I actually read an online version of this text provided by my teacher as part of my Introduction to Drama course, so this is not the same version I'm writing about, but is the same work. This is a more modern version of the Comedy of Manners, though from a very conservative time in history that didn't allow for much sexual content. That said, there are some interesting mistaken identities, "faked" deaths, couples falling in love at the drop of a hat, and great criticism and humor towards Victorian society and habits. It's modern enough to be read easily, with an interesting story, and is doubtlessly amusing. I'd certainly recommend that anyone interested in drama read it once at least.
Umm... GUFFAW. Girl puhleeze. Everybody tripping over this book is on some ish.
This is one of the most eye-roll inducing stories I've read in a quick minute. The characters are so implausible as to be unlikable. Aunt Augusta is a complete gold digging witch. Algernon is weird and the women are dolts. The ladies have a bizarre hang up on only marrying guys named Earnest and we have no idea why.
So let me get this straight, it just so happens that John, who really had no reason whatsoever to tell people that his name was "Earnest," just so happened to be left in a purse on a train by Aunt Augusta's maid. Magically, he finds out that he's Algernon's brother and his name actually is "Earnest John" after his father. This is the same father that he shares with Algernon and yet somehow everybody forgot what the father's name was so Oscar Wilde had to spend about a page describing looking up the name in military records. Totally unnecessary and stupid.
Anyway, wow, good for John/Earnest that Deus Ex Machina was employed because now he can get married to Gwendolen because she wasn't going to marry him because him name was John... never mind this new turn of events makes them first cousins. Oscar Wilde... "Aw HELL no."