FREE READER ✓ DOC The Importance of Being Earnest 9781580495806 ✓ OSCAR WILDE

Oscar Wilde ¹ The Importance of Being Earnest MOBI

FREE READER ✓ DOC The Importance of Being Earnest 9781580495806 ✓ OSCAR WILDE ê [Download] ➵ The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde – Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities secret engagements and lovers entanglements still delights reaM for decadesCecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen 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 un If you try to take this literally it is ludicrous so don’t It is a delicately crafted confection of spun sugar sweet but sharp beautiful brittle and engineered to amuse “An iridescent filament of fantasy” as critic William Archer described the opening performance on Valentine’s Day 1895 “ In matters of grave importance style not sincerity is the vital thing” Gwendolen This play is a social comedy that celebrates surfaces the flexible importance of etiuette as long as it's underpinned by money and the essential veneer of politeness especially when insulting someone It is chock full of often contrary epigrams even from Algy’s dryly droll manservant Lane “The deadly importance of the triviality is everything” as Sir John Gielgud said of this play aping Wilde’s style Plot Jack and Algernon are wealthy single shallow young men in Victorian London Jack wants to marry Algy’s cousin Gwendolen daughter of Lady Bracknell but matters are complicated when Algy finds Jack’s cigarette case with a puzzling dedication engraved in it from Cecily Algy is intrigued and not at all convinced by Jack’s explanation “ The truth is rarely pure and never simple” Algernon The plot is clever and silly and really just a framework for exploring ideas about society marriage education and food Food features a great deal in all three acts even though it has no real bearing on the plot at all This play has given us A Hand bag the double life of a Bunburyist written just before Wilde’s own double life “uite exploded” like poor Bunbury the impossibility of eating muffins in an agitated manner and two much uoted and paraphrased lines “ To lose one parent Mr Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness” Lady Bracknell “ All women become like their mothers That is their tragedy No man does and that is his” Algernon The ending is apparently happy despite only one of two key points being definitively resolved Perhaps that’s to placate Cecily“ I don't like novels that end happily They depress me so much”No matter Wilde’s wit is the thing Then and Now The original audience would have laughed at the portrayal of themselves or those in their circle Our modern society seems so very different but we are still there in the play Lady Bracknell’s alternative facts uoted below Miss Prism’s trashy trilogy being swayed by the vagaries of fashion and torn between pleasure and duty comfort eating and even the difficulty of finding suitable childcare We should laugh at ourselves as much as them I have nothing in common with Cecily Cardew except a first name but the novelty of encountering another Cecily was a small part in its initial appeal and is an even smaller part of my enduring fondness for it I have read and seen it including an operatic adaptation many times and acted in it once but not as Cecily WH Auden described this as “The only pure verbal opera in English” Who am I or you to disagree? A Hand bag “ To be born or at any rate bred in a hand bag whether it had handles or not seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution” Lady Bracknell Picture of baby in “a somewhat large black leather hand bag with handles to it” Lady Bracknell would have been early 40s but aged Edith Evans’ cinematic exaggeration is the performance that sticks regardless of how subseuent actors deliver it Alternative Facts Lady Bracknell has many uestions to assess a suitor including their all important addresses Lady Bracknell “What number in Belgrave Suare?”Jack “149”Lady Bracknell Shaking her head “The unfashionable side I thought there was something However that could easily be altered”Jack “Do you mean the fashion or the side?”Lady Bracknell Sternly “Both if necessary I presume” uotes Grouped by Subject These are hidden for brevity No real plot spoilers view spoiler Food uotes “ I hate people who are not serious about meals It is so shallow of them” Algernon The play is rife with storms over teacups muffins cucumber sandwiches lack thereof and cake none of which affect the plot but all of which shine a dark light on the characters Jack “How you can sit there calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble I can’t make out You seem to me to be perfectly heartlessAlgernon Well I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner The butter would probably get on my cuffs One should always eat muffins uite calmly It is the only way to eat themJack I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all under the circumstances” Picture English muffin toasted and buttered Algernon Picking up empty plate in horror “Good heavens Lane Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially”Lane Gravely “There were no cucumbers in the market this morning sir I went down twice”Algernon “No cucumbers”Lane “No sir Not even for ready money” “When I am in trouble eating is the only thing that consoles me Indeed when I am in really great trouble as any one who knows me intimately will tell you I refuse everything except food and