Wilde's mother had distant Italian ancestry,  and under the pseudonym "Speranza" the Italian word for 'hope'wrote poetry for the revolutionary Young Irelanders in ; she was a lifelong Irish nationalist.
He ridiculed Victorian values most particularly in The Importance of Being Earnest, probably his most popular work. Turning on the play of words in the title, the drama also satirizes the very idea of earnestness, a virtue to which the Victorians attached the utmost significance.
To work hard, to be sincere, frank, and open, and to live life earnestly was the Victorian ideal. Wilde not only satirizes hypocrisy and sham virtue, he also mocks its authentic presence.
Wilde mocked the high society of his time, and he paid a high price for it. Although Wilde was married and the father of two children, he, like many apparently heterosexual men, also had sex with men, a not unusual situation in late-nineteenth century England.
However, because British law held homosexual acts to be criminal, once Wilde lost his suit alleging slander, the door opened for criminal proceedings against him.
The first trial ended in a hung jury, but Wilde was immediately tried again, found guilty, and sentenced to two years hard labor. After serving the full sentence, he went at once to France. He did not set foot again on English soil, and he died in Paris two years later, a broken man.
These biographical details are closely connected with the art of Wilde and with The Importance of Being Earnest, a play in which a number of the characters lead double lives. They are adroit at saying and doing two opposing things at once, and they are virtuosic in their use of language.
Nearly all the humor in the play depends on these devices. At times, it is not quite clear if the characters intend to imply another, usually hidden because socially dangerous meaning or if they are quite unconscious and even inept.
This shimmer between intention and its opposite is constant throughout the play, making the play a parade of cognitive dissonance. The Importance of Being Earnest, in particular, was immensely popular, its run cut short only by the real-life scandal that overtook the playwright.
The man who exposed secrets so subtly in his writing had exposed his own altogether too explicitly. The four young characters of the play have an engaging insouciance about them; they are defiant in their frankness and lovable for their vulnerability.
At the same time, they represent a very distinct character type. Algernon, Jack, Gwendolen, and Cecily show intelligence, wit, and taste, but they also reveal the shallowness, frivolity, and hypocrisy of their kind. The jibe at the inbred nature of polite society remains implicit, but it is all the funnier for being so.
An intellectual glow emanates equally from all the characters. The formidable and overbearing Lady Bracknell is given such wonderful lines that the audience grows fond even of her.
However, he gives them things to say that are every bit as puzzling and funny as what the wittier characters say. It is the kind of humor that often requires a double take.
The plot of The Importance of Being Earnest hinges on mistaken identity, as many plots do, though not many do so to such comic effect.
What is funny about the play is that the audience realizes that the characters could easily be someone quite other than who they seem. It is no wonder that audiences continue to love the play: Its humor is intoxicating, and its critique of society is breathtaking.The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar caninariojana.com performed on 14 February at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations.
Working within the social conventions of late Victorian Written by: Oscar Wilde. Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (–) remains best known for his comedies of the s, including The Importance of Being Earnest, and for his tragic imprisonment and untimely death.
Read moreReviews: The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde. THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY John Worthing, J.P. Algernon Moncrieff Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when importance. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes The Importance of Being Earnest Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Dramatic Textual Analysis of Oscar Wilds-The Importance of Being Earnest Act 3 The Importance of being Earnest Act 3 Cecily and Gwendolen have just found out that Jack and Algernon had lied to them.
Jack Worthing, like the other main characters in Wilde's play, is less a realistic character and more an instrument for representing a set of ideas or attitudes.