The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Summary: Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades.
Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!
This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader’s notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wilde’s wry wit and elaborate plot twists.
Source: I borrowed a Kindle library copy
The Importance of Being Earnest is one of those plays I never got to read in school and never picked up before, despite hearing positive things about it over the years. I chose it to complete the Play category of my 2015 Reading Challenge and I’m glad I read it.
The play was funny, entertaining, and full of the witty sort of dialogue that Oscar Wilde was so famous for. It wasn’t the dark and twisted The Picture of Dorian Gray type of story, but was instead lighthearted and enjoyable, while still maintaining that intelligent banter I loved so much in his novel.
Oscar Wilde had to be the wittiest person in his time. The play could have been cheesy, but it was laugh out loud funny and entertaining because he was always able to place a well timed zinger that also rung of truth. It’s amazing, actually, how enjoyable it was and how complex the language at the same time. It was just the right balance of humor and wit.
I highly recommend the play. I read it quickly despite hating to read plays because of the format. I think a lot of modern plots are based off of the events in this play, actually. It’s a must read and it will only take a few hours out of your day to check it out.
My expression seems to say “he doesn’t seem nearly as witty in person.” Haha! This was taken in Galway, Ireland on a bench. His father was on the other side of the bench.