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Lady Windermere's Fan

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  9,291 ratings  ·  350 reviews
Beautiful, aristocratic, an adored wife and young mother, Lady Windermere is 'a fascinating puritan' whose severe moral code leads her to the brink of social suicide. The only one who can save her is the mysterious Mrs Erlynne whose scandalous relationship with Lord Windermere has prompted her fatal impulse. And Mrs Erlynne has a secret - a secret Lady Windermere must neve...more
Paperback, 70 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin (first published 1893)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeMacbeth by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tosh
Reading an Oscar Wilde play is sort of like life being perfect. The structure of the work is faultless, the dialogue is uber-clever and fantastic. What's wrong with Wilde? Nothing. He's perfect. I can't imagine any writer who wrote so beautifully in his native language. There are some people who are born with 'it' and Wilde is one of them. Of course for someone so perfect he would have to get involved in some nasty social business via his decade. But when you look back at Wilde, one realizes tha...more
Melissa
Wilde's wit never bores me, which is why he is one of my favorite authors. Below are a few quotations I particularly liked from Lady Windermere's fan:

"... scandal is gossip made tedious by morality."

"In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

"What is a cynic?...A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

"That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if we are good, when they meet us, they...more
Amina
I extremely enjoyed reading this play. Oscar wilde is a shrewd writer and it is utterly noticeable in his works. Hence his wisdom is depicted within the plot, the characters, the speech and so forth. It is mighty interesting how he dealt with a daily problem in a penetrating way. The play is all about human nature and how people are used to exaggerate things, especially women(who are in love lol). How they keep nagging....Moreover how people judge others before truly knowing them; First the lady...more
Cheri
I enjoyed reading this play, though the situations are so of their period that it can at times feel unrelatable to any modern person.
I have never seen a good performance of it. In fact, it has produced several of the worst stage productions I have ever seen. The play seems to lends itself to stilted acting and un-motivated action. Worse than that, is watching modern actresses who seem to confuse overt sexuality with flirtation, attempt to reproduce the witty and mannered seductions. And if that...more
Mohammed
دراما اجتماعية عن الأفكار المسبقة التي يكونها المجتمع عن شخص ما، عن النفاق الإجتماعي وعن الثقة بين الزوجين.

لن تجد شخصية بيضاء أو سوداء، كلها متعددة الجوانب، تخطئ وتصيب، تذنب وتتوب. هذا جمال المسرحية، ناهيك عن المحادثات التي تنضح عبقرية وخفة ظل.

تدور أحداث المسرحية حول إنهيار ثقة السيدة ويندرمير بزوجها إثر علاقته الغامضة مع سيدة سيئة السمعة برزت مؤخرا في محيطهما الإجتماعي. أشد ما أعجبني هو إتقان وايلد لفن التشويق في المشهد اﻷخير للمسرحية، كما أبدع بإشراك القارئ في حيرة الشخصيات وترددهم إزاء إتخاذ...more
Yngvild
Lady Windermere’s Fan is a collection of catchy aphorisms loosely embroidering a fundamentally silly story. Oscar Wilde understood that the best marketing in the theatre world is to have people quote you, and so he built an entire play around the smart set tossing out modish epigrams like baubles from a Mardi Gras float.

This was the earliest successful Wilde play and it does show some rough edges. The main character, Lady Windermere, is an unappealing puritan, an unlikely target for her besotte...more
Liz (Consumed by Books)
This was my first Oscar Wilde, and I have to say that I read it more quickly than I would have liked. I was trying to finish it before my Vic Lit book club (which I did) and I think later, I will wish I had spent more time reading the play and enjoying Wilde's writing. This is definitely something which I want to own and re-read, and it really made me want to explore more Oscar Wilde.

A lot of people probably think "homosexual undertones/overtones" when they're reading Oscar Wilde's work, but tha...more
Núria
Ya aviso que ésta probablemente será otra entrega de mi larga serie de “opiniones impopulares”. No soy fan del teatro de Oscar Wilde. El mayor problema creo que está en que Oscar Wilde es uno de los autores más citados de la historia. Has oído tantas veces citas suyas fuera de contexto que cuando las ves inseridas en su contexto original te suenan forzadas, falsas, metidas con calzador, “la gente nunca ha hablado así, soltando aforismos” dices. Otro problema que me cuesta digerir es que sus alta...more
Booknut
I was going through some old books of mine & stumbled across this little gem. Re-reading it was, if possible, an even better experience than my first reading of it. Oscar Wilde's works are so tongue-in-cheek, they make me laugh every time :)
Simba
God bless Oscar Wilde. Has anyone contributed as much to the conversation of otherwise dull people?
Joy H.
Jun 23, 2013 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 6/23/13.
I didn't read the play but I watched a 2004 film adaptation entitled A Good Woman.

