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Lady Windermere's Fan (Penguin Popular Classics)

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Beautiful, aristocratic, an adored wife and young mother, Lady Windermere is 'a fascinating puritan' whose severe moral code leads her to the brink of social suicide. The only one who can save her is the mysterious Mrs Erlynne whose scandalous relationship with Lord Windermere has prompted her fatal impulse.


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Beautiful, aristocratic, an adored wife and young mother, Lady Windermere is 'a fascinating puritan' whose severe moral code leads her to the brink of social suicide. The only one who can save her is the mysterious Mrs Erlynne whose scandalous relationship with Lord Windermere has prompted her fatal impulse.

30 review for Lady Windermere's Fan (Penguin Popular Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    Reading an Oscar Wilde play is sort of like life being perfect. The structure of the work is faultless, the dialogue is uber-clever and fantastic. What's wrong with Wilde? Nothing. He's perfect. I can't imagine any writer who wrote so beautifully in his native language. There are some people who are born with 'it' and Wilde is one of them. Of course for someone so perfect he would have to get involved in some nasty social business via his decade. But when you look back at Wilde, one realizes Reading an Oscar Wilde play is sort of like life being perfect. The structure of the work is faultless, the dialogue is uber-clever and fantastic. What's wrong with Wilde? Nothing. He's perfect. I can't imagine any writer who wrote so beautifully in his native language. There are some people who are born with 'it' and Wilde is one of them. Of course for someone so perfect he would have to get involved in some nasty social business via his decade. But when you look back at Wilde, one realizes that he is someone from the 19th Century who is saying goodbye to the Victorian era and culture. It's like he couldn't wait to jump into the 20th Century. Which makes it sad that we didn't accept Wilde with our open arms. We killed the thing that was so beautiful and right. Wilde was born in 1854 and died in 1900. I was born in 1954 and was convinced I would be dead by the year 2000 - just because of Wilde. It's silly and egotistic on my part, yet it also shows how much I love Wilde.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Wilde's wit never bores me, which is why he is one of my favorite authors. Below are a few quotations I particularly liked from Lady Windermere's fan: "... scandal is gossip made tedious by morality." "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." "What is a cynic?...A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." "That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if we are good, when they meet us, they Wilde's wit never bores me, which is why he is one of my favorite authors. Below are a few quotations I particularly liked from Lady Windermere's fan: "... scandal is gossip made tedious by morality." "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." "What is a cynic?...A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." "That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if we are good, when they meet us, they don’t love us at all. They like to find us quite irretrievably bad, and to leave us quite unattractively good." "I can resist everything except temptation." "Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes." "Repentance is quite out of date. And besides, if a woman really repents, she has to go to a bad dressmaker, otherwise no one believes in her. And nothing in the world would induce me to do that." "Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they’re better."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. —Lord Darlington Act IV Lady Windermere's Fan is quite clever, quite witty, but at it's heart is a comedy in the vein of The Importance of Being Ernest. And while all is resolved in a neat package by the end of Act IV, it is not as satisfying most of Wilde's work. Lady Windermere's Fan is a social comedy, as is most of Wilde's work. It looks at the social norms, expectations and mannerisms of the time. And while it uses humor to We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. — Lord Darlington Act IV Lady Windermere's Fan is quite clever, quite witty, but at it's heart is a comedy in the vein of The Importance of Being Ernest. And while all is resolved in a neat package by the end of Act IV, it is not as satisfying most of Wilde's work. Lady Windermere's Fan is a social comedy, as is most of Wilde's work. It looks at the social norms, expectations and mannerisms of the time. And while it uses humor to criticize class situations, the humor is much more subtle than one would expect from Wilde. In his letters, Wilde claimed that he did not want the play to be viewed as "a mere question of pantomime and clowning"; he was interested in the piece as a psychological study. In this, Wilde has succeeded.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sawsan

    A combination of drama and humor as usual, Wilde criticizes appearances and social hypocrisy of the aristocratic society and the different view of actions of men and women and the most important point about the harsh judgments of people over others while it's so normal for the human nature to fluctuates between right and wrong this play was published at 1893

