Morality of the Upper Class in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermeres Fan

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Morality of the Upper Class in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermeres Fan

Lady Windermere's Fan is a witty commentary on the wiles of social properness in late 19th century England. Oscar Wilde was a flamboyant homosexual understandably critical of the norms of his day. Within the play, lie subtle and overt contradictions about the "properness" of the high born upper-class. During the Victorian period, strict rules governed mannerisms, protocol, etiquette, decency, etc. This decorum became too oppressive for Wilde's taste. The morality of the upper-class is supposedly the standard of the day, to which everyone is evaluated. However, in this play, the morality of the main characters pivots more on the situation instead of social status.
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Notice, they are also the smallest of the three layers. Just like in real life! As far as the caliber of acting, it was superb. (I didn't expect to like it as much as I did!)
The timing of mannerisms was tight and abrupt, as well as the speech. To prevent talking over one another, the characters had to have precise cuing from the other actors. The Duchess of Berwick STOLE the show. She's the most colorful character and most vital to the understanding of the conflict. She dictates her role very well within an embellished gown of supremacy. She has to intersect the other characters' paths at just the right time. She also has to use a lot of facial expressions to convey her character's way of over-emphasizing her opinions. Her animations are overstated like a true snobby aristocrat. Traci Scott is magnificent! In fact, if you take her out of the play, the whole thing becomes so lackluster. In fact, the other characters seem purposely insipid to show how much fun, or interesting at best, a little scandal can be. The scenery was simple and purposeful. This is functional in that the eye is not distracted from the intended focus: the characters' dialogue. Yes, the setting is important, but not to overshadow the conflict(s) at hand. Some reviews described a mediocre delivery based on the dull scenery. Who cares? The richness comes from the plot itself and the witty presentation, not what flowers are in the vase! The scenery is not
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