's London flat to its hilarious denouement, this comic masterpiece keeps audiences breathlessly anticipating a new bon mot or plot twist from moment to moment.

Brilliant, inventive, witty and hilarious, all is well that ends well, but not until much back-and-forth, utter confusion, and folly.

OSCAR WILDE (1854–1900) was an Irish poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and short story writer. He is perhaps best known for Salomé, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, De Profundis, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. He is considered a literary master, and a central figure in the development of the modern novel.


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