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Wilde’s dramatic success is not unquestionable, yet his comedy, Importance of Being Earnest, is admired, more or less, by all This is also admitted as his most finished dramatic product. In this play, he is found to have successfully turned away from the trend of the theatre of his age and evolved a dramatic type at once serious and light. 

The theme of the play is based on an apparently trifling matter and the situation is overwhelmingly funny, almost absurd. Jack Worthing has rakish activists from his ward Cecily. His friend Algernon, too, has an invented friend to conceal his occasional departure from his residence. There is the confusion of  mistaken identities, leading to the final disclosure that Jack is a genuine Earnest, who has been long lost by his nurse's placement of the infant into a bag. This theme has nothing apparently serious, but it contains enough matters for comic entertainment which people care, without minding  the serious business that Wilde means. Like Arms and the man, Importance of Being Earnest pleases, and naturally it has a popular hold on the reader and the spectator alike.

Again, in the matter of  character-drawing, Wilde has succeeded in creating men and women, interesting, funny and,  at the same time, psychologically individual. His characters are not, like Shaw's mere puppets of the dramatist to propagate his own view-points. Wilde has not put his own self into his dramatic sketches and naturally his characters remain individually alive in their activities as well as conversations. Jack Worthing and Lady Bracknell are quite engaging character portraits. The latter,  in her show of personality, remains exceedingly interesting. Characters and scenes are used by Wilde to remind similar characteristics of the Restoration Comedy. Miss Prism  is also an interesting figure, Just as the two young girls are made quite diverting in their resolve and attachment. Wilde's play has no great personality, but the audience and serves to establish the effectiveness of his comic artistry. 

Indeed, Wilde's play is nothing extraordinary, nor is it a wonderful play. It is a pleasant play that has its  instructive aspect,  but never deviates from the comic line to give out its seriousness. In fact, the play gives pleasure,  and, in course of this, communicates spontaneously some serious thoughts, through the delightful fusion of the plot, characters and dramatic situations.

Wilde has rightly termed his play as a trivial comedy for serious people. This characterisation includes the two-fold aspect of the play - trivial merriment and serious message. The play , no doubt, appears an artificial but entertaining comedy on the surface,  but,  as indicated already,  there is a sermon of seriousness, underlying the play. Although shaw has disapproved the play as a mechanical force,  this is not merely farcical or funny, but contains some serious purpose to communicate about the social outlook of Wilde's age.                                 


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