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The Plays of Oscar Wilde

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,350 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Act in A Broad Corridor In The Duke's Palace To left, a window affording a view over Padua by moonlight. To right, a flight of steps leading to a door, before which hangs a curtain of crimson ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by General Books (first published 1908)
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Aug 09, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, humor
{rereading Lady Windermere's Fan, Feb. 2016} I am altering my rating of this play from 4* (see below) to 4* -- I had forgotten how many wonderful lines there were in the dialogue of this play. These raise it up but I still don't think it is as good as my favorite, The Importance of Being Earnest so I can't give it 5*.

{review from 2012}
I find it difficult to rate collections, as the individual parts almost always vary in quality. For this collection, I thought that I would give a very brief revie
Parastoo sahebi
"آه بگمانم خانم چویلی ب آن دسته از زنان بسیار مدرن و امروزی تعلق داشته باشد ک بر این عقیده اند داشتن رسوایی تازه،ب اندازه ی خریدن یک کلاه جدید برازنده آن هاست .او از آن موجوداتی ست ک دوست دارد هر روز عصر رأس ساعت پنج و نیم،کلاه جدید و رسوایی تازه اش را برای هواخوری بیرون آورد و ب همه نشان دهد.."

این اولین تجربه ی نمایشنامه خوانی من بود و دوستش داشتم
قبلا شنیده بودم ک آثار اسکاروایلد طنزآلودند ولی فکر می کردم منظورشان از طنز دقیقا چیزی نیست ک آدم را بخنداند بلکه فقط نوشته های نیش دار و منتقدانه اس
Aug 21, 2016 Bárbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, in-english, by-men
Vera; or, The Nihilists 3,5/5
The Duchess of Padua 3,5/5
Salome 5/5
Lady Windermere's Fan 4.5/5
A Woman of No Importance 4/5
An Ideal Husband 4/5
The Importance of Being Earnest 5/5
La Sainte Courtisane 4.5/5
A Florentine Tragedy 3/5

Giving the book a 5/5 because I love living in a world where I can buy every play Oscar Wilde's ever written, including excerpts from unfinished works, in a single book for ~2; and also because some of the plays are truly brilliant.
Jan 04, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I've read The Importance of Being Earnest before, and possibly also A Woman of No Importance, and enjoyed revisiting Wilde's blatant silliness. I also quite enjoyed the introduction (a rarity); it did a good job of contextualizing Wilde's writing without being a capsule biography. I know after reading The Picture of Dorian Gray he can tackle serious themes (though A Woman of No Importance gets pretty sappy in a touching way at the end), but I was not quite prepared for Salome. In the abstract, I ...more
Facundo Martin
May 27, 2016 Facundo Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duchess of Berwick: What do you make of Oscar Wilde’s plays? I am told you look remarkably like him.

Stephen Fry: Plays are not for watching or reading, dear, they’re just for being in.

Duchess: Perfectly true, Mr Fry. Even when one does go to the theater it is merely to show oneself off. But we must write this review I’m afraid.

Vera, or the Nihilists:

Mrs Allonby: We can start with Vera and write it off as too melodramatic.

Duchess: But aren’t plays supposed to be that way, dear?

Mrs Allonby:
Sep 04, 2008 Susanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read almost everything Wilde wrote, and other than his last work, "De Profundis" (his letter to his once-boyfriend from JAIL, where he was imprisoned for being gay), he generally annoys the shit out of me.

Yes, he's witty, and he's amusing to hear people quote at a cocktail party, but his plays are melodramatic (worse than an episode of "One Life to Live") and his works deny all real human feelings that aren't pretty, scandalous, or quotable, like self-loathing or ennui. This makes me feel
Brandon Clarke
May 29, 2016 Brandon Clarke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These plays are entertaining as hell. Even his anachronistic-riddled failure, Vera; or The Nihilists, is, for me, one of his bests. The wit, charm, and humour of these plays are brilliant. His social criticism is nice and subtle -- the dialogue pouring forth these are quick, witty, and hard-hitting. To read them is such a fun task, to perform them, obviously better. This edition, compiling all of his plays, is worth buying. It gives one the opportunity to see how much better he became over the y ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 4-star, uk-ireland, plays

--Lady Windermere's Fan
--An Ideal Husband
--The Importance of being Earnest
--A Woman of No Importance
--The Duchess of Padua
--Vera, or The Nihilists
--A Florentine Tragedy
--La Sainte Courtisane
NinaRene Soreco
Jan 08, 2011 NinaRene Soreco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? It's Oscar Wilde! I love how entertaining he is even now. You can really see the genesis of Monty Python in his writing.
Feb 22, 2015 Artur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, englishness
Since it's not a book, but a collection, I'll try to write a bit about every play.

Vera; or, the Nihilists – 4/5 – a political tragedy, where a bunch of conspirators want to assassinate the Tzar. I loved the commentary on power and monarchy, as well as some subtle digs at Russia that have not lost any of their accuracy ("nothing is impossible in Russia, except for reform"). The story of love blooming between people who should be mortal enemies (the titular Vera and the Tzarevitch) was also great.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 08, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
My introduction to Oscar Wilde was the 1999 film made of An Ideal Husband with Rupert Everett and Minnie Driver. I loved it! Witty, romantic. So one day when I saw this book in a used book store, I grabbed it. As it turned out, I had read, or rather experienced another of these plays before--Salome. It's the outlier among the five plays included here. The rest are light comedies set in England among the titled rich in the present day of the plays' writing. Salome is an overwrought verse Biblical ...more
محمد عبادة
- Vera - or The Nihilists - is the first (apprentice) play written by Wilde .. Can be called primitive within the context of the Wildean Evolution ..
- The Duchess of Padua is seemingly the only verse play in this collection, being written in Iambic Pentameter in blank verse after the fashion of Shakespeare .. Neo-Classicist in many senses .. Nonetheless, studded with epigrams ushering the development of the general mood in which Wilde will later write his great plays and his solitary novel ..
- S
Nov 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
I've always rather felt, in regards to Wilde, that he writes fabulously about very witty people with whom I'd completely hate to be stuck in a room. There's a posed, surface quality to his work that's indicative of both the author and the time he wrote in - and, like both, much going on beneath that polished facade.

