Sunday, 3 March 2013

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest
Author: Oscar Wilde
Format: E-book
Length: 67 pages
Genre: Comedy, Play
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Buy this: Paperback |Ebook

A wee while ago I saw the film Wilde, and was totally amazed by it, and immediately downloaded a selection of Wilde literary offerings to my Kindle for free. I love the full name of this play. (The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Play for Serious People). It summarises Oscar Wilde's wit so well- his one liners are packed into the play, and there are no surplus words to slow the pace.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a play about how a name can change the perception of a person infinitely. Jack Worthing and his friend Algernon both have secret identities, for similar purposes. For Jack, he becomes his fictional brother Earnest any time he wants to visit town and escape the confines of his home in the countryside, whereas Algernon uses a similar excuse whenever he wants a peaceful retreat to the countryside. The problem is that Jack has courted the lovely Gwendolyn whilst using Earnest's identity, and upon accepting his proposal she declares she could not love a man by any other name than Earnest. Algernon also temporarily adopts Earnest's identity to woo Jack's ward Cecily. Strangely enough, Cecily declares the exact same statement about loving Earnest- deception may get you the girl, but it makes it all blooming complicated. And then there is the super awkward moment when Cecily and Gwendolyn meet, both introducing themselves as the fiancĂ©e of Earnest. 

So yes, Wilde's wit is loltastic to the extreme. I genuinely had a 20 minute conversation the other day about my favourite quotes from this play. It was in the coffee shop where my parents met that hasn't been redecorated in maybe 20 years, and it was possibly the most hipster moment of my entire life. Anyway, here are a selection of my favs to round off my review (I am out of practice at review writing, and I have missed you all *hugs*)

"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."

"All women become their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

"If I am occasionally a little overdressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated."

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."

"I have always been of the opinion that a man who desires to get married should know everything or nothing."

10 stars. Genius.

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