Oscar Wilde created his final and most lasting play, comic masterpieces of all time, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, in 1895. Considered one of the greatest THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a farce, playing with love, religion, and truth as it tells the tale of two men. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who bend the truth in order to add excitement to their lives. Jack invents an imaginary brother, Ernest, whom he uses as an excuse to escape from his dull country home and gallavant in town. Meanwhile, Algernon follows Jack's scam, but his imaginary friend, Bumbury, provides a convenient method of adventuring in the country. However, their deceptions eventually cross paths, resulting in a series of crises that threaten to spoil their romantic pursuits. Hailed as the first modern comedy in England, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is Wilde's most famous work.
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About Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born in Dublin. He won scholarships to both Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1875, he began publishing poetry in literary magazines, and in 1878, he won the coveted Newdigate Prize for English poetry. He had a reputation as a flamboyant wit and man-about-town. After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish himself as a writer, but with little initial success. However, his three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent. That reputation was confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his society comedies: Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on London’s West End stage between 1892 and 1895. In 1895, he was convicted of engaging in homosexual acts, which were then illegal, and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor. He soon declared bankruptcy, and his property was auctioned off. In 1896, he lost legal custody of his children. When his mother died that same year, his wife Constance visited him at the jail to bring him the news. It was the last time they saw each other. In the years after his release, his health deteriorated. In November 1900, he died in Paris at the age of forty-six.