WIKI SAYS: "A 2004 film adaptation, entitled A Good Woman, switched the setting to the Amalfi coast of Italy, made the Windermeres Mr. & Mrs., and updated the time frame to 1930. The film stars Helen Hunt, Mark Umbers, Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Tom Wilkinson."
FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Win...

More from the link above:
====================================
"The story...more
Neil
The trouble with this play for modern audiences is that one has to relate to Victorian morality for the satire to really work. Otherwise, it comes off as kind of stiff and frumpy for an Oscar Wilde work.

Redeeming this somewhat is that the play is stuffed to the gills with tasty aphorisms, quotes that you probably know but didn't know where they originated.

Ultimately it's a problem that the quotes hold up but the central plot doesn't. The ending is abrupt. Lady Windermere is unappealing. Many of...more
Katsumi
Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious. -- Oscar Wilde

The plot is about Lady Winderemere who goes from being a pillar of Victorian society to a woman of wandering morals. The woman who pulls her up is the one she suspected of being her husband's mistress. It's a comedy of society manners and morals with acerbic repartees and funny quips, in the great Oscar Wilde tradition.

Now, more than 100 years later, it still has a thought provoking dept...more
Sham Issa
First book I read for Oscar Wilde, although I've always been a fan of his quotes.
I found the play very amusing and utterly observant and smart, with remarks on the human nature and its tendency to label people and judge them. In the end, no one is entirely bad or entirely good, and nothing is supposed to be viewed in white and black shades exclusively.
I love the cynicism in it as well. Dumby and Cecil Graham are real entertaining characters, with that insightful conversation between the men in A...more
عمر الخير
الإنسان الي بيدي نفسه حق تقيم الناس التانية
علي قدر المعلومات الي عنده
وهو مش واخد باله ان الصورة دايما ناقصة
إنسان بشع
Miguel
http://silenciosquefalam.blogspot.pt/...

«há momentos em que é preciso escolher entre viver a nossa própria vida, vivê-la plena, inteira, totalmente… e continuar a levar a existência falsa, vazia, degradante que o mundo, na sua hipocrisia, exige.» (p. 52)
Czarny Pies
Oct 03, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody on this earth.
Recommended to Czarny by: I agreed to it in a barter in order to make a weekend outing to the theatre posssible.
Shelves: english-lit
I am proud to say that I have never read anything by Oscar Wilde. He is held in such low esteem by academics that his works are never placed on courses. After seeing this play performed, I came to the conclusion that it would be absurd to ever read a work with such shallow characters and banal premises.

However, Wilde in the theatre is altogether another beast. His works contain more "off-the-wall" and unexpected humour than a Robin Williams monologue. You go to a Wilde play to laugh and test you...more
Truehobbit
The satisfactory ending, worthwhile lesson/message Lady Windermere learns and the fact that it's a very quick and easy read make this three stars - otherwise I found it doesn't quite work. The characters seem undecided in how seriously they should be taken, the balance between social satire and sentiment doesn't work (in fact, what there is in sentiment doesn't work on its own either, not just in terms of balance with the comedy), and most of the few witticisms in it have unfortunately become so...more
Artemisia
LADY WINDERMERE: I'm not interested in her - and - you should not mention this woman and me in the same breath. It is an error of taste.

LADY WINDERMERE: I did not ask her. He insisted on her coming - against my entreaties - against my commands. Oh! the house is tainted for me! I feel that every woman here sneers at me as she dances by with my husband. What I have done to deserve this? I gave him all my life. He took it - used it - spoiled it! I am degraded in my own eyes; and I lack courage - I

...more
Jonathan
While I really enjoyed this play I found it less amusing and interesting than the other works of Oscar Wilde. So for me this is not a case of the play being worth less than five stars but rather that it is overshadowed by Wilde at his best. For I believe that A Woman of No Importance and The Importance of Being Earnest capture the better part of his mercurial spirit.

