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The Importance of Being Earnest

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  181,020 ratings  ·  5,040 reviews
This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, that name which inspires absolute confidence. Wildes effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this ...more
Audio CD, Unabridged, 2 pages
Published November 28th 2009 by L.A. Theatre Works (first published 1895)
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When I was quite young – I guess, if you were of a mind to, you might say it was a generation ago – I was listening to a radio program and for some reason they decided to do the handbag scene from The Importance of Being Earnest. I’d heard of the play before, obviously, but only the name. I had thought it would be some terribly dreary thing, having no idea just how funny a man Wilde was. The guy on the radio gave it quite a build up – saying something to the effect that this scene is not just on ...more
Sanjay Gautam
Some times it makes me wonder that this play was written ages ago. This book seems to be a contemporary classic! It seems there are lots of movies, based on the theme of this play. And one more thing I noticed that it has all the spices of an Indian comedy movie.

It's full of witticism and humour, but sometimes so silly that you cannot stop laughing out loud. A fun read that will make you forget your troubles for a while!
Emily May
“If you are not too long, I will wait for you all my life.”

Ah, Mr Wilde can always be counted on to make me laugh, to poke fun at the ridiculousness of human behaviour, to tell a story that is both incredibly clever and undeniably silly. The Importance of Being Earnest is a play about mistaken identity, lies, the English class system, and the never-ending vanity and selfishness of high society members. And it's hilarious. It's one of few pre-20th century comedies to have maintained it's laugh fa
I have come to a basic conclusion: Oscar Wilde was the man. And this play proves it. Full of zingers, witty banter, the well-crafted insult, and all things that make Wilde, well, Wilde, the play had me laughing out loud at lines like "The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain" or, as a resigned Jack realizes none of them may be married, "Then a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward to."

Also characteristic
Henry Avila
Algernon (Algy) Moncrieff, is being visited, by his enigmatic friend, Ernest Worthing, that is "Ernest" in town and Jack (John), in the country. It's a long story, but we have time, Mr.Worthing, likes to go to town! Get as far as possible, away from his stifling, depressing, responsibilities at home, change his name to Ernest and becomes his younger brother ( who doesn't exist). Do the wrong things, everybody has secrets, still lies in fact, flow like maple syrup on pancakes, from his lips. That ...more
Oscar Wildre was pretty darn quotable, wasn't he:

The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty and to someone else if she is plain.

To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

In married life, three is company, and two is none.

I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything o
Every line in The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute gem. Remember these?

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

“No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.”

Just three for a start - I had not realised quite how many of Oscar Wilde's bon mots originated in this particular play, which is subtitled, "A
Arthur Graham

I'm Ernest P. Worrell, and I approve this message.


Now, there's been an awful lotta discussion goin' on 'round these parts, lotsa blow-hards and no-brains spoutin' off their own uninformed, silly-ass opinions on the matter, but me I'm fixin' to put an end to all this nonsense, right here right now. Yessiree Bob, that's right -- I'm about to explain to y'all knuckleheads the TRUE importance of being Ernest, so listen up!

Lemme ask you somethin' -- Have you ever survived the Kikakee warrior initiati
Vane J.
Oscar Wilde is simply a genius. I could end this review with that statement, but I won't so I can convince you if you haven't read anything by this man.

Honestly, what makes this play so good? Simply put, it's actually nothing. Why? It's just plain ridiculous and foolish, but it made me laugh like nothing had done for a while.

Yet... how could I like something that is, in essence, foolish and I'm constantly complaining about that? Because that's what Wilde pretended. This is not a play with a seri
Comedy is tough to do well, even by those who create it, but it is even tougher to go back and restage past comedies for modern audiences. The easy explanation is that humour is such a product of its time that audiences are simply not capable of getting the jokes -- not truly. There may be something to that, but I think the real problem is more complex, and I think it can be remedied.

Most comedies, particularly those that hold up and become memorable classics, tell their jokes to make a point. G
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

True to Oscar Wilde this play is full of wit, making fun of the societal standards that are seen to this day. Quite funny. I'm glad it wasn't longer, it would have become boring, as it was very predictable. It was full of fantastic quotes, wise in their own way, such as:

Jack: "You're quite perfect, Miss Fairfax."
Gwendolen: "Oh! I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions."
If you're not too long,i will wait for you all my life- Gwendolen

Θίγοντας με ειρωνεία την εξαπάτηση στην οποία προβαίνει κανείς για να αποκτήσει -κυριολεκτικά-ένα όνομα που θα παρέχει ασφάλεια και κύρος,ο Ουάιλντ κάνει μια νύξη στα στερεότυπα της αριστοκρατίας του 19ου αιώνα .
Από αυτό το έργο απουσιάζει η χυδαιότητα και η απεριόριστη ματαιοδοξία των χαρακτήρων που τους ωθούν σε τέτοιου είδους προσβλητικές πράξεις,όπως συνήθως συμβαίνει με τους πρωταγωνιστές του Ουάιλντ,καθώς εδώ φαίνεται να το κ
I've gotten to the point where, barring a few momentously surprising highs and lows, I know what I'll like and what I will not. This is not an absolute method, but one of categories where in order to be good, one must be very, very, very good. Comedy? Check. Satire? Check. Rich white people problems? All the checks. Furthermore, when I say 'good' I'm speaking of awareness of power, the ratio of jokes that punch up to those which punch sideways or down, A Modest Proposal versus 'The Big Bang Theo ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Denisse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Denisse by: Lau
Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #47 A play.
And for my 2015 Reading Resolutions: 5 classics

Is there anything more fun than mocking about the upper classes and how they used to think?

