The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

Oscar Wilde, Richard Cave

Language: English

Pages: 395


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wilde was both a glittering wordsmith and a social outsider. His drama emerges out of these two perhaps contradictory identities, combining epigrammatic brilliance and shrewd social observation. Includes Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, A Florentine Tragedy and The Importance of Being Earnest, which appears in full with the "Grigsby" scene which originally made up the fourth act.

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difficulty in devising a convincing means of thwarting Mrs Cheveley’s schemes; the idea of the bracelet came quite late. Wilde extensively revised the play in 1898–9, for publication by Leonard Smithers in 1899: the changes and additions particularly sharpened the complexities of Goring. DEDICATION 1. Frank Harris:(1856–1931), a long-standing and staunch friend to Wilde through all his troubles, was a fellow-Irishman with a carefree and cavalier attitude to the truth, whose autobiography was

which modern French novels were published. The Yellow Book, a bound and illustrated quarterly journal containing contemporary literature and art-work by English writers and designers, had been in circulation since April 1894, and was considered by many to be the epitome of French-inspired decadence. 22. so broken-hearted… took up: The convent was to be the fate of George Moore’s heroine Evelyn Innes, who in the first of two novels takes to the stage as a Wagnerian soprano but then suffers a

into masses of colour’, so that, for example, the Jews were in yellow, the Romans in purple and John in white.3 What this would define with some clarity is the conflicting political groupings against which Herod and Salomé’s private drama is played out. Equally apparent from the setting is Wilde’s concern that the playing space admit only such effects (the staircase at the foot of which Herod’s throne will be placed and the cistern which is Jokanaan’s prison) as are absolutely essential to the

of you to receive her last night – but you are never to see her again. LADY WINDERMERE: Why do you say that? [A pause.] LORD WINDERMERE [holding her hand]: Margaret, I thought Mrs Erlynne was a woman more sinned against than sinning, as the phrase goes. I thought she wanted to be good, to get back into a place that she had lost by a moment’s folly, to lead again a decent life. I believed what she told me – I was mistaken in her. She is bad – as bad as a woman can be. LADY WINDERMERE: Arthur,

Arthur, don’t talk so bitterly about any woman. I don’t think now that people can be divided into the good and the bad as though they were two separate races or creations. What are called good women may have terrible things in them, mad moods of recklessness, assertion, jealousy, sin. Bad women, as they are termed, may have in them sorrow, repentance, pity, sacrifice. And I don’t think Mrs Erlynne a bad woman – I know she’s not. LORD WINDERMERE: My dear child, the woman’s impossible. No matter

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