The Importance Of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde

1364 Words May 6th, 2016 6 Pages
In order to fully understand the meaning of “The Importance of Being Earnest” and its importance in its time, one must look at Oscar Wilde’s background in relation to the Victorian time period. Biography.com states that Wilde had a very social life, growing up among influential Victorians and intellectuals of the time. As he grew older and became a successful writer, he began engaging in homosexual affairs which was a crime during the 19th century. He eventually started a relationship with Alfred Douglas, or “Bosie”, son of an influential man with a known name during his time. Even though society already knew about Wilde’s affairs, they overlooked the playwright’s personal engagements so long as it was kept a secret subject. So in his own life, one can see the hypocrisy of the Victorian period that is also portrayed in “The Importance of Being Earnest”: one’s actions are morally wrong and condemnable only if they become public because there is an image to be preserved among society, even if one’s image contradicts their true actions. Another example from his life that is also reflected in his play is the disparity between economic classes in society, shown during his trial for homosexual activities. His partner Bosie, although also committing what was seen at the time as a crime, was not charged because of his influential family name ("Oscar Wilde”). To prove a point, Oscar Wilde deliberately uses names as an important theme in his drama "The Importance of Being Earnest."…
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