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The Importance of Being Earnest Hardcover – Aug 1998


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Hardcover, Aug 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yestermorrow Inc (August 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567231047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567231045
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Product Description

About the Author

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, plays and the circumstances of his imprisonment, followed by his early death. Wilde's parents were successful Dublin intellectuals, and their son showed his intelligence early by becoming fluent in French and German. At university Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism (led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin), though he also profoundly explored Roman Catholicism, to which he would later convert on his deathbed. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversation, Wilde had become one of the most well-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. At the height of his fame and success, whilst his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde sued the father of his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, for libel. After a series of trials, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency with other men and imprisoned for two years, held to hard labour. In prison he wrote De Profundis (1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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Format: Paperback
"The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde, is one of the great comic masterpieces of the theater. According to the introductory note in the Dover edition, the play was first performed in London in 1895. More than a century later, "Importance" is still a sparkling delight. Although I suppose the play is best experienced as a theatrical performance, it also makes a wonderful read.
In "Importance" Wilde has fun with the customs and attitudes of well-to-do 19th century English people. As the plot of mistaken identity and romance unfolds, Wilde's characters let loose a string of memorable witticisms and sarcastic comments. One of my favorites: "Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone." Another one: "My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree."
Along the way, Wilde's characters reveal the benefits and drawbacks of being a "Bunburyist" (don't bother looking it up in a dictionary; you have to read the play!). So pour yourself a cup of tea, stuff yourself silly with cucumber sandwiches, and enjoy "The Importance of Being Earnest."
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Format: Paperback
I read this when I took the Comic Vision in school. In all honesty this is a phenomenal piece of literature. Wilde offers comedy of several sorts. The bickering between Jack and Algernon and the bickering between Gwendolen and Cecily is well drawn. Lady Bracknell is a dominating figure in herself. Miss Prism and the Priest are also memorable supporting characters. Wilde also offers a funny repetition of events when first Jack tries to woo Gwendolen under an alias identity and then Algernon tries to woo Cecily under the same alias identity. This makes the scene where they all meet together hilarious! But Wilde DOES NOT stop here! After the 2 men and 2 women bickered with each other, Jack and Algernon team up to win the love of their lives, and Gwendolen and Cecily team up to determine the integrity of Jack and Algernon. The end of this defines dramatic irony! (I don't want to spoil it.) Perhaps the greatest thing about this book is that Wilde skillfully balances subtle humour and major dramatic irony. If you like this book, you MUST see the Paramount Production. Most video stores should have it.
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By A Customer on Dec 11 2000
Format: Paperback
The story is about the two dandies Algernon and Jack who invented an imaginary person to have an excuse to go to country or to town. Both of them fall in love, but because of the double personality of Algernon and Jack there is a lot of confusion. At the everything clears up and there is a happy ending. We liked to read the book and can recommend it to everyone. It is really very funny. The characters talk a lot of paradoxical things. Oscar Wilde plays with the adjective earnest and the name Ernest. The motto of the play is: "In matters of great importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing." Oscar Wilde said once: " We should treat all the trivial things of life very seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality." At the beginning everything they talk about seems to be nonsense, but if you think about it you see that some things they say are quite rig
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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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By Robert Armes on 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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