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Sunday, June 30, 2013


Copyright © by Oscar Wilde [ Four-Acts Play ]
Introduction and text copyright © 1965 by Avon Book Division, The Hearst Corporation
Publishers Avon Books (an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)
This edition published by Avon Books, January 1965  | 160 p
Cover illustration by Alex Tsao
ISBN : 0-380-01277-4

After the attempt to understood several plays by Shakespeare and Greek Myths, this play really like a ‘fresh-air’ that get-rid all my heavy thought. Not only sets in more modern situation, it also really funny and hillarious, while the whole characters plays so seriously to make the audience laughing at them-self. It pure a genius work of art by Oscar Wilde, considering you making fun and even mocking the real life of high society, by its status or even how they judge others by appearance from ‘out-side’ looks. Marriage or even engagement are just another ways of trading with benefits, that’s means poor people are not welcome, but the most ‘snobbering’ thing is how you ended-up in family tree. If you cannot provide a genuine proof that you somehow related to someone else, who inherited higher status or even royalties.

It the story about two young man, not so BFF, but closer than just aquitances, when they meet again after long-time. One name Algernon Moncrieff – young aristocrat man, who had sense of humour regarding strich-rules in society, enjoying playing around because he easely bored. Others name Mr. Ernest Worthing J.P.,  that even his age not far from Algernon, he much more serious person than his friend. The main reason he coming back to town, after his routine visit to the country, simply because he feels, he fall-in-love with Gwendolen Fairfax – daughter of Lady Bracknell, who also happen to be Aunt Augusta for Algernon.

Then its roles when Algernon discover that Ernest Worthing is not the real name of his friend. Mr. Worthing confess that he became Ernest olnly when visited at town, and changing into Jack Worthing while in the country, who happen to be his real name. The main reason he do such things, so he have perfect excuses to come and go between town and countries, using the name Ernest as ‘imaginary’ younger brother he never have. Algernon are intrigue by the idea, he explain to Ernest/Jack that the act itself are understandable, even had a nick-name, called : Bunburyist.
[ Noun ] Bunburying : (humorous) avoiding one’s duties and responsibilities by claimming to have appointment with fictitious person [ source : wikipedia.com ] | Bunburyist : meaning someone who has a secret alias in order to escape. Originated in London in the Victorian era [ source : ChaCha.com ]
It become more hillarious and crazy, when Algernon curiousities (and little-bit-noisy) bring him to the country, to visit Miss Cecily Cardew who happens to be Jack’s ward. It would be ok, if not because Algernon pose as Ernest Worthing – younger brother (who never exist) of
Uncle Jack for Cecily. As turn out, this girl are more pretties than Algy imagine before. In the quick and short conversation, both quite interesting in each others (in the term : falling-in-love). But chaos show-up without warning when Jack also came to visit without warning, and found that his friend using his aliances, and dare enough to seduce Cecily. While they arguing and trying to solve the problems, another unexpected quest show-up. Its Miss Gwendolen Fairfax, who really want to meet another related of Ernest Worthing – man he love and soon to be engaged with her. The problem is, Algy also proposed Cecily, using the name of Ernest Worthing ...

Now, you can imagine how chaotic the situation. I cannot remember when was I really have great laugh reading ‘dramatic’ suppose to be serious acts. Now I can’t wait to watch the movie adaptation too. Wilde are using the similar style to pointed how wrong and how riddiculous the way people live specially in higher or respected society. I guess being raise as one of the aristocratic family, with his eccentric and unique personalities, this is another ways he ‘protest’ through cinical dark humour. Just like in The Picture of Dorian Gray, who describe as the darkest mind of human-being beneath all the beauty outside looks, The Importance of Being Earnest got the same feeling, with different approach, using humour. Love and respect are easely changing by the amount of how much ‘money’ you have and inheritance used as the main theme to discuss about legacy. This one will teach you about humanity without losing your mind and souls, with added bonus you can laugh more and more (^_^)

Note : I wonder if this plays just display on how Wilde sees in his own way of life, or even reflected in his marriage, while he struggle on the topic ‘homosexuality’ ... This day, this theme are more friendly accepted by common societies, but back then, it’s just like when people start talking or even mention about discrimination on everybody who ‘different’ than others. They will condemned, punished, and exile, treated not as the same human-beings. So pity and ashame, if someone who had unique talent like him, have to suffer through his whole life, simply because he ‘different’.   

[ more about this author and his related works, just check on here : Oscar Wilde | on Wikipedia | on Goodreads | on IMDb | Wilde's Works ]

Best Regards, 

1 comment :

  1. I think compared to Shakespeare, Wilde's scene is easier to be imagined, don't you think so? But one thing is certain for me, Wilde's humour is smarter and more elegant than Shakespeare's!