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The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde

Book Overview: 

Oscar Wildebwas an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day.

In Wilde’s classic play The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff discover the perils of love, assumed identities, and telling the truth.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest.  There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence.  The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

Jack.  You really love me, Gwendolen?

Gwendolen.  Passionately!

Jack.  Darling!  You don’t know how happy you’ve made me.

Gwendolen.  My own Ernest!

Jack.  But you don’t really mean to say that you couldn’t love me if my name wasn’t Ernest?

Gwendolen.  But your name is Ernest.

Jack.  Yes, I know it is.  But supposing it was something else?  Do you mean to say you couldn’t love me then?

Gwendolen.  [Glibly.]  Ah! that is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most met. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This 1895 play about mistaken and hidden identities is my favorite by Oscar Wilde. One of the wittiest plays ever!

Algernon is visited in his town home by his friend Ernest, who intends to propose to Algernon's cousin Gwendolen. Algernon manages to dig out his friend's secret: his name is actually Ja

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde.

The play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Some contemporar

Every line in The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute gem. Remember these?

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

“No woman should ever be

Algernon (Algy) Moncrieff, is being visited, by his enigmatic friend, Ernest Worthing, that is "Ernest" in town and Jack (John), in the country. It's a long story, but we have time, Mr.Worthing, likes to go to town! Get as far as possible, away from his stifling, depressing, responsibilities at home

“If you are not too long, I will wait for you all my life.”

Ah, Mr Wilde can always be counted on to make me laugh, to poke fun at the ridiculousness of human behaviour, to tell a story that is both incredibly clever and undeniably silly. The Importance of Being Earnest is a play about mistaken ident

“We live in an age of ideals”

Wilde is a genius. This play is genius. What a penetrating critique of high Victorian society this becomes; but rather than being a dull argument or essay, it takes on the body of a hilarious play. This is just absurd, outrageous and straight to the point. This pictu

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