"The Importance of Being Earnest" is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed in 1895 in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations.
Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humor, and some foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make "The Importance of Being Earnest" Wilde's most enduring play.
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