Importance of Being Earnest

1036 Words5 Pages
The attempts by composers of subsequent texts to appropriate earlier texts are an appraisal of these works. An appropriation of Oscar Wilde’s works demonstrates the texts’ worthiness and enduring nature. His play did not receive such an accolade as it does now because of his personal life which left him a “broken man”. In that sense, Oliver Parker’s modern film interpretation (2002) of Oscar Wilde’s, penetratingly humorous and insightful social comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest endeavours to re-evaluate social graces and the idiosyncrasies of Victorian England whilst engaging the contemporary onlookers. The Victorian melodrama which reconnoitres a society heavily segregated as a result of social classes and aestheticism is a story told through the eyes of a man whose detest of the social order was driven by the snobbery of the high class. The depiction of the parallels and vicissitudes in regards to the thematic concerns of social structure and marriage in Parker’s film adaptation successfully plays tribute to the original play whilst appealing to the present day audience. The great social upheavals and turbulence among the Victorians emanated from the lavish lifestyles of the rich and the rise of immorality. Wilde depicts moral decay and the ignorance of the upper class through satire and the one-dimensional characterisation of his personas. Act 1 sees Lady Bracknell converse with Jack about his engagement with Gwendolen. The humour is sustained by Wilde’s mockery of Lady Bracknell and the ideals that Victorians in general deem important but are in fact trivial. The witticism embedded in Lady Bracknell’s comment that “ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone” ironically alludes to her haughty and arrogant airs and graces that is so typical of the upper-class of Victorian England. Her further realisation, that in England,
Open Document