drink” Algernon “You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter you have given me cake” Gwendolen to Cecily Education and Erudition uotes “I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound Fortunately in England at any rate education produces no effect whatsoever” Lady Bracknell “Literary criticism is not your forte my dear fellow Don’t try it You should leave that to people who haven’t been at a University They do it so well in the daily papers” Algernon “Oh it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read” Algernon “Dr Chasuble is a most learned man He has never written a single book so you can imagine how much he knows” Cecily “I never travel without my diary One should always have something sensational to read in the train” GwendolenPersonal note I was only a little younger than Wilde's Cecily when I first saw the play At the time I kept a diary of sorts but afterwards it never felt uite the same I suppose it wasn't sensational enough Society and Etiuette uotes “Never speak disrespectfully of Society Algernon Only people who can’t get into it do that” Lady Bracknell “Thirty five is a very attractive age London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have of their own free choice remained thirty five for years” Lady Bracknell “My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree” Algernon “When one is in town one amuses oneself When one is in the country one amuses other people It is excessively boring” Jack “I never saw anybody take so long to dress and with such little result” Algernon of Jack Bunbury uotes Lady Bracknell “I think it is high time that Mr Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or to die This shilly shallying with the uestion is absurd” Algernon “The doctors found out that Bunbury could not live that is what I mean so Bunbury died”Lady Bracknell “He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physicians I am glad however that he made up his mind at the last to some definite course of action and acted under proper medical advice” Marriage uotes “You don’t seem to realise that in married life three is company and two is none” Algernon “Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax Really if the lower orders don’t set us a good example what on earth is the use of them? They seem as a class to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility” Algernon “I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing Which do you know?” Lady Bracknell “A moment Mr Worthing A hundred and thirty thousand pounds And in the Funds Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady now that I look at her Few girls of the present day have any really solid ualities any of the ualities that last and improve with time We live I regret to say in an age of surfaces To Cecily Come over here dear Cecily goes across Pretty child your dress is sadly simple and your hair seems almost as Nature might have left it But we can soon alter all that A thoroughly experienced French maid produces a really marvellous result in a very brief space of time” Lady Bracknell “I do not approve of mercenary marriages When I married Lord Bracknell I had no fortune of any kind But I never dreamed for a moment of allowing that to stand in my way” Lady BracknellAnd THAT is why she is so picky about who might marry Gwendolen “When you do become engaged to some one I or your father should his health permit him will inform you of the fact An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be” Lady Bracknell “I am not in favour of long engagements They give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage which I think is never advisable” Lady Bracknell “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” Algernon Cecily “Do you suggest Miss Fairfax that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners When I see a spade I call it a spade”Gwendolen Satirically “I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different” “The General was essentially a man of peace except in his domestic life ” Lady Bracknell Chasuble With a scholar’s shudder “The precept as well as the practice of the Primitive Church was distinctly against matrimony”Miss Prism Sententiously “That is obviously the reason why the Primitive Church has not lasted up to the present day And you do not seem to realise dear Doctor that by persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation Men should be careful; this very celibacy leads weaker vessels astray”Miss Prism “No married man is ever attractive except to his wife”Chasuble “And often I’ve been told not even to her” Other Contrary uotes Many of the most memorable lines subvert etiuette logic common sense and themselves In Wilde's day homosexuals were often called inverts and many of his best lines are inversions “I hope you have not been leading a double life pretending to be wicked and being good all the time That would be hypocrisy” Cecily “If you are not too long I will wait here for you all my life” Gwendolen “Although she may prevent us from becoming man and wife and I may marry some one else and marry often nothing that she can possibly do can alter my eternal devotion to you” Gwendolen “What on earth you are serious about I haven’t got the remotest idea About everything I should fancy You have such an absolutely trivial nature” Algernon of Jack “I have never met any really wicked person before I feel rather frightened I am so afraid he will look just like every one else” Cecily “The old fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out” Gwendolen “I could deny it if I liked I could deny anything if I liked” Lady Bracknell “I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury I hadn’t been there since her poor husband’s death I never saw a woman so altered; she looks uite twenty years younger”Lady Bracknell “I had some crumpets with Lady Harbury who seems to me to be living entirely for pleasure now”Algernon “I hear her hair has turned uite gold from grief” hide spoiler

