Review Of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

860 words - 3 pages

Review of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

The play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde definitely proved itself to be “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” I saw the play at State University’s State Theatre. The play was long, in a three-act structure, yet it moved along at a good pace. They did a nice job of preparing the audience, there was an interesting lobby display with sketches of each of the costumes with fabric samples and they played music to fit the time period before the show began.
The first of Aristotle’s six components of theatre is plot. This play had an intricate and definitely interesting plot. The story begins with Ernest visiting his friend Algernon, or Algy, at his house in town. Through comical discussion, Algy soon realizes that Ernest’s real name is Jack, and that he is known as Jack at his home in the country. He simply invented the character of Ernest, his supposed evil brother, for an excuse to visit the city more often. Algernon then confesses that he also has a ficticious friend for an escape from reality. His name is Bunbury, and he is a permanent invalid whose illnesses often allow Algernon to escape from unpleasant social engagements. Jack is beginning to worry, because people back home are gaining curiosity as to why they have never met his brother. So, he and Algernon compose a plan. Jack will simply come home very upset and tell everyone that Ernest has died of a “severe chill.” This seems like the perfect plan. However, Algernon decides that he wants to meet Jack’s people from the country, especially his eighteen -year old ward Cecily, so Algernon shows up at Jack’s townhouse pretending to be Ernest, Jack’s brother. Everyone is very excited to finally meet him and immediately Ernest(Algernon) and Cecily fall in love. The two of them go inside for refreshments when a very shaken Jack arrives explaining to everyone that Ernest is dead. Everyone is a bit surprised by this, since Ernest is supposedly there. Jack, distrustful of Algernon's intentions toward Cecily, orders Algernon to leave by the next train. Algernon and Cecily say their goodbyes, and Cecily confesses she has been deeply in love with "Ernest" for a year and has made entries in her diary detailing the courtship. Algernon, wishing to stay "Ernest" for Cecily's sake, rushes off to the church to be rechristened "Ernest." Gwendolen, Algernon’s cousin, who happens to be engaged to...

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