The Importance of Being More Than Earnest Essay

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Every line, every character, and every stage direction in The Importance of Being Earnest is set on supporting Oscar Wilde’s want for social change. The Importance of Being Earnest was written during the late period of the Victorian era. During this period social classification was taken very seriously. It could affect working and living conditions, education, religion, and marriage. Wilde explores the issues of social class and turns it into a comedic play. He humorously criticizes Victorian manners and attacking the society of the luxurious life. The audience becomes self-aware as the characters reflect on themselves. Plays such as this become successful because of the backgrounds the writers come from and the experiences they have had.…show more content…
In other words, Wilde saw the hidden connection between facts and personal opinions; and how to combine the two in the play. By doing this, he attacks serious issues of society and twists them into a comedic view. This is an appropriate theme for Wilde to select because of his experience among upper class people. The main purpose of this theme is to stimulate laughter from the audience. Wilde is able to satirize the upper classes by placing this play in an upper class social setting. This “…requires the audience to accept the world presented on the stage as a real world, a possible world; and its human foibles, even if heightened and exaggerated in the play’s satirical exposure of them…” (Foster 19). Then he fills the characters language with sayings, which make them seem ridiculous. The characters constantly contradict the basic values in their speech. This works to Wilde’s advantage because he wants his play to be funny and not offensive. Raby states “… [i]n his political and aesthetic theory Wilde was both romantic and cynical. In his drama he was both sentimental and satirical” (Raby 26). He could manipulate the audience to think that the play was just a storyline but in reality it was mocking them. Which includes the theme of the irrational upper class; the question arises: what is the importance of being earnest. Webster’s dictionary defines “earnest” as “characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind.” Lady Bracknell is a good
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