Classic Review: A Woman of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde
A Woman of No Importance
by Oscar Wilde

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Gerald is a young man who secures an appointment as secretary to the rich and flirtatious ambassador, Lord Illingworth. His mother objects to the moral character of his new employer, but can give no concrete reason without revealing her dark past. Gerald is determined to accept the post, because he is in love with a young American lady and needs the money to get married. Throughout the play, various rich and titled characters gossip about London high society, and flirt with each other, and say a lot of shameless nonsense.

One of the main reasons why I love Oscar Wilde’s hilarious plays is the silly dialogue. The characters say such idiotic things, and it always makes me laugh. Almost the entire first act is fluff and character introductions, but it is such entertaining fluff that I didn’t mind. Of course, the social commentary is an undercurrent that lies under every scene, exposing the rich elite as vapid, immoral, and selfish.
I really enjoyed the plot in this one, and the conflict that Gerald and his mother experience keeps the story moving forward. The last act gets more serious, and the drama is quite passionate.

I was intrigued by the main characters, and appreciated the gradual unveiling of their personalities. I was imagining their dialogue in my head as I read it, wondering how they would say the lines, and what their expression and body language would be. They are extremely vivid and lively even on paper!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s