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Oscar Wilde
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The Importance Of Being Earnest and Other Plays

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  50,315 Ratings  ·  527 Reviews
Oscar Wilde created his final and most lasting play, comic masterpieces of all time, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, in 1895. Considered one of the greatest THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a farce, playing with love, religion, and truth as it tells the tale of two men. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who bend the truth in order to add excitement to their lives. J ...more
Hardcover, Oxford Pocket Classics, 0 pages
Published December 27th 1986 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1954)
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Sketchbook
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently
"Prism, where is that baby?" demands the damndest dowager in theatre history in OWs farcical masterpiece. Feeling blue ? Reread this comedic milestone for the most preposterous merriment outside of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit," with a bow to WS Gilbert and Sheridan. Wilde found his playwrighting voice just before The Fall. He turned unreal drawing-room nonsense into Art. Muffins, cucumber sandwiches, a handbag left at Victoria Station and a grande dame who burbles about train schedules : "We ha ...more
Luís C.
"Vulgarity is what others do, not us."


It should probably be born English to succeed in transforming a somewhat boulevardist plot in a humor anthology that raises a smile on almost every page...
We can not recommend tasting in entertainment as a tasty toasted muffin half coated with orange marmalade, especially as the language of this piece presents no particular difficulty.

Would you like some more tea?

Lisbon Book-Fair 2015.
Richard
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Trevor McCandless
I used to be an inveterate playgoer (one year, 1989 I think, I saw 52 plays).

The action and dialog on stage can be pretty quick. And if you're seeing a play that was written in another time for a different culture, that might be too quick to catch.

For example, the first line of Lady Windermere's Fan is from a butler stepping up to the lady of the house and asking "Is your ladyship at home this afternoon?" Our modern minds would probably surmise from such a question that the butler is asking whet
...more
Marialyce
Oscar Wilde is such joyous fun! He makes us look at ourselves in the most ironic and funny ways. Certainly he was a master of satire and in this play, he has presented the characters in what I have come to think of as the stiff British way. I loved that is poked a great deal of fun at the staid Victorian period. Mr Wilde himself was certainly everything else but staid and perhaps in thinking of him, we see a man born before his time.

The play on the words "Earnest" is fun and yet its does point t
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Salome, the importance of being earnest and lady windermer,s fan, Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
عنوان: سالومه، اهمیت ارنست بودن و بادبزن خانم ویندرمر؛ اثر: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: محمد سعیدی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1336، در 302 ص، چاپ دیگر: شرکت انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی، 1378، موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 م
مجموعه ی سه نمایشنامه: 1 - سالومه در 62 صفحه؛ 2- اهمیت ارنست بودن در 123 صفحه؛ 3 - بادبزن خانم ویندرمر در 116 صفحه
...more
Casey
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, favorites, classics
So hilarious!

There's this:
“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless."

"Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them."

"I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.”


And This:

“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.”

AND THIS:
...more
Vishy
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t read a play in a while – I think the last play I read was ‘Homecoming’ by Harold Pinter a few years back. So, I decided to read a few plays this year. The first one I got hold of was ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde. I have always admired Oscar Wilde’s wit and humour and so I was really looking forward to reading his most famous play. I finished reading it a couple of days back. Here is what I think.

What I think

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is about two friends John
...more
Zan
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote my masters thesis on Wilde's society plays so this text was something like my Bible for a year. Wilde's genius lays not just in his wit but also in his undermining of the social structure he wants so desperately to belong to even as he knows he never will. I think his first two society plays are underrated as I think some of his best drawing room twaddle occurs in A Woman of No Importance. A full act of nearly no action is absolute genius. Many brilliant lunatics.

3.3.11
I just read Lady
...more
David
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-white-square
Lady Windermere’s Fan: "Do you want answers?" "I think I'm entitled to it." "You want answers?" "I want the truth!" "You can’t handle the truth!" Switch and repeat.

Salome: "They'll love it in Pomona." Mishima directed it in Japan!

A Woman of No Importance: A bit preachy and hysterical.

