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Wildes play The Importance of Being Earnest - Essay Example

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The paper "Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest" states that the play itself is full of satire and a bit of farce, due to the nature of the characters and their portrayals. Since the focus of the play is by ridiculing the superficial upper-class, most of the scenes that were presented showed the elite characters…
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Wildes play The Importance of Being Earnest

Download file to see previous pages... It is said that satire gives rise to emotions which are not the best of humans. Such emotions would be anger, hatred, indignation and malice, as well as shame, guilt, and anxiety (Test 1). But satire also gives light to such negative emotions in the sense that it is combined with comedy, so that audiences could swallow reality better. It is also a common fact that people who are portrayed in satire are such that is a chore to be with, especially during the times that there is no choice in whom to be in company with. One of the most famous people who portrayed satire at its best is Oscar Wilde. Known not just for the plays that he wrote, he was also an icon, to the point that he and his flamboyant personality were far more famous than his works (Van Kirk 2). He was born into an affluent Victorian family and was surrounded by intellectuals. Eventually, he showed promise as a writer during his days in Oxford. But his times there were also the factors that made him the flashy person that he was (3). Unfortunately, due to the scandals that Wilde committed, his works became devalued and he was sent to prison, having his spirit and body crushed. He was never the same again, and he died an unloved man in 1900 (Gregory 2). However, his works were revisited in the 1960’s, and he was regarded as one of the best when it came to portrayals of his time (Van Kirk 9). Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest was a hit when it first opened on February 14, 1895. While it did poke fun at the morals and values of the upper-class society, it was well-written in such a way that the elite believed the play was a glimpse of what they really do, for the middle-class and lower-classes to see (Gregory 7). This kind of style that isn’t bitter satire made Wilde’s plays successful and widely accepted by the Victorian Era, while at the same time exposing the hypocrisy of the elite. Also, aside from poking fun at the superficial concerns of the Victorian society (which he is quite very much familiar with), Wilde made his characters rather charming so that people can relate to them well and love them despite their traits (Quintero 465). The characters in the play are mostly members of the upper-class Victorian society, which consists mostly of people of aristocratic origin, those who were able to acquire immense wealth, as well as the middle class which had professionals. The poor and working-class people were only portrayed as lackeys and footmen but were still visible in the play. Exaggerations of trivial matters by the elite were emphasized while the acceptance of virtues such as hard-work and patience were showed well by the working and middle-class. In a way, the play mixes such values and at the same time shows that there is an eventual change in the way society works: that eventually the middle-class would be taking over and that the aristocrats would be losing their voices, while the lower-class would still be at the lowest rung (Gregory 7). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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