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Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest. Life Born in Dublin in 1854. Born in Dublin in 1854. Father a surgeon and mother a poet. Father a surgeon.

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Presentation on theme: "Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest. Life Born in Dublin in 1854. Born in Dublin in 1854. Father a surgeon and mother a poet. Father a surgeon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest

2 Life Born in Dublin in 1854. Born in Dublin in 1854. Father a surgeon and mother a poet. Father a surgeon and mother a poet. Went to Oxford Went to Oxford Decided that art should not preach but create beauty for beauty sake. Decided that art should not preach but create beauty for beauty sake. Known for his eccentric wardrobe. Known for his eccentric wardrobe. Lectured in America on art, fashion, and interior decoration. Lectured in America on art, fashion, and interior decoration.

3 Writer Wrote fairy tales Wrote fairy tales A Picture of Dorian Gray –a novel A Picture of Dorian Gray –a novel Then 4 plays Then 4 plays Imprisioned in 1895 for homosexuality and it destroyed his reputation. He died in shame in 1900 Imprisioned in 1895 for homosexuality and it destroyed his reputation. He died in shame in 1900

4 Earnest Art for Art sake Art for Art sake Influenced by Influenced by Henrik Ibsen- Henrik Ibsen- play depends on the idea of a time bomb from the past leading to an explosion, then reordered chaos. play depends on the idea of a time bomb from the past leading to an explosion, then reordered chaos. Question and answer to provide background Question and answer to provide background Shakespearean and Roman influences Shakespearean and Roman influences separated siblings separated siblings Goldsmith- suitor adopts an assumed identity Goldsmith- suitor adopts an assumed identity

5 Victorian Spoof Victorian Norms Validated Victorian Norms Validated Escaping to the countryside Escaping to the countryside Railroad as a new source of travel Railroad as a new source of travel Victorian Norms Problematized Victorian Norms Problematized No Evangelicals fighting against drinking, dueling. No Evangelicals fighting against drinking, dueling. Does not focus on the city but on the country Does not focus on the city but on the country

6 Themes Deception as a way of life Deception as a way of life Honesty has no value in this play. Honesty has no value in this play. Importance of Style and Appearance Importance of Style and Appearance satirizes social propriety satirizes social propriety

7 More Shakespearean Elements Confusion over identity Confusion over identity Focus on marriage in the plot Focus on marriage in the plot Lost and found babies Lost and found babies Escape to the country to find happiness and truth Escape to the country to find happiness and truth A monarch appears at the end to restore order A monarch appears at the end to restore order Word Play Word Play

8 Why was this play successful? What do you think? What do you think?

9 Using the play as evidence, what is Wildes view of Victorian England? What do you think? What do you think?

10 What literary elements are used? Puns Puns Irony Irony What else? What else?

11 Satire: Horatian or Juvenalian? Horatian Horatian playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light- hearted humour. It directs wit, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society. Some examples include Jonathan Swift's Gullivers Travels, Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light- hearted humour. It directs wit, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society. Some examples include Jonathan Swift's Gullivers Travels, Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters,Jonathan SwiftGullivers TravelsAlexander PopeThe Rape of the LockC.S. LewisThe Screwtape LettersJonathan SwiftGullivers TravelsAlexander PopeThe Rape of the LockC.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters Juvenalian Juvenalian satire is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. satire is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humour. Some Juvenalian satire: Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humour. Some Juvenalian satire: Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451Jonathan SwiftA Modest ProposalGeorge OrwellNineteen Eighty-FourAnimal Farm Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451Jonathan SwiftA Modest ProposalGeorge OrwellNineteen Eighty-FourAnimal Farm Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

12 What does this play say about people? Gender? Society? Are these things universal or just Victorian? Are these things universal or just Victorian?

13 What is the value of reading this play today? What can we learn? What can we learn? What is the purpose of reading literature? (Apply this to the entire year of reading we have done.) What is the purpose of reading literature? (Apply this to the entire year of reading we have done.)


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