The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895)

Originally published 3/12/2016. Lead image by W. and D. Downey via Wikimedia Commons.


This will be a short review, because I don’t have much to say about the play. What is there to say? It’s incredibly funny (pay close attention to that dry humor), and it does make you think about certain things, both trivial and deeply philosophical. For instance, the comment “If it was my business, I wouldn’t talk about it” adds a bit of knowledge to my repertoire. Cute little phrase. Might use it in the future.

But then (and this mostly comes from my notes on the Aesthetic Movement) there’s a deeply philosophical question for all us artists: should we create Art for Art’s Sake, or should we also include Political/Social/Moral messages in our works? Personally, I’m fine with either one. And I also think that Wilde is a bit of a hypocrite for being a part of this movement, considering all the satire concerning gender roles and “the social lie” in his play. ​

Most people say that the characters are wonderful, but I disagree. Sure, they get off some funny comments and they have eccentricities, but that doesn’t make them good characters. They’re almost like computers programmed to have witty responses to things. None of them is relatable; they have no hobbies, hardly any ambitions, and they’re all. So. Stupid. They care about nothing and no one changes over the course of the play.

Overall, I’m not sure whether or not to recommend this play. On one hand, it is funny. It’s not bad by any means. It could be a good way to spend an afternoon. But what I got out of the play could have just as easily come from iFunny or Tumblr.

Yes, that’s what this play is: the same mixture of sarcasm and midnight-epiphanies as internet teens.

Who was your favorite character?
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Everything you write in that little text box you see below you is highly appreciated.


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