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A Woman of No Importance (NHB Drama Classics) Paperback – 16 Dec 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books (16 Dec. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854598244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854598240
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Classic Wilde in many respects: a comic melodrama populated by a combination of stuffy society types and devil-may-care Wildean stand-ins whose quips and paradoxical epigrams cut through the delusions and hypocrisies of their milieu. --Irish Theatre Magazine

About the Author

Born in Ireland, Wilde (1854-1900) was educated in Dublin and Oxford and went on to become the leading exponent of aestheticism. His work includes plays, a novel, poetry and criticism. Imprisoned for homosexual acts, he died after his release in exile in Paris.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
This famous play is bursting with dramatic irony, rhetoric strategies and humorous witticisms. Oscar Wilde produces a great play with subtle sentiment and an underlying theme regarding paternity. A great read for eng lit students and members of the public alike. I personally recommend this play to anyone in need of a good laugh. One must particularly pay attention to the character's mannerisms and use of language. And at a penny a book- bargain!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miss.S.R.A on 25 July 2006
Format: Paperback
We studied this play in for a-level english. When our teacher told us about the book, and how it was in our course i immediately thought, "oH GOD ANOTHER BOOK FROM THE DARK AGES GREAT!..everyone was moaning about it saying it seemed really boring...once we got into it..i must say how mistaken i was ...this book is worth reading! it really portrays the role of woman back in the days, and how men thought they were the dominating superior gender...and woman were seen of "no importance" whatsoever. This play also gives an insight to the class-system during that time.
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By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of Oscar Wilde's so-called comedies of society, written in 1893, between Lady Windermere's Fan and An Ideal Husband. These three plays see Wilde finding his voice as a dramatist (following earlier melodramas such as Vera or, The Nihilists which were much less successful), in which his wit and interest in social mores are used to critique Victorian society for various perceived sins - most notably, hypocrisy. The mixture of proselytizing and comedy is somewhat lumpy in this play, with the first half being devoted to clever banter before the drama (built upon the revelation of shameful secrets) gets started. Some of the banter is memorable, e.g.:

Life, Lady Stutfield, is simply a mauvais quart d'heure made up of exquisite moments.

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.

GERALD: I suppose society is wonderfully delightful!
LORD ILLINGWORTH: To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it simply a tragedy.

and some of it is unreal, clearly designed to introduce a witty or paradoxical response (e.g., it's hard to believe that any woman ever said - even whilst flirting - "Define us as a sex", the reply to which I've used as the title of this review). However, the real problem with the play is that there doesn't seem to be much connection between the banter and the drama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CiderProvider on 12 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great Wilde play. I love how he juxtaposes the trivial unthinking whims of the parodied aristocracy, with a subject of importance and weight. Somehow made to seem completely efforts on his part too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't find this play as entertaining as I hoped. The narrative is a bit monotonous. However, when I consider Oscar Wilde's life-story at the time of writing (just a few years before he was prosecuted for homosexuality) I found it interesting to identify his contempt for the aristocracy throughout this play. Also interesting is his sympathy for a woman's lot in the late 19th century.
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By Sarah Kendal on 12 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A play which captures amoral philosophy, living just for pleasure versus sentimentally expressed truth. None of the characters can be easily pinned down which is a sign of a good story. Classic Wilde wit throughout, despite an unsettling ending, a satisfying read.
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By J. L. Watson on 2 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this after Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of being Ernest," which I found hilarious and expected this to be similar. This play is not a comedy but it's as equally as delightful. I am no expert in this sort of thing, but found it a really enjoyable read.
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A lovely little comic play which makes significant comment about gender roles in Victorian society and social class. Characters like Lady Hunstanton and Lord Illingworth provide many of the jokes, whilst Gerald and Hester provide a rather limp romance.
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