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The Importance of Being Earnest [Hardcover]

Oscar Wilde
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

August 1998 1567231047 978-1567231045
Here is Oscar Wilde's most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions in countless productions since its first performance in London's St. James' Theatre on February 14, 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.
From the play's effervescent beginnings in Algernon Moncrieff's London flat to its hilarious denouement in the drawing room of Jack Worthing's country manor in Hertfordshire, this comic masterpiece keeps audiences breathlessly anticipating a new bon mot or a fresh twist of plot moment to moment. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Wilde's better plays.... July 20 2012
By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Light hearted, inane, and the cause of a few giggles" best describes this well known play by Oscar Wilde. While it is not of the level of 'Promises, Promises' nor 'Same Time Next Year' it is a worthwhile exchange of bantering dialogue. Two boys meet two girls, two boys lose two girls and two boys reunite with two girls. For those of you who are adverse to reading play dialogue there is a limited number of characters to follow and only one change of scene making it a fairly easy read.......
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5.0 out of 5 stars the mother of all bon mots July 21 2002
Format:Paperback
I love this play; I cannot imagine not having read it, not being able to revel in its insane logic of plot and a script that consists almost entirely of epigrams. Even though the play is given over to a frenzy of wit, the characters are likable and well-drawn, not mere vehicles for gag lines. The only problem with this play is that it is too short.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a high-caliber farce! May 17 2002
By momazon
Format:Paperback
Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing are two young Englishmen in love with, respectively, Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax, two young ladies who have always dremed about marrying a man named Earnest. To win their hearts, both men say that is indeed their names ... and thus the confusion begins!
The writing of this turn-of-the-century play is timeless in its quick pace, sarcasm and hilarity. I have seen audiences of all ages enjoy the play immensely on the stage, and it is a hit to read as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being Earnest May 2 2002
Format:Paperback
Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," is a superb comedy that will keep you wondering what could possibly happen next. Wilde manages to keep the readers entertained while at the same time keeping their feet on the ground. The use of the "old" language helps the readers identify with the characters. The characters themselves constantly have you laughing at their absurd antics. You never know what lie is going to pop up next and you are continually wondering how the characters are going to get out of the pickle they've gotten themselves into. The constant twisting of the plot keeps the reader happy, excited, and surprised. The different settings keep it interesting and the steady flow of new characters keep a person guessing who really is being "earnest." The dialogue is truly inspired and the choice to have the words "play" on each other manage to keep the play flowing. Oscar Wilde's play is truly brilliant and I would recommend this play to anyone who enjoys a good laugh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Wit and Humor at it's Best May 2 2002
Format:Paperback
The "Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde is a marvelous play that still holds it humor to this day. It's ludicrous dialogue and extravagant style makes for a remarkable read. Some of the language is difficult to read in our modern vocabulary, but the humor of the story is very well conveyed. Superficiality, humor and a distinctly Victorian wit makes the "Importance of Being Earnest" a very easy play to enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Earnest or not? May 1 2002
Format:Paperback
The play "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde is a very funny play on British society in the late 1800?s and early 1900?s. The verbal barbs and jabs thrown by friends Jack and Algernon are quite amusing and quick-witted throughout the play. The idea that two women would be shallow enough to only want to marry a man named Earnest is just mind boggling, since the word earnest is almost 180° opposite the shallowness of the ladies. The mother is an interesting character in that she will not let her daughter marry the son of a "hand bag", this adds a little break from the gentlemen?s verbal assault on one another and allows the reader to catch their breath. The ending is quite funny but I will not give it away, you must do yourself a favor and read the play.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically Funny!!! April 22 2002
Format:Paperback
Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" is one of the funniest plays that I have ever read. It explores the British upper society at the beginning of the 20th Century. It concerns two best friends and their attempt to marry two women. The only reason that the women want to marry these men is if their first name is Earnest. The main character of the play is Jack. He goes under the assumed name of Earnest because he really does not know who his parents are. The situations and banter between Jack and his friend Algernon is the funniest since Shakespeare. This is interesting in the fact that it is very anti tragic play. It is anti tragic in the fact that by the end of the play, Jack finds out that his name is really Earnest and his is upset about it. Extremely funny play for anyone who knows anything about the British sense of royalty and nobility.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Feb. 14 2002
Format:Paperback
All one can say after reading the play, or better, watching the 1953 movie, is that the landed gentry is indeed silly folk.
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