An Ideal Husband: "Do you want answers?" "I think I'm entitled to it." "You want answers?" "I want the truth!" "You can’t handle the truth! Oh, wait. It seems that you can." Switch and repeat.

A Florentine Tragedy: I
...more
Yossor Jamal
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am glad that sir Oscar lived up to his reputation
The Book Queen
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, classics
Witty, very intelligent, sharp and very funny: a wonderful collection. Absolute classic.
Veena Soujanya
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, drama
The first thing that came to my mind after reading the plays is "how did I not read them till now?". These are the most enchanting and beautiful plays by Oscar Wilde.

The book had three plays.

1.Salom'e
Based on a tale from New Testament, Salome is the story of an infamous woman who by her erotic "Dance of the Seven Veils", seduces her stepfather who promises anything she asks for.She wishes for the head of Jokanaan, a Prophet who rejected her love on a silver plate, as her gift. In spite of the K
...more
Genesis
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really, really loved this.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this but, damn, did Wilde prove me wrong.
This was witty, sarcastic and such good writing.
Liked all the three plays and plan to read some more written by him.

*Also, thank you Oscar for allowing me to realize I am a confirmed Bunburyist and have naturally performed some Bunburying.
...more
Mitchell Hahn-Branson
It breaks down like this:

Lady Windermere's Fan: 3 stars
An Ideal Husband: 4 stars
The Importance of Being Earnest: 5 stars

That's the chronological order in which Wilde wrote them and the order in which I recommend reading them. It actually made me kind of giddy to read all three in just over a week and see how Wilde's playwriting improved by an order of magnitude with each play. Lady Windermere is a rather silly melodrama with some of Wilde's funniest lines lightly sprinkled throughout; An Ideal H
...more
RavenclawReadingRoom
I have an undying adoration for The Importance of Being Earnest. It's the most fabulously ridiculous play, and I can't help but giggle every time I read it. It's hilarious from start to finish, from lines about handbags to Bunburying to aggressive muffin eating. Also, I always end up wanting muffins after I read this, and if it weren't absolutely pissing with rain right now, I would walk the three blocks to the supermarket to buy a packet of (English) muffins.

The other plays compiled in this vol
...more
Oscar Gonzalez
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sepan-cuantos
Este libro abarca las 4 obras más importantes de Wilde, o aparentemente, las que tuvieron mayor éxito. Habiéndolas leído, no puedo mas que desear verlas en teatro, pero eso resulta imposible en la práctica. Muchos diálogos ágiles, brillantes. Los personajes como Henry Wotton de El retrato de Dorian Gray se multiplican: hombres y mujeres con un enorme cinismo llenan con aforismos de fina ironía las escenas, siempre ambientadas en la aristocracia británica. Las primeras cuatro obras tienen todo ...more
Jenny
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan are fun and light reads, they made me smile and laugh out loud, and they were entertaining. I wish there was a little depth to Earnest, especially regarding the ending. It seemed trivial, and I know that it's a satire, but I couldn't get past the easily-fixed Shakespearean resolution.
Salome, on the other hand, was a different read from Wilde. I've read Dorian Gray, short stories, plays, and essays, and Salome falls more in line with the
...more
Luis
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some great masterpieces on this compilation, all of them very endearing and vibrating with the Wilde charm. My personal favorites are the importance of being earnest, because of how complex and round and exaggerated the characters end up while being superficially the same, and the second to favorite is an ideal husband, which although not as famos is very clear on presenting the idiosyncrasy of his society. This edition has a lovely cover and very simple presentation of the texts, incl ...more
Mohammad Ali
ترجمه ترجمه ی متوسطی است - حتی در جاهایی منطق حکم می کند که جمله باید برعکس باشند ( حتی طبق اواخر داستان عمه آگوستا در واقع خاله آگوستا است ).

از بین سه نمایشنامه اهمیت ارنست بودن را به دلیل فضای طنرش دوست داشتم و بادبزن خانم میندرمر را به دلیل جدیت و حتی تا حدی تراژیک بودنش . اما سالومه به نظرم چیز خاصی نیامد.