Lady Windermere's Fan rather than focussing on the characteristic wit of Wilde's far more famous plays is a smart play. It's plot i...more
Shriya
Oscar Wilde is truly the emperor of maxims and master of tragedies. 'Lady Windermere's Fan' was my first experience of the magical world of Wilde (if we don't count the much read, much loathed 'The Happy Prince ' that is!). A poignant play revolving around an insignificant fan, 'Lady Windermere's Fan' portrays so many things at once-the hypocrisy of the so-called British society, the fickle-mindedness of women, their tendency to be suspicious about anything they don't understand and the role of...more
Miriam
Feb 02, 2012 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who love the Jane Austen world and would like to see them in a play
"Lady windermere's Fan" by Oscar Wilde is a story about a young woman who has been married for only two years and gave birth to a son who is six month old at the time the story takes place. The family lives in a house in London and everything seems perfect until, at Lady Windermere's twenty-first birthday, her husband wants her to invite a woman that he is said to have an affair with. Of course this cannot but cause a lot of trouble and questioning how far anyone should go for love.

Once again "L...more
Soham Chakraborty
I have come to the usual conclusion that Oscar Wilde is a genius and human kind wasn't worthy of having such a man when he was present. So far I read three of his plays - The Importance being Earnest, Salome and now Lady Windermere's Fan. And I must say that to me, this is the best of the three.

The theme is mundane. I don't know how many times a book of similar thematic nature came up at that time when Wilde wrote it, i.e. more than 100 years ago. But the rift between lovers, distance between h...more
El
(Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.)

Like The Importance of Being Earnest, this play involves some dishonesties, some false pretenses, and so very little communication.

In other words, it's great fun.

I might have enjoyed this more than The Importance of Being Earnest, only because I knew that story going into it, and this was entirely new for me. While the situation is familiar and done to death (by now in the 21st-century), Wilde wrote with a freshness that is undeniable. Maybe it...more
Helle
This was a quick 'read' (four and a half hours on audiobooks), and though it wasn't among the best works I've read by Wilde, it was a pleasant surprise to suddenly come upon some of his best (and my favourite) quotes; I knew them well but not that they came from this particular play. In chronological order:

"I can resist everything except temptation"

"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars"

"There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the o...more
Cindy
This play wasn't what I expected. I think I was expecting something like The Importance of Being Earnest, which is such a light and fluffy bit of fun. This one wasn't like that. There were still some very funny lines, like the familiar "I can resist everything except temptation," but the subject was more serious and the funny lines were just thrown in around the action.

Lady Windermere has only been married 2 years. She and her husband married as a love match. But now gossip has linked her husban...more
Madhubrata Bhattacharya
Wilde is one of those few authors who are by equal parts enjoyable to read and thought-provoking.His razor sharp wit is expressed through the clever dialogue as he attacks the conventions of Victorian society. Love *-*
Libby
I simply love Oscar Wilde. His biting social commentary dressed up in florid prose always makes me smile. My only complaint about this classic is that it was quite similar to An Ideal Husband; however, I liked this play even better. He deals with very difficult, and at times absurd, social issues in a way that says so much in so few words. His dialogue is genius and can be read again and again. He was a master of multi-layered dialogue - on the surface it’s all within social convention, but you...more
Kelly
Jun 06, 2011 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: plays
Oscar Wilde's quotes are so ubiquitous --and we know so many of them-- that it's easy to forget that he wrote plots that originally strung them all together.

Lady Windermere's Fan is not my favorite of the Wilde plots. We may be so far removed from the moral sensibilities of the 19th century that the histrionics over mistaken intentions can only read as melodrama.

Even the wacky Wilde one-liners are a tad more overblown than witty ("We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the star...more
Alex
Not Wilde's best. The plot was pretty lame - done before, and with lots of those rom-com situations where you think "This would all be cleared up if they'd just talk to each other like normal humans" - but it's still Wilde, so it's still plenty fun to read and has lots of things you probably would have put as your high school yearbook quote if you'd read it back then.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

"Experience is a question of instinct about life."

"There's n...more
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E...more
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The Picture of Dorian Gray The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays   An Ideal Husband The Canterville Ghost

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” 31655 likes
“I can resist anything except temptation.” 3109 likes
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