Contextual Essay: the Importance of Being Earnest

Topics: The Importance of Being Earnest, Sociology, Working class Pages: 3 (769 words) Published: October 18, 2006
It is clear to me that throughout Oscar Wilde's life there was a degree of personal uncertainty he bestowed upon himself. This was very much reflected in his social lifestyle, personality and dress sense; but above all through his many dramatic works that reflect his often contrasting attitudes toward himself in his extravagant and highly esteemed approach to his writing of classic English literature.

This is true for drama: the playwrights who write plays often incorporate aspects of their own lives into the plays, be it their character, or in their influence from other persons or social aspects of their lives. This is clearly evident in Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest.

Many of the, especially social themes and issues of Wilde's life are contextually applied to or expressed in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Class and superiority, gender themes with regards to marriage or wealth and the general hypocrisy, double meanings and the lives of the characters. The play generally takes a comical (farce), or absurd tack in exploring the setting, storyline and monologue; these are used as an escape route from, but reflect within the boundaries of the Victorian style.

Social class is an issue that was apparent in Wilde's lifestyle, dress sense and manner. As many biographies have indicated he was the first person to become "famous for being famous". His literal works were an important contributor to his great recognition; although other factors were very important in conveying his attitudes and ideals; especially when it came to people making the connections between Wilde and the characters in his plays.

The character of the Dandy was an important addition Wilde made to the style of play and is noticed in characters such as Algernon- who would to a degree be based on Wilde; a wealthy, well dressed character. Algernon also exercises a sense of social superiority over characters through his unusual and rather excentric behaviour in the play such...

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