Archibaldo es un partido extremadamente aceptable. No tiene nada, pero aparenta mucho. ¿Que mas puede desearse?

Lau dijo que me iba a reir montones con este libro, así que ayer en la noche lo empecé!

Muy buena lectura, bastante amena y sumamente divertida si te gusta burlarte de las clases sociales. *ins
Sumirti Singaravel
* Never read this book in a crowd.
* Never read this book when you are not alone.
* Never read this book after mid-night.
* Never read this book with the doors of your room kept open.
* Never read this book sitting down on the floor.

...because when I read this book in my room, with the doors open at 1.00 am, my mother woke up from her sleep and got awe-shocked at the manner I was rolling on the floor laughing, asked me, "It's been a long time I saw you laughing this way. What happened? Are you
May 22, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Men named Earnest. Or Jack. Or Bunbury.
Plays are generally better heard than read (I find Shakespeare dull as dirt to read, though I enjoy watching his plays), and that is certainly true of this Victorian comedy of misdirection and misunderstanding. Oscar Wilde was in full satiric mode though his humor was perhaps gentler than usual, even though he was sending up Victorian manners and hypocrisy.

Lady Bracknell. [Pencil and note-book in hand.] I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men, although I
Oscar Wilde is my backup husband, after William Shakespeare.

I don't care that he was gay; he's also dead, but I'm not really making that an issue, am I?
I started reading this play on the train while commuting, and had to stop myself after reading few pages because I found it impossible to suppress my laughter and as a result of it, I noticed I was attracting reproving looks from my fellow travelers. I can't remember reading anything as hilarious as this play. Wilde is the undisputed master of sardonic wit, which is cleverly employed in his characters' terse and opportune dialogues.

Some savouring quotes inculde:

"To lose one parent may be regard
May 24, 2007 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, fans of comedies of manners.
One of the best plays I've ever read/been in. This review is going to be remarkably short, because I think experiencing Oscar Wilde is really not something to be done except by actually doing so. The joke of it is ruined otherwise. I will say the play is fast, witty, extremely bright, and incredibly perverse. It is possible to actually make people roll in the aisles on this one. I've read in several sources that even George Bernard Shaw did when he saw this for the first time. The muffins scene ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This was a lot of fun! The full cast was awesome. I am really kind of surprised by how funny I thought it was.
I don't know what I was expecting when I opened this book. Something broody and serious and deep. Well, it certainly wasn't what I got.

I never expected it too be so funny, and I read it. Plays are so very rarely funny - I mean laugh out loud funny - when you read them, but this one was.

Oscar Wilde is an excellent writer (wow, who knew?) and I'll definitely be more active in reading his stuff. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Though I suspect he might have written this whole thing just so he co
Almost every line is a gem. Yes, it's all very self-consciously clever, and there are holes in the plot, but that's not the point. Try to pick your favourite 5 quotes from it, or even two dozen - impossible as there are too many contenders.
Ahmad Mustafa
Hilarious , witty , cynical.
The quotations and dialogues that are full of paradoxes are the catch in this play.

The moment that jack discovered that his lies were accidentally true is the climax of this comedy.
I don’t think there’s much I have to say about this that hasn’t been said. Like, gee, did you know Wilde was really witty and satirical? I know, it shocked me too… But in all seriousness, even reading this rather than seeing it performed, it has a wonderful flow and wit, and it’s really funny. I don’t normally have much patience with plays, because they’re so much flatter on the page, and you don’t get the fun of watching actors/directors interpreting them, but I really enjoyed this anyway.

And y
Anthony D Buckley
When the frivolous Jack Worthing visits the country, he disguises himself as “Earnest” to escape from London Society. Unfortunately, he loves Gwendolyn, but she will never marry him if he is not truly Earnest. Her mother, Lady Bracknell, has parallel concerns. She wants her daughter to marry a man of good family. Unfortunately, not only is Jack not “Earnest”, it also turns out that he is a foundling. He was found in a handbag in the left luggage department at Victoria Station, on the Worthing li ...more
Eti Mishra
Holy Mother! I must say that this play is hilarious.

This is one of that book that I can read over and over again and still can enjoy every bit of it.And I want more books like this,really.

To be true I never expected this to be so damn funny, like funny from the beginning to the end.This play has it all,humor, fun, good dialogues( good :/ no,best dialogues), witty characters and people full of amusement. I loved everything.

And now I can say, I'm in love with this man's writing, Oscar Wilde, he re
I think my take on Oscar Wilde plays is this: He is a man who wrote mildly amusing (really -- when was the last time you guffawed during a Wilde play?) plays in which the Wilde character always said wittily epigrammatic things which no casual partygoer could ever pull off on the spur of the moment. I believe I read someplace that Wilde himself would create and then practice these epigrams for hours in preparation for sprinkling them into conversations.

In other works, when characters are impossi
"Viviamo, mi spiace doverlo dire, in un'epoca superficiale."

E Oscar Wilde che fa, quindi? Scrive una commedia teatrale per prendere un po' in giro i suoi contemporanei. Con la loro mania dell'etichetta, del trovare il giusto consorte per i propri figli, e tutte le fissazioni superficiali degli inglesi dell'Ottocento. Con tanto di thé bevuto con molto garbo, ma quello non poteva mancare.
Io non impazzisco per Wilde, che diciamocelo, è uno degli autori "classici" più in voga, specie a scuola. Lo l
Witty, captivating, and so so funny I love this book I mean play LOL so good wasn't expecting it.
Shannon (leaninglights)
This was delightful and had me cracking up on more than one occasion! I can't believe I never read it in high school or college as required reading!! I would love to see the play live!
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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 truth is rarely pure and never simple.” 13287 likes
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” 4924 likes
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