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    "There is the same world for all of us, and good and evil, sin and innocence, go through it hand in hand. To shut one's eyes to half of life that one may live securely is as though one blinded oneself that one might walk with more safety in a land of pit and precipice."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fenia

    WOW. Oscar Wilde is a genius! This was so realistic, there was so much wisdom pouring out of it. It was entertaining and short, straight forward, full of cherished quotes. Loved it! WOW. Oscar Wilde is a genius! This was so realistic, there was so much wisdom pouring out of it. It was entertaining and short, straight forward, full of cherished quotes. Loved it! ♥

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    The Charming Trip Truths , Dares and Lies... Saviour Silences and Devastating Truths! Ssssssshhhhhhh... --- DON'T SAY IT!... "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. I take the side of the charming..." Forget about Goodness! Forget about Badness! Take the Charming Boat! All Aboard?!... ;)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Saman

    Beyond the appreciation level, my meager vocabulary could ever achieve!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    I think these classic plays are better enjoyed on stage than by reading. That seems so obvious that it seems silly to say. But the problem for most of us is, we haven't seen them on stage and probably won't. There is enough going on in this play though to make it a fun read. I use the word fun rather loosely because, even though it is a comedy, it doesn't seem like one to me. Maybe that is one of the things lost in reading versus watching, I don't know. I think it's a subtle style of humor that I think these classic plays are better enjoyed on stage than by reading. That seems so obvious that it seems silly to say. But the problem for most of us is, we haven't seen them on stage and probably won't. There is enough going on in this play though to make it a fun read. I use the word fun rather loosely because, even though it is a comedy, it doesn't seem like one to me. Maybe that is one of the things lost in reading versus watching, I don't know. I think it's a subtle style of humor that probably worked better with 19th century readers/audiences than in the 21st century. It felt more like a drama to me. But it has stood the test of time, performed first in London in 1893, and throughout the world during the 20th century, with a major production as late as 2004 at the Harmen Center in Washington D.C.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa J.

    Well, it seems that my liking of Wilde's works follows a graphic like this one: I am not kidding you. Every time I read another play, I think it's better than the one I read before. Perhaps I'm reading them in some particular order unknown to me, or my opinion is starting to get biased. In any case, I enjoyed this immensely. This one involves more drama and problems than the plays I read previous to this one. It has a jealous wife, there's blackmailing, there are some misunderstood things that Well, it seems that my liking of Wilde's works follows a graphic like this one: I am not kidding you. Every time I read another play, I think it's better than the one I read before. Perhaps I'm reading them in some particular order unknown to me, or my opinion is starting to get biased. In any case, I enjoyed this immensely. This one involves more drama and problems than the plays I read previous to this one. It has a jealous wife, there's blackmailing, there are some misunderstood things that lead to more problems, etc. In short, it was brilliant. My favourite of these plays keeps being The Importance of Being Earnest, even when I said my enjoyment for them has been growing exponentially. In the end, I recommend this wholeheartedly. It's really funny, cynical, satirical and easy to read. There's none of that complex or dense writing that characterizes many Victorian works. Plus, it's written by the one and only Oscar Wilde. Need I say more? List of quotes: “Ah, now-a-days we are all of us so hard up, that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They're the only things we can pay.” “I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean.” “If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.” “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” “Men become old, but they never become good.” “I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly ; but I don't see any chance of it just at present.” “It's wrong for a man to abandon his wife for a shameless woman. It is wrong for a wife to remain with a man who so dishonors her.” “Oh! gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality. Now I never moralize. A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain.” “Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they are better.” And yeah, I am perfectly aware that the list of quotes is longer than my “review.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Lady Windermere's Fan is classified as a Comedy of Manners, and while there are certainly humorous elements present in the usual clever Wilde manner, I would contend that there is more of drama here than comedy. The story at the base of this play is quite serious. The subject of the ease with which a person (particularly a woman) could be ruined and expelled from society (something that Wilde, even as a man, knew something of) is a serious topic for Wilde. The instinctive love of a mother is a Lady Windermere's Fan is classified as a Comedy of Manners, and while there are certainly humorous elements present in the usual clever Wilde manner, I would contend that there is more of drama here than comedy. The story at the base of this play is quite serious. The subject of the ease with which a person (particularly a woman) could be ruined and expelled from society (something that Wilde, even as a man, knew something of) is a serious topic for Wilde. The instinctive love of a mother is a serious topic for me. As is so often Wilde's technique, there is much misunderstanding and confusion that leads characters to do foolish or socially dangerous things. Mrs. Erlynne might be a bad woman, but she does a very good thing; Lady Windermere prides herself on being a good woman, but she does a very bad thing. Perhaps the lines are not that clear or delineated. I particularly enjoy the progress that Lady Windermere makes in her thinking by the end of the play. I also enjoy the contrivance in which we, the audience, share in a secret that the Lady does not know. Plays are meant to be seen, not read. I have never had the privilege of seeing this play produced, but in 2004 a movie was made based on this play entitled "A Good Woman" and starring Helen Hunt. If you have not seen it, it is worth seeking out. I think Oscar Wilde would be proud.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katarina

    So much drama, so much fun. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Cooper

    \Wilde's work hinges on paradoxical epigrams that are both sinister in their implications and deconstructionist in their content, we are disturbed by that the character who voices the epigrams doesn't seem to have an moral core of their being and see the absurdity of, for example, the distinction between Nature and Civilization. Derrida, but satirical.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    I highly recommend finding Wilde's plays on audio and listening to them while driving early in the morning. Press play as you sit in your freezing car, spend the first scene in a shivering fit, then ease into the second scene all nice and warm and toasty, at ease enough now to chuckle or chortle or guffaw at the playwright's acerbic wit. Pause in the middle of an argument between the Windermeres to roll your window down and request through a metal box a concoction of glutinous egg, english I highly recommend finding Wilde's plays on audio and listening to them while driving early in the morning. Press play as you sit in your freezing car, spend the first scene in a shivering fit, then ease into the second scene all nice and warm and toasty, at ease enough now to chuckle or chortle or guffaw at the playwright's acerbic wit. Pause in the middle of an argument between the Windermeres to roll your window down and request through a metal box a concoction of glutinous egg, english muffin, cheese and disturbingly circular meat. It's shameful but sometimes you just don't have the time or motivation in the morning to fix something healthy. Burn your tongue on bitter coffee as someone delivers a killer one-liner. Let your mind wander for a moment at a traffic light when you notice a single shoe in the middle of the intersection, imagining a kid limping through the halls at school, head bobbing up and down like a carousel unicorn, then finding yourself lost when it comes to the action of the play. Hit the 30-second reverse button once, then twice more just to be safe, to gather context to regain your footing in the world of Lady Windermere's ball. What's this? A plot twist, spousal misunderstandings, they really should attend some seminars on the importance of communication. The upheaval of social norms and mores. Lies, betrayal, what a way to start a day! All on the way to work one Friday morning, in your beater of a car, you really need to get that oil checked, it seems to be putting out more gray smoke than usual, several different shades of grey, and after all it's been six thousand miles since its last change, but who has the time for that? You know exactly where the story is going, not necessarily the plot, it's impossible to predict exactly what will happen, but you can see its shape: it's a comedy, it ends happily, not like the usual stuff you like, your mother pointed out last weekend when you recommended a tv show you liked that you always make her watch things that end with blood dripping on a photograph or someone crying at the bottom of a well or some such nonsense, but she likes movies that end with a wedding. You must admit, the montages they play through the first song of the credits of that type of movie, everything and everyone major key and dressed in white, a New England beach in the background probably, seabirds present but not causing any commotion, a handsome thirty-something dancing with a flower girl, those hit a certain delightful chord when you somehow manage to see them. Everything is not doom and gloom. You should tell yourself this more often. Although you know this will end with a wedding-type montage, perhaps not a literal wedding but you get the point—major key, that's the point—you pull into your office parking lot as the final scene is beginning, before the turmoil is resolved, and someone is pouting just as you turn the key and kill the engine. You will have to file yourself away for 9 hours before returning to your too old, too unreliable car to finish Lady Windermere's story. Step out of the car and realize that you are wearing only one shoe. A lonely, brightly polished, black leather loafer, its mate lying probably along the side of the highway or in the no-man's land of a suburban intersection. Walk inside to your brightly lit office condominium, bobbing up and down less like a carousel unicorn than a carousel camel.

