Presentation on theme: "“The Importance of Being Earnest”"— Presentation transcript:
1 “The Importance of Being Earnest” Oscar Wilde“The Importance of Being Earnest”
2 Life Born in Dublin in 1854. Went to Oxford Father a surgeon and mother a poet.Went to OxfordDecided that art should not preach but create beauty for beauty sake.Known for his eccentric wardrobe.Lectured in America on art, fashion, and interior decoration.
3 Writer Wrote fairy tales A Picture of Dorian Gray –a novel Then 4 playsImprisioned in 1895 for homosexuality and it destroyed his reputation. He died in shame in 1900
4 Earnest “Art for Art sake” Influenced by Henrik Ibsen- play depends on the idea of a time bomb from the past leading to an explosion, then reordered chaos.Question and answer to provide backgroundShakespearean and Roman influencesseparated siblingsGoldsmith- suitor adopts an assumed identity
5 Victorian Spoof Victorian Norms Validated Escaping to the countrysideRailroad as a new source of travelVictorian Norms ProblematizedNo Evangelicals fighting against drinking, dueling.Does not focus on the city but on the country
6 Themes Deception as a way of life Importance of Style and Appearance Honesty has no value in this play.Importance of Style and Appearancesatirizes social propriety
7 More Shakespearean Elements Confusion over identityFocus on marriage in the plotLost and found babiesEscape to the country to find happiness and truthA monarch appears at the end to restore orderWord Play
8 Why was this play successful? What do you think?
9 Using the play as evidence, what is Wilde’s view of Victorian England? What do you think?
10 What literary elements are used? PunsIronyWhat else?
11 Satire: Horatian or Juvenalian? 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 Gulliver’s Travels, Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters,Juvenaliansatire 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 Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
12 What does this play say about people? Gender? Society? Are these things universal or just Victorian?
13 What is the value of reading this play today? What can we learn?What is the purpose of reading literature? (Apply this to the entire year of reading we have done.)