Sunday, 4 October 2015

Book Review: The Importance of Being Earnest

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest
Author: Oscar Wilde
Series: No
Genre: Humour
My Rating: 5 stars
Buy: Book Depository
Jack Worthing flirts with Gwendolen under the guise of Earnest in the city whilst telling his ward, Cecily Cardrew, that Earnest is the name of his trouble-making brother in order to explains why he is away so often. When Algernon Montcrieff hears of Cecily, he decides to go to the country posing as Jack's mysterious brother in order to charm her. What neither girl knows is that there is no man with the name of Earnest, and both men find themselves stuck when their respective partners claim they could not love them if they had any other name.

First performed in 1895 and known as 'A Trivial Play for Serious People', Wilde's play mocks the social conventions of late Victorian London. It is sharp and witty, telling the story with two men that get wrapped up in a lie that quickly begins to spiral out of control.
"In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing."
The play is splendidly silly, filled with rediculous plot twists and shining upper class society in a highly foolish light. Wilde points out their childish nature with ease with irrational characters who push forward opinions as though they were facts that must be known by all. I do not read plays frequently - I much prefer to watch them as I find some humourous lines would have more impact upon delivery. But after reading this I am certain to be reading more of Wilde's work in the future.

You can find this review on Goodreads.

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