DOC ´ The Importance of Being Earnest ¹ Oscar Wilde

Divided attention and the Ernests to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose Only a senile nursemaid and an old discarded hand bag can save the dayThis 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 twist Every line in The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute gem Remember these? “All women become like their mothers That is their tragedy No man does and that is his” “I never travel without my diary One should always have something sensational to read in the train” “No woman should ever be uite accurate about her age It looks so calculating” Just three for a start I had not realised uite how many of Oscar Wilde's bon mots originated in this particular play which is subtitled A Trivial Play for Serious PeopleThe main characters are two young gentlemen Algernon Moncrieff and his best friend John Worthing whom he knows as Ernest The two corresponding young ladies are Algernon's cousin Gwendolen Fairfax and John Worthing's young ward the heiress Cecily Cardew The action revolves around these four with minor deceptions and false names For instance Algernon invents Bunburying or pretending to have an invalid friend called Bunbury He can thus claim to need to visit this friend at any time and this provides a most convenient way of getting out of any social activities he does not care for Much of the humour is provided by a formidable dragon of a character called Lady Bracknell who is Gwendolen's mother There is also an inordinately silly back story about a handbag left at Victoria stationThe standing joke throughout is that the main characters never reveal their true feelings always maintaining a witty persona so as to escape their social obligations The norms of conventional Victorian Society are continually turned on their head The play repeatedly mocks Victorian traditions and social customs marriage and the pursuit of love Earnestness was highly regarded as a worthwhile character trait in Victorian society It had originated in religious attempts to reform the lower classes but uickly spread as a desirable attribute to the upper ones So the very title The Importance of Being Earnest mocks this convention The extremely serious social institution of marriage is repeatedly treated as a trivial event and witty satirical comments abound Here are three “In matters of grave importance style not sincerity is the vital thing” “I hate people who are not serious about meals It is so shallow of them” “Never speak disrespectfully of Society Algernon Only people who can’t get into it do that” The Importance of Being Earnest is a farce of the highest extreme a frothy concoction and an absolute delight even now although it was first performed in 1895 It marks the climax of Oscar Wilde's career yet it also indirectly led to his downfall The story of his imprisonment for what was then a crime is famously poignant and modern readers must only ponder what other potential future classics have been lost with the virtual destruction of this talented writer In brief the Maruess of ueensbury who was the father of Wilde's homosexual partner had planned to present him with a bouuet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the play In the event Wilde was tipped off so this never happened However the story got out there was a famous trial leading to Wilde's imprisonment for gross indecency and the rest as they say is history; just another case which seems appalling to modern eyes What seems incredible to modern readers is that because of this notoriety The Importance of Being Earnest had to be closed after only 86 performances and that afterwards Oscar Wilde wrote no comedy and no drama Although it was highly popular with audiences of the time who appreciated its clever humour many critics disapproved of it precisely because it was so light It does not attempt to tackle serious social and political issues One critic complained that it is nothing but an absolutely wilful expression of an irrepressibly witty personality Since this was not its purpose in retrospect it does seem an extraordinary criticismSo why only 4 stars? It is after all a perfect masterpiece of its type But a play needs to be performed And this one rib tickling as it is to read on the page lacks a lot when not viewed as a performance One excellent film of it dates from 1952 by Anthony Asuith who adapted the screenplay and directed it Michael Denison played Algernon Michael Redgrave played Jack Dorothy Tutin played Cecily Joan Greenwood played Gwendolen and Margaret Rutherford played Miss Prism All were very memorable and perfect in their parts But Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell was outstanding and her interpretation will live in the public's memory for a long time There have been many adaptations in recent years but that one is exceptional View that or even better go to a good live performance and the play will easily merit 5 stars

