Algernon Moncrieff is an upper-class English bachelor who is visited by his friend Jack Worthing, who is known as "Earnest." Jack has come to town to propose to Gwendolen Fairfax, the daugher of the imposing Lady Bracknell and Algy's first cousin.
Jack has a ward named Cecily who lives in the country while Algernon has an imaginary friend named "Bunbury" whom he uses as an excuse to get out of social engagements.
Jack and Algernon conspire to woo the ladies that they love, and through a series of happenstances, must gently deceive to get want they want.
Jack proposes to Gwendolen but has two problems. First, Gwendolen is wiling to agree because his name is Ernest, a name that "seems to inspire absolute confidence," but which, of course, is not his true Christian name.
Second, Lady Bracknell objects to Jack as a suitor when she learns he was abandoned by his parents and found in a handbag in Victoria Station by Mr. Thomas Cardew.
Then things get really interesting.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a tour de force of comedy, misidentifications, and farce. Oscar Wilde proves once and for all time that the pun can indeed be elevated to a high art form.
The Importance of Being Earnest is probably the wittiest play every written, in English or any other language. Misidentities, witty banter, love --- all conspire to one of English's most brilliant comedies ever to have seen the stage.
Wit, intellectual, aesthete and raconteur, Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. His writing - including children's stories, poetry, philosophical essays, a novel and several hugely popular plays - made him the greatest celebrity of his day, and he remains one of the world's most frequently-quoted and well-loved writers.
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