oscar wilde

Topics: Victorian era, London, John Ruskin Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: March 13, 2014

To what extent is the humour in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest dependent upon ridiculing Victorian attitudes to marriage and respectability? Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ opened in the West End of London in February 1894 during an era when many of the religious, social, political, and economic structures were experiencing change — The Victorian Age. Wilde’s genre of choice was the Victorian melodrama, or “sentimental comedy” which expresses an important message; lying underneath the satire, mockery and humour. In ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ Oscar Wilde reveals the portrayal of marriage and respectability during the late Victorian era. In the words of Jen Ziegenfuss “In the Victorian era, marriage was not as romanticised…love actually played a very minor role in the majority of marriages that took place. An engagement was entered into as one would approach a business deal” As marriage is at the plot's core, it makes some sense that Wilde conveys the different attitudes through mockery and character’s arrogances.

To what extent is the humour in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest dependent upon ridiculing Victorian attitudes to marriage and respectability? Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ opened in the West End of London in February 1894 during an era when many of the religious, social, political, and economic structures were experiencing change — The Victorian Age. Wilde’s genre of choice was the Victorian melodrama, or “sentimental comedy” which expresses an important message; lying underneath the satire, mockery and humour. In ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ Oscar Wilde reveals the portrayal of marriage and respectability during the late Victorian era. In the words of Jen Ziegenfuss “In the Victorian era, marriage was not as romanticised…love actually played a very minor role in the majority of marriages that took place. An engagement was entered into as one would approach a business...
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