Reading Wilde's dramatic work at one go the way this collection presents them draws attention both to his obvious claim to the title of Founding Member of the Green Party (the man ne
Nov 04, 2015 Guguk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martabak-telor
Nyari edisi yang ta' baca kok susah ya (^ ^;) ya udah.., gak ada rotan, sandal pun jadi! *EdisiAnakYangDigebukin*

Ratingnya rata-2...aku baru baca sekali semua drama di buku ini, perlu baca ulang supaya lebih meresap(i) ^,,,^

Yang keinget sih, dramanya ada yang lucu..lucu banget, ada juga yang bacanya bikin pegangan meja karena bingung (^,,^)
Apr 02, 2012 Yeliz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On account of my edition,
"Lady Windermere's Fan"
I had a few dissappointments in this play. The dialogues were clever etc, but the morality and the conclusion were celarly pushed upon by Wilde.
"A Woman Of No Importance"
I really liked the play, esp. the two characters Lord Illingworth and Mrs. Allonby.
"An Ideal Husband"
Very witty and enjoyable, a really good one. Lord Goring as the voice of Wilde himself, is very entertaining.
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
As a re-read this marvellous play again
Bronwen Barton
Aug 09, 2014 Bronwen Barton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
only had to read the importance of being earnest for uni but I think at some point I might delve into the rest of these as it was really good
Olga Kuno
Jun 22, 2016 Olga Kuno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite authors. Masterful use of language. Ironic and wise.
Nov 07, 2015 Pedro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vera; or, The Nihilists 4/5
The Duchess of Padua 5/5
Salome 5/5
Lady Windermere's Fan 3.5/5
A Woman of No Importance 4/5
An Ideal Husband 3.5/5
The Importance of Being Earnest 5/5
La Sainte Courtisane 4.5/5
A Florentine Tragedy 3/5
Tiffany Anderson
I love Oscar WIlde's humor and satire. What an original!
May 12, 2015 Foong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century, comedy
Silly light-hearted plays, I loved them.
Jun 15, 2010 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading compendiums, but perhaps I should start to avoid reading Victorian/Edwardian compendiums. While it may well be my favorite English literature time period; the is a wearying sameness that burns away some of the delight. For me in the palys, it is the setup/outrageous rejoinder that was tiresome. Read a play, put it aside and read something else. Come back later, and you will be much happier. The plays were wonderful, and witty, and worthy of a read or see.
Lutfiya Fajandar
This is a delightful book. It has been my coffee shop companion and has probably resulted in me looking a little foolish chuckling to myself at inopportune times. It has also made me a little to liberal with adjectives and prone to see foolishness and misunderstanding everywhere. I have considered following this up with more austere prose to temper it's influence but I am in a mood to be Ernest rather than earnest so will embrace the Wilde side.
Kurt Simmons
Aug 22, 2014 Kurt Simmons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read The importance of Being Earnest. It was a humorous, lighthearted, madcap comedy. Worth reading if you are at all interested in literature - a good study of dialogue.
Aug 29, 2013 Zina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand now why The Importance of Being Earnest is his famous play. That one was great, and I also liked A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband. Many of the others were just bad -- melodramatic, hollow. Vera and the fragments were a bit embarrassing. I read the plays between other novels, though, and it was a good way to take a break from all of the Zadie Smith, DFW, and George Saunders I've been reading this summer.
Hala El Mokhtari
Mar 26, 2016 Hala El Mokhtari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Oscar Wilde has an hypnotic sort of writing. I often find myself having to remind myself that he's just a man with opinions, and that I don't necessarily have to agree to them. Also he's very pessimistic. BUT I LOVE HIM.
A. Mary
Apr 10, 2012 A. Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-drama
There are those who say Wilde shouldn't be considered an Irish author, for a variety of reasons, but his facility with satire trumps all that, in my opinion. His plays are sizzling satires on Victorian high society--he mocks them in their faces. That's what satire is. It's a potent weapon and has a significant presence in Irish writing since the mythic poets used it against their enemies.
This is the expurgated version. One of my favourite lines has been edited out. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell's response below loses everything before the semi-colon. What a shame.[return][return][return]Jack: I have lost both my parents.[return][return]Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
Apr 07, 2008 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read two of the plays from this book for book club - "Lady Windemere's Fan" and "The Importance of Being Earnest." Wilde has an excellent writing style and great wit. These plays are satires about the upper class in London during the Victorian era. These were very quick, fun reads and had you laughing at their absurdness. There are some great one-liners in the plays.
Abhishek Ghoshal
Aug 08, 2016 Abhishek Ghoshal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional prose, an almost lyrical tone in the plays. "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is a masterpiece.
Terence Carlisle
"The Importance of Being Earnest" is the funniest play ever written, simply dazzling. The rest are uniformly fine, with the wonderful Wildean wit blazing away like a crystal chandelier....
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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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