Sunday, May 26, 2013

Earnestly Entertaining

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment