"A great text is full of important ideas and messages".
The plays The Importance of Being Earnest, and An Ideal Husband, composed by Oscar Wilde, are both great texts, as they discuss the important messages of love, truth, social classes and the idea of Art over Nature. Whilst they were written during the Victorian era, modern audiences can still relate to the texts, through the eternal themes that are portrayed. .
In The Importance of Being Earnest, John Worthing adopts the name Ernest to win beautiful Gwendolen's love. Unfortunately, Gwendolen's love for John stems from her infatuation for the name Ernest. Meanwhile, Algernon, John's friend, disguises himself as John's fictitious brother Ernest, and falls madly in love with John's ward Cecily. Chaos erupts when Cecily and Gwendolen discover they are both engaged to "Ernest Worthing". The arrival of Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen's mother and John's Aunt, brings further disorder, as she tries to save her daughter from marrying "Ernest".
The Importance of Being Ernest was a watermark for its time, as it undermined the consensus of upper class society. The Importance of Being Earnest is a play of nonsense, and childish playfulness, and demands not to be taken seriously. Ironically, the play was a hit with London's upper classes, even though it sought to destroy all the old, stagnant social expressions of the period. It is this fact that makes The Importance of Being Earnest such a great text: it rejected all the mundane conventions of its day. With this play, Wilde attempted to spread the ideas of looking at life from a different angle, and opening the shutters of Victorian society, and hence liberate individual expression.
In The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde explores the themes of love, social classes and truth. Love is said to trivial and fun, as displayed in Gwendolen and Cecily's fickle obsession with the name Ernest. When Gwendolen discovers that John's name is actually not Ernest, she quickly loses all her devotion to him, and collaborates with "dear sweet Cecily", who she once deplored.