Response to The Importance of Being Earnest

Response to The Importance of Being Earnest - I also found...

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Response to The Importance of Being Earnest To me, Oscar Wilde is an artistic genius. Every quote and play I’ve ever read by him intrigues me and makes me look at things from a different and interesting point of view. The Importance of Being Earnest is no exception. As a comedy of manners, this play succeeds in making me laugh but also in getting me to look at Victorian society in a different way. In terms of sheer hilarity, I really loved this play. I actually laughed out loud when reading the dialogue between Lady Bracknell and Jack. I think there is no better example of Wilde’s comedic genius than in this scene. Lady Bracknell questions Jack on something as trivial as if he smokes; he replies that he does, and she says she is happy he has an occupation. Later, she says, “Now on to more trivial things,” as if whether or not Jack smokes is of utmost importance. Wilde is blatantly satirizing Victorian society by making trivial things seem important and important things seem trivial.
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Unformatted text preview: I also found it funny how Jack and Algernon deal with their issues, particularly in the scene when Cecily and Gwendolyn get mad at them for lying about their names. While most men would beg and grovel to get back the women they love so deeply, Jack and Algernon simply let them go. Instead, they start eating muffins. I think Wilde is showing the artificiality of Victorian love by having Cecily and Gwendolyn become angry about a lie as trivial as one’s name. In Victorian society, it often wasn’t one’s choice who one would marry; marriages were often arranged. All in all, I found Oscar Wilde’s humor in the story truly funny. The resolution at the end of the story seems so improbable that any audience member has to recognize Wilde is turning the well-made conventions upside down. I would really enjoy seeing this play live as it would only contribute to my understanding and experience to see a character like Lady Bracknell on stage....
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This document was uploaded on 10/29/2011 for the course DRAM 120 at UNC.

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