MOBI The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being EarnestOscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities secret engagements and lovers entanglements still delights readers 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 curriculu “We live in an age of ideals” Wilde is a genius This play is genius What a penetrating critiue of high Victorian society this becomes; but rather than being a dull argument or essay it takes on the body of a hilarious play This is just absurd outrageous and straight to the point This picture says it all to meJack undergoes a great deal of social mobility prior to the events of the play; however Bracknell who represents the rigidness of British aristocracy is very alarmed that such a man could marry her daughter He is not worthy enough When Jack explains the details of the train line he was left at she ironically exclaims “The line is immaterial” And that such a marriage would remind her of “the worst excesses of the French revolution” The dialogue is utterly genius The best thing about it is that the characters are completely unaware of their own absurd hypocrisy The train line doesn’t matter but his bloodline does Bracknell loves money It’s one of the only reasons she actually listens to Jack’s reuest to marry her daughter Later she becomes suddenly interested in Cecily after learning of her inheritance It means there could be money for the rich It is one of the key things on her ideal husband list for Gwendolyn It’s also key element of the play that demonstrates the absurdity of her class but it is second only to the importance of appearance Money is great but if you look like a fool in society then you’re ruined Through this Wilde is demonstrating the ridiculous nature of Victorian morality and how concerned it is with a perfect societal image Bracknell’s daughter could not be seen forming an alliance with a handbag Marriage is simply a business transaction a way to improve one’s wealth and station There is nothing for the Bracknell’s in such an alliance; love simply does not enter the uestion The possible increase in wealth is overshadowed by tarnishing the family name This is an opinion earlier mentioned by Algernon Whilst social mobility is possible in Wilde’s play it is resented by those that are the established elite regardless of their own meagre origins Hypocrisy reigns supreme ‘Never speak disrespectfully of Society Algernon Only people who can’t get into it do that’ Algernon and Jon both become gluttonous towards food This demonstrates the greed that permeates the morale fabric of Victorian society as neither of these men actually actively work and they just spend their time self indulging through their respective false identities They simply consume without producing in their self aggrandised manners The rich have a sense of false entitlement that Wilde uestions heroically; he demonstrates that the supposed morale fabric that governs higher society is completely false it is a trick a mere appearance whilst the members live secret lives “My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree”And here comes the crux of the play The persona of Earnest becomes a means of escape for Jack and later Algernon; it becomes a means for letting loose and maintaining his position within society He can bare all the graces of a Victorian gentleman the perfects ideal but he can also have fun The living of double lives suggests the strictness of society and the lengths the members could take to momentarily escape its rigid bounds This also suggests the ease to which they can shift between the public and private sectors of their personalities It’s not hard to pretend It’s not hard to go “bumbrying”There’s some extensive doubling going on At times it reminded me of Shakespeare’s wonderful Twelfth Night and at other points there were undertones of Wilde’s masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Grey The Victorians judged people on their appearance and their supposed morale character So what do you do if you have a slightly deviant nature? You can’t let yourself be ruined within society That’s paramount to death So a fictional alter ego is the perfect excuse to go and indulge But lies always catch up with people; it was obvious that this would end in an explosion of realisations Thus everything becomes perfectly inverted Morality and the constraints it imposes on society is a favourite topic of conversation The characters have some rather hilarious notions as to what is right and what is wrong Reading a cigarette case is an ungentlemanly act; culture is dependent on what one shouldn’t read and Algernon thinks the servant class has a responsibility to set a moral standard for the upper classes Bracknell takes on the role of clan patriarch and the men have typical female traits whilst the women become active in seeking their ideal husband At times they say things that make absolutely no sense but such is the nature of ideals It’s all incredibly comic The point is that people can become so enamoured so uickly with an ideal that doesn’t exist They want perfection not a reflection of the real person It’s Wilde’s perfect demonstration of how stupid Victorian society was It’s a fun play but there are serious undertones It’s an effective critiue of society very much set down in the way he argued good criticism should be in his essay The Critic as Artist Wilde is an artist and this is a fine critiue It’s immensely clever and hilarious in the processFacebook| Twitter| Insta| Academia