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Lady Windermere's Fan

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  20,120 ratings  ·  985 reviews
Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 70 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin Books (first published February 5th 1893)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,120 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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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
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.
Lady Windermere's Fan ~~ Oscar Wilde


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 use
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
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant play written by Oscar Wild. From the first dialogue, I knew I'm in for a treat. And yes indeed I was. There was so much in this play - humour, satire, witty dialogues, drama, excitement, sensitivity and a heartwarming story full of wisdom. All of these features were clustered into a Four-Act play. If this is not brilliance, what is?

Writing a short work is quite challenging. One has to balance the elements very carefully. And it is by no means an easy task. But Oscar Wild has
Elyse  Walters
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full cast Oscar Wilde play....*Theatre Format*/ 4 act British- upper society play....all in one day.
....1 hour and 37 minutes

Magnificent performances....[this play was enhanced with the audiobook format] - great voices, and characters.
Rights & wrongs.....code of conduct....deceitfulness..... hypocrisy....and revenge are themes on full display......
......between husbands, wives, mothers, and daughters.

Mrs. Erlynne hopes to win over a married aristocrat, Mr. Windermere
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?!... 😉👍
Anne  (on semi-hiatus)
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is not my favorite Oscar Wilde play, but it doesn't have to be. Everything Oscar Wilde writes is brilliant and this play is no exception. Wilde's works range from serious to comedic and this one has elements of both. Wilde is concerned in this play about the British obsession with keeping up appearances, with the expectations of one's social class, and the hypocrisy of double standards. He uses his characters brilliantly to examine these themes.

This play had me rapt with attention from be
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A combination of drama and humor
as usual, Wilde criticizes appearances and social hypocrisy of the aristocratic society and the different view of actions of men and women
and the most important point about the harsh judgments of people over others while it's so normal for the human nature to fluctuates between right and wrong
this play was published at 1893
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." ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable play that I liked more than The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband. Many Goodread members classify Lady Windermere's Fan as a comedy and although there are definitely some witty parts, you know the Oscar Wilde wit, but I found the play to be more of a drama. Slightly disappointed that I figured out who Mrs. Erlynne was before I got to the end and what part she really played. Four stars. ...more
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! ♥
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
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!
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Video Review
I grew up with a girl who wrote love letters to a prisoner during our teens, and during this period she told me on rough days that "We're all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars". We drew a lot of optimism and strength from that quote. It stopped her dropping out of school, it stopped me dropping out of friendships. We knew Oscar Wilde wrote it, but we weren't sure where it came from. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray like most teens, but I didn't find it in there.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, plays
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
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
So much drama, so much fun. :)
Now this is more like it! I loved this one. Charm and humour galore, as well as drama and excitement.
Rozhan Sadeghi
A mother's love is not defined by how much she endures a life that is unbearable but by the wise acts of love a mother makes to make life easier for her child.
A mother shouldn't sacrifice all her life for her child. And if she doesn't, it doesn't mean she's not a good mother. She's a human being worthy of living.
And Wilde wrote about this in 19 century!
This short play has so much more to offer than the paragraph I wrote, but his take on motherhood stood out the most to me.
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. ...more
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

This is the second play by Oscar Wilde I've ever read. And again, it is beautifully and brilliantly written. Here we have the patent Wilde wit, depth of observation, and humor. It's a delight to read.

LORD WINDERMERE.  Well, that is no business of yours, is it, Cecil?

CECIL GRAHAM.  None!  That is why it interests me.  My own business always bores me to death.  I prefer other people’s.

It's also quite dramatic, not s
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
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm honestly amazed by the Genius of Oscar Wilde. After falling in love with The Importance of Being Earnest I wasn't sure if he'll be able to do it again but Boy, was I wrong. Lady Windermere's fan was just as brilliant (maybe not as witty but definately a strong narrative full of funny and shocking moments).

This Play is about Lady Windermere. When she learns that her husband has an improper relation with another woman (of low Status) and then wants to divide this woman into their home, she fuc
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” || This play was such a joy to read. The dialogue is equal parts hilarious, clever and thought-provoking. What I love about Oscar Wilde is his use of humor to criticize social situations, entertaining us with his words while at the same time making us think on a more profound level about life and our actions. I’m definitely looking forward to read more of his works.
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, irish, plays
Oh , I am missing the theatre.
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
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
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
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
God bless Oscar Wilde. Has anyone contributed as much to the conversation of otherwise dull people?
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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 ...more

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