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The Importance of Being Earnest

 Author: Oscar Wilde  Category: Drama  Published: February 14, 1895  Language: English  File Size: 4.4 MB  Tags: Children's literatureClassicscomedydramaHumorLiteratureParodyPlayssatireSchool |  Download PDF


The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, explores the theme of marriage, class, social expectations, and the lifestyles of the English upper class.


The play tells the story of two men, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who both assume the identity of a fictional man named Ernest, leading them both to fall in love and find an assortment of problems along the way.

Famous Quotes:

“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.”

“I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.”

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.”

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!”

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

“I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.”

“Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which is never advisable.”

“I never change, except in my affections.”

“Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.”

“You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter – a girl brought up with the utmost care – to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel?”

“What seem to us a bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”

“Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.”

“I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.”

“To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

“I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”