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Big Dog/Norman Maine Publishing, LLC
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Importance of Being Earnest, The

About the Story

Importance of Being Earnest, The Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854 and died in Paris in 1900. The Importance of Being Earnest, a Trivial Comedy for Serious People was first performed at the St. James Theatre in London on Feb. 14, 1895. One of Oscar Wilde’s most popular plays, it serves as a satire of Victorian social conventions and is chock full of clever witticisms and humorous paradoxes. Wilde was influenced by French theatre and based the structure of the play like that of a French farce. Wilde also was influenced by the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s, which was critical of moralistic Victorian values and customs and emphasized “art for art’s sake.” On opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest, women wore lily corsages and men wore lilies of the valley in their lapels to honor Wilde’s aestheticism.

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