Oscar Wilde V/S "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Essay by DiegoX June 2007

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IWhen analyzing Oscar Wilde’s work within the context of Victorian times, I can assure that this author was the most important transgressor of his time. Oscar Wilde defied normal standards and created works of art that criticized his reality, but with a touch of glamour and style that cautioned the audiences in those and nowadays. The importance of being Earnest produces these glamorous scenes full of wit and style, reproducing Victorian characters but with no Victorian attitude and not in a Victorian style. English people in the late XIX century didn’t speak like the characters in this play. Obviously, elegant people of that time would have loved to speak like these characters, especially for their wit, but they lack these smart and fluid conversations. Since characters act and say things a normal Victorian would love to act and say, we can enjoy these dialogues and laugh at Victorian typical men and women.

The title is also important in the critique that we can see in this play, since the Victorian man considered himself very earnest, even though most of them were probably not.

The selfish Giant is Wilde’s fairy story that I read. It was hard to picture Wilde writing this story as a critique rather than a simple fairy tale. This tale also describes the selfish Man in Wilde’s society. In his essay, The soul of man under socialism, Wilde gives us a deeper view of English and European society in Victorian days by describing its relationship with art and the changes that the later has gone through from older times.

IIIt’s quite difficult to choose a meaningful scene in The importance of being Earnest, since several are my favorite ones. The final scene when Jack finds out that his name is really Ernest, serves as a perfect...