  15. 5 out of 5

    An upbeat reader

    I extremely enjoyed reading this play. Oscar wilde is a shrewd writer and it is utterly noticeable in his works. Hence his wisdom is depicted within the plot, the characters, the speech and so forth. It is mighty interesting how he dealt with a daily problem in a penetrating way. The play is all about human nature and how people are used to exaggerate things, especially women(who are in love lol). How they keep nagging....Moreover how people judge others before truly knowing them; First the lady I extremely enjoyed reading this play. Oscar wilde is a shrewd writer and it is utterly noticeable in his works. Hence his wisdom is depicted within the plot, the characters, the speech and so forth. It is mighty interesting how he dealt with a daily problem in a penetrating way. The play is all about human nature and how people are used to exaggerate things, especially women(who are in love lol). How they keep nagging....Moreover how people judge others before truly knowing them; First the lady who thought that her husband is depraved and in love with an other woman who in reality is her mother and second the husband who thought that the mother is a woman of sins, when she was seeking to save her daughter marriage. It is full of sarcasm and humour. It teaches alot and worth reading too !

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    I enjoyed reading this play, though the situations are so of their period that it can at times feel unrelatable to any modern person. I have never seen a good performance of it. In fact, it has produced several of the worst stage productions I have ever seen. The play seems to lends itself to stilted acting and un-motivated action. Worse than that, is watching modern actresses who seem to confuse overt sexuality with flirtation, attempt to reproduce the witty and mannered seductions. And if that I enjoyed reading this play, though the situations are so of their period that it can at times feel unrelatable to any modern person. I have never seen a good performance of it. In fact, it has produced several of the worst stage productions I have ever seen. The play seems to lends itself to stilted acting and un-motivated action. Worse than that, is watching modern actresses who seem to confuse overt sexuality with flirtation, attempt to reproduce the witty and mannered seductions. And if that isn't bad enough, the incredible naivte and goodness of Lady Windermere, often comes off as cloying stupidity. This is one play that really seems better kept on the page. I would love it if someone proved me wrong.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanti

    I'm afraid this wasn't the right book at the right time. I was hoping for something like The Importance of Being Earnest - a comedy with lots of clever wordplay; something to distract me for awhile. But while the witty wordplay is there, it's far from the comedy I was hoping for. It's a great deal more serious - more of a family drama than a farce. And it makes me rather sad that I may have ruined this play by listening/reading to it when I wasn't in the mood instead of finding something better to I'm afraid this wasn't the right book at the right time. I was hoping for something like The Importance of Being Earnest - a comedy with lots of clever wordplay; something to distract me for awhile. But while the witty wordplay is there, it's far from the comedy I was hoping for. It's a great deal more serious - more of a family drama than a farce. And it makes me rather sad that I may have ruined this play by listening/reading to it when I wasn't in the mood instead of finding something better to distract myself with. I'll have to revisit it in a couple of years and see if I like it better when I'm in the proper mood.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bettie's Books

  19. 5 out of 5

    Soumen Daschoudhury

    Here I mark my salutation again; Oscar Wilde is a remarkably witty genius, a true observant and a sly story teller. How easily he read not only the lips of society but the rationale hidden in their words, the cause for the effect and how beautifully he reverberates in his witty words, the incomprehensible fillers we miss in the thoughts behind the mouthing of the gaudy characters to submerge their ostentation and bring out the real ugliness or the real goodness. How sharpened his skills were as Here I mark my salutation again; Oscar Wilde is a remarkably witty genius, a true observant and a sly story teller. How easily he read not only the lips of society but the rationale hidden in their words, the cause for the effect and how beautifully he reverberates in his witty words, the incomprehensible fillers we miss in the thoughts behind the mouthing of the gaudy characters to submerge their ostentation and bring out the real ugliness or the real goodness. How sharpened his skills were as an observer, every character lying naked to the soul in his presence. He was a cynic who understood the value of everything. I had read somewhere once, “If people saw in the mirror their true characters rather than their images, there wouldn’t have been many mirrors left in the world”. This short play undulates between trust, deceit and forgiveness. Mrs. Erlynne, out of nowhere has pronounced her presence in the lives of Lord and Lady Windermere and her bearing is having a catastrophic effect on their love and relationship. Love, the overrated emotion has its own trying asks and one may spend his whole lifetime just proving it. Who is this scandalous seductress who is so popular among the men, where has she come from and why is she imposing herself on their lives, what are her intentions? We all err, but only the one who gets caught is termed a thief, gets beaten up and is scarred for life. Oscar Wilde drives home the point that even the best of persons cannot be a Puritan in society for long, we all are misled sometimes and we all shed our values sporadically for our situational conveniences, we have to! It is a mental flaw to label someone as good or bad; even the worst of people have done some goodness in their lives and the best of people have been uglier. Patience is a virtue and to find goodness is another. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”. I had watched the movie ‘A Good Woman’ featuring Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson and had liked it immensely but didn’t know that it was based on this play, now I do! Some witty excerpts from the play: “Lord Darlington: Do you know I am afraid that good people do a great deal of harm in this world. Certainly the greatest harm they do is that they make badness of such extraordinary importance. It is absurd to divide people into good or bad. They are either charming or tedious.” ************************** “Cecil Graham: Oh! Gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality. Now, I never moralise. A man who moralises is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralises is invariably plain.” ************************** “Cecil Graham: Now, my dear Tuppy, don’t be led astray into the paths of virtue. Reformed, you would be perfectly tedious. That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if, we are good, when they meet us, they don’t love us at all. They like to find us quite irretrievably bad, and to leave us quite unattractively good.” *************************** “Dumby: In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst; the last is a real tragedy!”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Yngvild

    Lady Windermere’s Fan is a collection of catchy aphorisms loosely embroidering a fundamentally silly story. Oscar Wilde understood that the best marketing in the theatre world is to have people quote you, and so he built an entire play around the smart set tossing out modish epigrams like baubles from a Mardi Gras float. This was the earliest successful Wilde play and it does show some rough edges. The main character, Lady Windermere, is an unappealing puritan, an unlikely target for her Lady Windermere’s Fan is a collection of catchy aphorisms loosely embroidering a fundamentally silly story. Oscar Wilde understood that the best marketing in the theatre world is to have people quote you, and so he built an entire play around the smart set tossing out modish epigrams like baubles from a Mardi Gras float. This was the earliest successful Wilde play and it does show some rough edges. The main character, Lady Windermere, is an unappealing puritan, an unlikely target for her besotted husband’s near self-immolation. Beyond that, there is the usual nightmare of suddenly finding oneself (metaphorically) naked on the stage, stripped bare of the trappings of respectability, reputation and decorum. Mrs Erlynne. I suppose, Windermere, you would like me to retire into a convent, or become a hospital nurse, or something of that kind, as people do in silly modern novels. That is stupid of you, Arthur; in real life we don’t do such things. – Lady Windermere’s Fan, Oscar Wilde (1892) One thing I did find curious, and I do not know if it is pure coincidence. Recently, I read another play about a daughter threatened by the sudden appearance of an unrespectable mother. That was G B Shaw’s 1893 Mrs Warren’s Profession. Could Wilde and Shaw have shared an idea, or was there a spate of plays on that topic around 1892-1893?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    My phone's new e-reader came preloaded with a handful of public domain texts, and this was one of them. I was in this play my freshman year in high school, playing Lady Agatha ("Yes, mamma" delivered in varying inflections) so it's been a while since I read it. This time, it struck me as rather obvious in its morality. Lady Windermere is strict in her moral code right up until she isn't, and then has to be saved by the woman whose morals she despises, thereby becoming a better, kinder, more My phone's new e-reader came preloaded with a handful of public domain texts, and this was one of them. I was in this play my freshman year in high school, playing Lady Agatha ("Yes, mamma" delivered in varying inflections) so it's been a while since I read it. This time, it struck me as rather obvious in its morality. Lady Windermere is strict in her moral code right up until she isn't, and then has to be saved by the woman whose morals she despises, thereby becoming a better, kinder, more understanding person. Because Lady Windermere is so rigid in her adherence to her moral values, it's really obvious where her downfall will be, as well as obvious how she will change. The more subtle thread of criticizing society for its harshness is, well, a little too subtle to be useful. Wilde's characteristic wit isn't on display here nearly to the extent it is in some of his other plays, though the secondary characters (particularly Lord Augustus) are a delight. I wish I could read this play without remembering who Mrs. Erlynne is, because I'd like to see how early her identity is telegraphed. (view spoiler)[And she's not given nearly enough opprobrium for her blackmail of Lord Windermere, which is a serious moral failing for which she demonstrates no remorse. (hide spoiler)] Overall, Wilde's brilliance is still visible, but I like him better when he's operating more at the extremes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    El

