The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Published by Prestwick House
4 Out of 5 Stars
I have come to a basic conclusion: Oscar Wilde was the man. And this play proves it. Full of zingers, witty banter, the well-crafted insult, and all things that make Wilde, well, Wilde, the play had me laughing out loud at lines like "The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain" or, as a resigned Jack realizes none of them may be married, "Then a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward to."
Also characteristic of Wilde is that there is a lot more going on here than comedy. With a sharp eye, Wilde cleverly satirizes all aspects of aristocratic life. For all their cleverness, these are despicable people. They are petty, vain, arrogant, and vapid. And hysterical.