The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

importanceofbeingearnestOriginal title: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
Year published: 2011/1895
Published by:
Number of pages: 58
First sentence:

 Plot: Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

My thoughts: I didn’t really think that I was going to like this since I had to read it for uni. But I did like it! First of all, it is actually quite funny, which it should be as it is in fact a comedy. Secondly, there’s an interesting story. At least it becomes interesting when the shit hits the fan, so to speak. Also, the amount of amazing quotes in this play is just too good to be true. I loved reading all of the quotes. I’ll share some of my favorite ones with you in the end of this!

This “Bunburying” thing that Algy has come up with is hilarious. I didn’t really understand it at first but when I did I thought it was very funny. I don’t know why we don’t call it that now? I mean it exists right? People blaming something nonexistent for their absence and the like. I’m going to introduce this concept to the modern society.

About the characters then. Jack is an alright fellow I suppose. Cecily too is quite nice. I didn’t care much for Gwendolen though, I think it has something to do with the fact that she’s an upper class lady, I don’t seem to like rich people that much. My bad. I did however love Algy! I mean really, I’d like to marry him, haha. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because he was the one to say the smartest or funniest things? I do believe that most of my favorite quotes were those said by him!

Onto the quotes then!

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

“If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.”

“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.”

“Good heavens, I suppose a man may eat his own muffins in his own garden.”
“But you have just said it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins!”
“I said it was perfectly heartless of YOU under the circumstances. That is a very different thing.”
“That may be, but the muffins are the same!”

“This ghastly state of things is what you call Bunburying, I suppose?
Algernon. Yes, and a perfectly wonderful Bunbury it is. The most wonderful Bunbury I have ever had in my life.
Jack. Well, you’ve no right whatsoever to Bunbury here.
Algernon. That is absurd. One has a right to Bunbury anywhere one chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that.”

“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

For more fantastic quotes go here: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/649216-the-importance-of-being-earnest-a-trivial-comedy-for-serious-people

Goodreads rating: 4/5

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9 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

  1. I LOVE this play. It is one of my absolute favorites. If you have a chance to see it on stage, do it. It is so funny. I had to read Importance of Being Earnest in high school. Wilde is fabulous. One of my favorite quotes comes from Earnest, “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.”

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      • It’s good on the page, but I love reading it that much more after I saw it on stage. It just comes alive. They also made a movie of it. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I remember liking it. Not as good as on stage, though.

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      • You never know. I first saw it at my high school (they happened to do it as the spring play the same time we read it in senior English class). I recently saw it a year and a half ago, when our church chose it as their fall production. So it may just pop up somewhere for you unexpectedly! 🙂

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      • My old school only does musicals, lol. But it’s true, you never know!
        I’m really glad I liked this, the other uni reads have been dreadful. Next up is The Great Gatsby, we’ll see :p

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      • Oh I liked Gatsby too! I read that in high school as well. But I am a math/science person. So I totally did not get any of the “deeper meaning” that my classmates did. I remember there is one section where the author briefly mentions a clock, and we spent a whole class talking something about that’s representative of Gatsby being stuck in time. I think? It’s been over 20 years since we had that discussion, funny how I still remember. Anyway, thank goodness for Cliffs Notes I would have never passed that class otherwise. I am def more of a “surface” reader and not a “deep meaning” gal. LOL

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