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28 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Victorian Dream!!
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...
Published on 16 Mar 2006 by lola188

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Contextually interesting.
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...
Published 3 months ago by Jackie M


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Victorian Dream!!, 16 Mar 2006
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oscar wilde, 25 July 2006
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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best plays i have read, 21 Mar 2014
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Highly recommended for those studying english literature, alevels
One of the best plays ive read. Unexprcted most of the time
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5.0 out of 5 stars school book, 18 Jan 2014
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my daughter is reading for school and she is truly enjoying this book. good vendor, came quickly and have no complains at all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Contextually interesting., 31 Dec 2013
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointed, 25 Oct 2013
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I have never read this script or seen the play before and I feel that a lot was lost by not seeing it as a stage play. Body language, facial expressions etc. are, I feel, necessary to really appreciate this little scenario.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to read it for school, 24 Oct 2013
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This is a school reader and is doing everything it needs to do, so all good really not much more to say.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Stopped part way, 17 Oct 2013
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This just didn't catch my attention and imagination at all. Gave up with it in the end as couldn't get into it at all
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 29 July 2013
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Loved this book and its message. Rather progressive if you consider when it was written but I expect no less from Wilde.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sphinxes without secrets, 4 July 2013
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Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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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. Wilde brilliantly found a solution to this in his final play The Importance of Being Earnest, in which any theme has been cleverly sublimated, the writing is of a higher standard, and the wit and banter is given free rein, rather than being shackled to the delivery of a message, as here.
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Woman of No Importance
Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde (Audio CD - Feb 2006)
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