The Importance of being Earnest by Wilde, O
Publisher: Penguin Classics 2000
The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette. Snobbery and hypocrisy are also laid bare in Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband, while in Salome and A Florentine Tragedy, Wilde uses historical settings to explore the complex relationship between sex and power. The range of these plays displays Wilde's delight in artifice, masks and disguises, and reveals the pretensions of the social world in which he himself played such a dazzling and precarious part.