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The Importance of Being Earnest

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The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde | Summary & Analysis

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The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde | Themes

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Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, A

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The Importance Of Being Earnest presented by Bethany Lutheran College

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Literature Snacks - The Importance of being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Some contemporary reviews praised the play's humour and the culmination of Wilde's artistic career, while others were cautious about its lack of social messages. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.
  • Theatre play facts 

  • Composition 

  • Premiere 

  • Critical reception 

  • Revivals 

  • Act I: Algernon Moncrieff's flat in Half Moon Street, W 

  • Act II: The Garden of the Manor House, Woolton 

  • Act III: Morning-Room at the Manor House, Woolton 

  • Triviality 

  • As a satire of society 

  • Suggested homosexual subtext 

  • Use of language 

  • First edition 

  • In translation 

  • Film 

  • Operas and musicals 

  • Stage pastiche 

  • Radio and television 

  • Commercial recordings