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The Importance of Being Earnest

"A Trivial Comedy for Serious People"

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The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 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 London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways.
Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.
The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover, planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work.
Portrait
Oscar Wilde, in full Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, (born October 16, 1854, Dublin, Ireland-died November 30, 1900, Paris, France), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art's sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895-97).
Wilde was born of professional and literary parents. His father, Sir William Wilde, was Ireland's leading ear and eye surgeon, who also published books on archaeology, folklore, and the satirist Jonathan Swift. His mother, who wrote under the name Speranza, was a revolutionary poet and an authority on Celtic myth and folklore.
After attending Portora Royal School, Enniskillen (1864-71), Wilde went, on successive scholarships, to Trinity College, Dublin (1871-74), and Magdalen College, Oxford (1874-78), which awarded him a degree with honours. During these four years, he distinguished himself not only as a Classical scholar, a poseur, and a wit but also as a poet by winning the coveted Newdigate Prize in 1878 with a long poem, Ravenna. He was deeply impressed by the teachings of the English writers John Ruskin and Walter Pater on the central importance of art in life and particularly by the latter's stress on the aesthetic intensity by which life should be lived. Like many in his generation, Wilde was determined to follow Pater's urging "to burn always with [a] hard, gemlike flame." But Wilde also delighted in affecting an aesthetic pose; this, combined with rooms at Oxford decorated with objets d'art, resulted in his famous remark, "Oh, would that I could live up to my blue china!"
In the early 1880s, when Aestheticism was the rage and despair of literary London, Wilde established himself in social and artistic circles by his wit and flamboyance. Soon the periodical Punchmade him the satiric object of its antagonism to the Aesthetes for what was considered their unmasculine devotion to art. And in their comic opera Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan based the character Bunthorne, a "fleshly poet," partly on Wilde. Wishing to reinforce the association, Wilde published, at his own expense, Poems (1881), which echoed, too faithfully, his discipleship to the poets Algernon Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Keats. Eager for further acclaim, Wilde agreed to lecture in the United States and Canada in 1882, announcing on his arrival at customs in New York City that he had "nothing to declare but his genius." Despite widespread hostility in the press to his languid poses and aesthetic costume of velvet jacket, knee breeches, and black silk stockings, Wilde for 12 months exhorted the Americans to love beauty and art; then he returned to Great Britain to lecture on his impressions of America.
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 124
Erscheinungsdatum 26.03.2019
Sprache Englisch
Verlag E-Kitap Projesi & Cheapest Books
Maße (L/B/H) 21,5/14,1/1 cm
Gewicht 167 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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Meister der Ironie
von Francesca Rüedi am 28.05.2011
Bewertet: Einband: Taschenbuch

Keiner wie Oscar Wilde versteht es so gut, die Natur des Menschen darzustellen. Wildes Komödie erzählt eigentlich von einer sehr alltäglichen Situation: Der Protagonist verfängt sich aufgrund der äusseren Umstände in seinem eigenen Lügennetz. Wildes Erzählung ist deshalb so witzig, weil er zwar nicht verurteilt, jedoch deutlich ... Keiner wie Oscar Wilde versteht es so gut, die Natur des Menschen darzustellen. Wildes Komödie erzählt eigentlich von einer sehr alltäglichen Situation: Der Protagonist verfängt sich aufgrund der äusseren Umstände in seinem eigenen Lügennetz. Wildes Erzählung ist deshalb so witzig, weil er zwar nicht verurteilt, jedoch deutlich durch die Ironie und des Witzes im Stück seine Meinung oder moralische Ansicht spüren lässt. Für Liebhaber der englischen Literatur sehr empfehlenswert.