Once again I am re-reading some of Oscar Wilde’s plays. I am nearly finished and I enjoy how he turns a phrase with such wit. I should take the time to read more about his times, the society he observed but I suspect that beneath the silliness he was commenting on his times; the harshness of absolutes, forgiveness, all while taking a swipe at snobbery.
Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance are all plays overshadowed by his more famous The Importance of Being Earnest but I certainly enjoyed reading them and recommend them.
There are so many examples I could share that I will have to quickly pick just one to share:
From A Woman of No Importance:
Lady Hunstanton (LH): …. I think on the whole that the secret of life is to take things very, very easily.
Mrs Mallonby (MM): The secret of life is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.
Lady Stutfield(LS): The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.
Kelvil: The secret of life is to resist temptation, Lady Stutfield.
Lord Illingworth: There is no secret of life. Life’s aim, if it has one, is simply to be always looking for temptations. There are not nearly enough. I sometimes pass a whole day without coming across a single one. It is quite dreadful,. It makes one so nervous about the future.