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. Continue reading →