محمود صناعی در مقدمه ی این کتاب حرفی زده که بعد از خواندن کتاب حس می کنم باهاش همدلم: طنزهای وایلد بیشتر طنزهای زبانی و لحظه ای اند و نه اینکه مفهوم و معنایی عمیق داشته باشند.
Rea K
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was bored one day over the summer and read the other plays in this book. We were only required to read The Importance of Being Earnest in English, but I read the other ones, which is unusual because I don't really read plays.
I plan to reread this some day. Oh, my very own Ernest, you're in a box somewhere. I really don't know where.
kelly
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. I didn’t realize the original versions would be so politically incorrect. Same sharp, shocking wit as ever, though. ("Salome" is the only odd outlier I couldn't get into--no traces of the familiar Wilde there.) I’m pretty sure I would totally have fallen for Oscar if I’d known him.
Elaina
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun reading plays. I think the last time I read a play was in Junior High School students in drama class. My favorite was The Importance of Being Earnest. love the book and the movie.
Sophie (The Uneducated Reader)
I'll be dipping in out of this one whenever it takes my fancy.
Denise
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, drama
Reading The Importance of Being Earnest for the Victorians! group.

Finished The Importance of Being Earnest (loved it!) and putting it back on the to-read shelf until I read the others.

Having read all the plays in this volume, Earnest is my favorite. Three of the other plays are also comedies. Lady Windermere's Fan and A Woman of No Importance both have a fallen woman theme and are a bit melodramatic, particularly the latter. There is a lesson here, as certain other characters, who start out a bi
...more
Cori
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because our October book club is going to be a retreat where we will discuss all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy, we decided to go for something light and airy for September. We chose The Importance of Being Earnest, with the option to not read it at all and just come to book club and enjoy the movie version while eating a selection of British food — cottage pie, scones, cucumber sandwiches (“not available, even for ready money”) tea, etc. The movie version (staring Colin Firth, Rupert E ...more
Vanu
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, let me just say that I'm absolutely honoured to be writing the first ever review for this book!
*look at empty chairs at an empty room*
*crickets chirp*
Anyywaayy....

So this book is a compliation of three plays: Saolmé (disturbing; 4 stars), Lady Windermere's Fan (mehh; 3 stars) and The Importance of Being Earnest (absolutely ridiculous; 5 stars).

Salomé was a good play. It was disturbing and it was mythical, and I really liked how Wilde created that atmosphere really well.

Lady Windmere's
...more
Eyehavenofilter
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been involved with "The Importance of Being Earnest" in several theaters, and it always brings me pause since the 2 people who are in love and end up together are first cousins, (?) WTF? Seriously? Evidently that's what happened a lot at the time this play was written. I gives me the creeps, and makes me wonder if this the reason for the term " blue blood" when it comes to the royals? HELL YES!
But Oscar Wilde is known for being one to push the norms of society beyond the limits people expec
...more
Azariah Alfante
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wilde, the master of paradox, has never failed to impress me with his excellent writing. Yet it's been years since I read his classic novel, a dark favourite of mine, "The Picture of Dorian Gray". This novel scared me, moved me, taught me. I loved it even though it got me shivering. So you can imagine the excitement I felt after getting my hands on a lighter and hearty play which recaptured my interest in the world of Wilde. I found "The Importance of Being Earnest" extremely enjoyable to read a ...more
Ana
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oscar Wild depicts a society that shows us how little we have evolved when it regards ways of thinking, men/women relationships, the importance of others thoughts, and how forgetful we are of the importance of trivial things. Of course one must remind oneself constantly that one is reading plays written in the late XIX century.

I simple adored reading all the plays and would have read them in a single breath if I could.
"Lady Windermere's fan" and "Salomé" are my least favorites. In "A woman of no
...more
Avery (ThePagemaster)
Note: Though this is a collection of Oscar Wilde's plays, I only read The Importance of Being Ernest. All I have to say, is that I was a bit disappointed.

I LOVED Picture of Dorian Gray, and I was expecting this play to be the comedy that people profess it to be. I'm not sure whether I was pressured to reading this, because this was a school-assigned read, or what, but I just had a bit of a hard time, especially with trying to connect to the characters, who acted so selfish and naive. I might giv
...more
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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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