Essay about Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband

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Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband

Oscar Wilde (1845-1903) lived an outrageous and controversial life which was well publicized and condemned, as his life defied the strict social mores of the time. He was put into this public position due to the success of his plays which challenged Victorian earnestness while being hilariously funny. His plays, in particular An Ideal Husband, 1895 portray Victorian society as viciously hypocritical at it's worst and laughably pretentious at it's best. Wilde expressed this point of view in An Ideal Husband through the rich use of plot development, construction of characters, dramatic irony, hyperbole, witty and epigrammatic repartee and satire.

The central plot
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The audience assumes that people in the real world as lucky and benevolent as this are so becuase they worked hard and are earnest. By creating a character like this who took the easy money and built a marriage and friendships around lies, wilde has challenged the earnestness of the many victorian people because there were many poeple in a social position like robert's who may have done a similar thing to get there.

In An Ideal Husband Wilde presents a view (the least flattering view presented in the play)that victorian society is viciously hypocritical. This is acheived through the characterisation of Lady Gertrude chiltern, as her ridiculously high morals (an important factor of earnestness) almost cost her her marriage. she demanded to be told if robert had done some shameful thing, in which case they would separate. This irony shows the hypocrisy of being too earnest.

Morality is an important factor of earnestness which is mocked in An Ideal Husband by the dialogue of the play, especially the characterised dialogue of Mrs. Chevely. Through her dialogue"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.", wilde, through Mrs.
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