Wilde as Parodist: a Second Look at the Importance of Being Earnest : a Review

857 Words Aug 28th, 2008 4 Pages
Although many of the early critics found Oscar Wilde’s final play strictly humorous, it clearly conveys social hypocrisies of the upper-classes of the period (late-Victorian). Wilde was being satirical and paradoxical in his play to show the hypocrisy and entertain the viewers in a play that is still being repeated till today. It is a witty and amusing comedy which conveys real life everyday themes such as real love as opposed to selfish love, religion, marriage, being truthful and country life as opposed to city life. Richard Foster, author of “Wilde as Parodist: A Second Look at The Importance of Being Earnest”, published in October 1956, writes on how the this play was viewed by critics, the techniques used by Wilde to achieve his …show more content…
The earnest/Ernest joke strikes at the very heart of Victorian notions of respectability and duty. Gwendolen wants to marry a man called Ernest, and she doesn't care whether the man actually possesses the qualities that comprise earnestness.
Oscar Wilde used numerous epigrams, the main thing he was famous for, to reach his points and to entertain his audience. “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last”, “produce your explanation and pray make it improbable”, “washing one's own clean linen in public", and “in married life three is company and two is none” are just a few examples of Wilde’s ingenious ideas paradoxing common phrases, and used just right to tersely express his opinions in a witty way.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a fantastic play; it is truly a great work of English literature. It makes light of love, marriage, and religion which are issues that people take very seriously and that is what everybody needs is to lighten up sometimes. Despite the fact that it was written in the Victorian era, the witty comedic themes are still relevant in today's society which makes the play all the more entertaining and relatable. Wilde’s tone of wit, farce and satire combined together shows his great ability as an

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