The Importance Of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde

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arch 2018 The Importance of Being Earnest: Oscar Wilde’s Criticism on the Upper Class Using humor, cleverness, and style, Oscar Wilde illustrates the lives of the Victorian upper class in The Importance of Being Earnest. More specifically, the “Trivial Comedy for Serious People” reveals in a satirical manner the insignificant concerns of Great Britain’s aristocracy. In the introduction of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings, editor Richard Ellmann creates an overview of Wilde’s best known work. Describing how the play differs from the Irishman’s other writings, Ellmann assesses, “What seems clear is that Wilde has turned here from direct onslaughts upon conventional morality to a more olympian amusement” (xviii). Wilde utilizes the play as a criticism for the upper class, which demonstrates their ignorance towards ideas and situations that actually matter to the rest of British society. Further explaining Wilde’s aesthetic writing style, Ellmann focuses on how the characters’ foolish behavior portrays an honest interpretation of the upper class. However, this aspect of the play is often overlooked by the audience due to the embellished dialogue. According to Ellmann, the analysis of the language in the play suggests, “Jack really is Ernest. The liars were telling the truth. Imagination conquers reality” (xix). This comedy discusses the blinding arrogance of the aristocracy and how it is facaded by their wealth and excessive speech. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of
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