Neil's Reviews > Lady Windermere's Fan

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde
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Jun 16, 10

Read from June 07 to 16, 2010

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 the characters jump to conclusions that seem poorly motivated. The situational humor present in other Wilde plays is mostly missing here.

What's left is Wilde's gift for language, his clever turn of phrase. That's still plenty to enjoy, especially in scenes like the end of Act IV when Wilde fills the room with gossipy clones of himself. Just be prepared, the parts are greater than the whole.
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