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Lady Windermere's Fan

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  17,317 ratings  ·  759 reviews
Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 70 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin Books (first published February 5th 1893)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,317 ratings  ·  759 reviews


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Tosh
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
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
Kenny
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Éirinn, scripts, theatre
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
— Lord Darlington Act IV


Lady Windermere's Fan is quite clever, quite witty, but at it's heart is a comedy in the vein of The Importance of Being Ernest. And while all is resolved in a neat package by the end of Act IV, it is not as satisfying most of Wilde's work. Lady Windermere's Fan is a social comedy, as is most of Wilde's work. It looks at the social norms, expectations and mannerisms of the time. And while it uses humor to c
...more
Jasmine
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"There is the same world for all of us, and good and evil, sin and innocence, go through it hand in hand. To shut one's eyes to half of life that one may live securely is as though one blinded oneself that one might walk with more safety in a land of pit and precipice."
Fenia
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW. Oscar Wilde is a genius! This was so realistic, there was so much wisdom pouring out of it. It was entertaining and short, straight forward, full of cherished quotes. Loved it! ♥
Maria Espadinha
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Charming Trip


Truths , Dares and Lies...

Saviour Silences and Devastating Truths!

Ssssssshhhhhhh... --- DON'T SAY IT!...

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. I take the side of the charming..."

Forget about Goodness!
Forget about Badness!
Take the Charming Boat!
All Aboard?!... ;)
Saman
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oscar-wilde
Beyond the appreciation level, my meager vocabulary could ever achieve!
Duane
I think these classic plays are better enjoyed on stage than by reading. That seems so obvious that it seems silly to say. But the problem for most of us is, we haven't seen them on stage and probably won't. There is enough going on in this play though to make it a fun read. I use the word fun rather loosely because, even though it is a comedy, it doesn't seem like one to me. Maybe that is one of the things lost in reading versus watching, I don't know. I think it's a subtle style of humor that ...more
Sara
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics
Lady Windermere's Fan is classified as a Comedy of Manners, and while there are certainly humorous elements present in the usual clever Wilde manner, I would contend that there is more of drama here than comedy. The story at the base of this play is quite serious. The subject of the ease with which a person (particularly a woman) could be ruined and expelled from society (something that Wilde, even as a man, knew something of) is a serious topic for Wilde. The instinctive love of a mother is a s ...more
Vanessa J.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, it seems that my liking of Wilde's works follows a graphic like this one:



I am not kidding you. Every time I read another play, I think it's better than the one I read before. Perhaps I'm reading them in some particular order unknown to me, or my opinion is starting to get biased. In any case, I enjoyed this immensely.

This one involves more drama and problems than the plays I read previous to this one. It has a jealous wife, there's blackmailing, there are some misunderstood things that lea
...more
Katarina
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
So much drama, so much fun. :)
Laura Cooper
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
\Wilde's work hinges on paradoxical epigrams that are both sinister in their implications and deconstructionist in their content, we are disturbed by that the character who voices the epigrams doesn't seem to have an moral core of their being and see the absurdity of, for example, the distinction between Nature and Civilization. Derrida, but satirical.
Christopher
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend finding Wilde's plays on audio and listening to them while driving early in the morning. Press play as you sit in your freezing car, spend the first scene in a shivering fit, then ease into the second scene all nice and warm and toasty, at ease enough now to chuckle or chortle or guffaw at the playwright's acerbic wit. Pause in the middle of an argument between the Windermeres to roll your window down and request through a metal box a concoction of glutinous egg, english muffi ...more
An upbeat reader
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: مسرحيات
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
Jul 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama-british
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
Melanti
I'm afraid this wasn't the right book at the right time.

I was hoping for something like The Importance of Being Earnest - a comedy with lots of clever wordplay; something to distract me for awhile.

But while the witty wordplay is there, it's far from the comedy I was hoping for. It's a great deal more serious - more of a family drama than a farce.

And it makes me rather sad that I may have ruined this play by listening/reading to it when I wasn't in the mood instead of finding something better to
...more
Bettie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Soumen Daschoudhury
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who worship wit and intelligence
Here I mark my salutation again; Oscar Wilde is a remarkably witty genius, a true observant and a sly story teller.

How easily he read not only the lips of society but the rationale hidden in their words, the cause for the effect and how beautifully he reverberates in his witty words, the incomprehensible fillers we miss in the thoughts behind the mouthing of the gaudy characters to submerge their ostentation and bring out the real ugliness or the real goodness. How sharpened his skills were as a
...more
Melissa McShane
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
My phone's new e-reader came preloaded with a handful of public domain texts, and this was one of them. I was in this play my freshman year in high school, playing Lady Agatha ("Yes, mamma" delivered in varying inflections) so it's been a while since I read it.

This time, it struck me as rather obvious in its morality. Lady Windermere is strict in her moral code right up until she isn't, and then has to be saved by the woman whose morals she despises, thereby becoming a better, kinder, more under
...more
El
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(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
Edlira Dibrani
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading Oscar Wilde's books is an amazing feeling because you never get dissapointed.

This one is a magnificent play.


"Margaret: Are ALL men bad.
Duchess of Berwick: Oh, all of them, my dear, all of them, without any exception. And they never grow any better. Men become old, but they never become good."

"Yes, I love you! You are more to me than anything in the whole world. What does your husband give you? Nothing. Whatever is i him he gives to this wretched woman, whom he has thrust into your socie
...more
Simba
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
God bless Oscar Wilde. Has anyone contributed as much to the conversation of otherwise dull people?
Yngvild
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
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
B. P. Rinehart
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, realism-stuff
I loved this play. It dealt with serious matters with very funny and witty dialogue. [You can look below this review to see all the quotes I saved, there was too many for me to choose from.] I read this while finishing The Iliad and I couldn't help wanting now to dialogue about how we see the treatment of women in the two works. In Homer's poem, women are objects to be won and breed like cattle, while in Wilde's play they are like show-animals whose reputations can be wagered and used to measure ...more
Lidia Mascaró
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very quick read with nothing but splendidness. I was sort of reluctant to begin this book simply because I am more of a novel-person rather than a play-person. Placing my trust on one of my favorite authors, however, I decided to read it.

And of course, as usual after reading any of Wilde's works, I sit here dumbfounded as I wonder how this man managed to write things in such a way that no matter how terrible an opinion or point of view a character is expressing, it sounds convincing and enchan
...more
Liz
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, plays
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
Leslie
{rereading Lady Windermere's Fan, Feb. 2016} I am altering my rating of this play from 4* to 4.5* (see my print edition of "The Plays of Oscar Wilde" for review) -- 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*.

While my opinion of the play itself has been increased by this reread, I found some of the cast of narrators were not great. No
...more
Sham Issa
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Carmen
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I am very impressed by this work. The story was enthralling. The dialogue was superb. I loved the characters and thought they were very fleshed out. I love how Wilde keeps surprising you, not only with 'twists' but with human nature. He thinks people are basically good, and I appreciate that view. Very entertaining, very fascinating. Amazing!
Booknut
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 :)
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24,961 followers
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 ...more
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” 42365 likes
“I can resist anything except temptation.” 3914 likes
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