    (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) Like The Importance of Being Earnest, this play involves some dishonesties, some false pretenses, and so very little communication. In other words, it's great fun. I might have enjoyed this more than The Importance of Being Earnest, only because I knew that story going into it, and this was entirely new for me. While the situation is familiar and done to death (by now in the 21st-century), Wilde wrote with a freshness that is undeniable. Maybe (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) Like The Importance of Being Earnest, this play involves some dishonesties, some false pretenses, and so very little communication. In other words, it's great fun. I might have enjoyed this more than The Importance of Being Earnest, only because I knew that story going into it, and this was entirely new for me. While the situation is familiar and done to death (by now in the 21st-century), Wilde wrote with a freshness that is undeniable. Maybe it's his wit that we all love to talk about, or maybe just his scathing view on upper-crust society and marriage; either way, it's hard to turn away from Wilde's words as they continue to pack a punch over a century later.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Edlira Dibrani

    Reading Oscar Wilde's books is an amazing feeling because you never get dissapointed. This one is a magnificent play. "Margaret: Are ALL men bad. Duchess of Berwick: Oh, all of them, my dear, all of them, without any exception. And they never grow any better. Men become old, but they never become good." "Yes, I love you! You are more to me than anything in the whole world. What does your husband give you? Nothing. Whatever is i him he gives to this wretched woman, whom he has thrust into your Reading Oscar Wilde's books is an amazing feeling because you never get dissapointed. This one is a magnificent play. "Margaret: Are ALL men bad. Duchess of Berwick: Oh, all of them, my dear, all of them, without any exception. And they never grow any better. Men become old, but they never become good." "Yes, I love you! You are more to me than anything in the whole world. What does your husband give you? Nothing. Whatever is i him he gives to this wretched woman, whom he has thrust into your society, into your home, to shame you before everyone. I offer you my life." / Lord Darlington

  24. 4 out of 5

    Simba

    God bless Oscar Wilde. Has anyone contributed as much to the conversation of otherwise dull people?

  25. 5 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    I loved this play. It dealt with serious matters with very funny and witty dialogue. [You can look below this review to see all the quotes I saved, there was too many for me to choose from.] I read this while finishing The Iliad and I couldn't help wanting now to dialogue about how we see the treatment of women in the two works. In Homer's poem, women are objects to be won and breed like cattle, while in Wilde's play they are like show-animals whose reputations can be wagered and used to measure I loved this play. It dealt with serious matters with very funny and witty dialogue. [You can look below this review to see all the quotes I saved, there was too many for me to choose from.] I read this while finishing The Iliad and I couldn't help wanting now to dialogue about how we see the treatment of women in the two works. In Homer's poem, women are objects to be won and breed like cattle, while in Wilde's play they are like show-animals whose reputations can be wagered and used to measure social standing. Homer sees no problem, but Wilde definitely does. The witty banter used by the characters only helps to emphasize the rot lurking inside of Victorian society, a corruption that was fated to literally kill the author of this play. This is my first Oscar Wilde play, I really enjoyed it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lidia Mascaró

    A very quick read with nothing but splendidness. I was sort of reluctant to begin this book simply because I am more of a novel-person rather than a play-person. Placing my trust on one of my favorite authors, however, I decided to read it. And of course, as usual after reading any of Wilde's works, I sit here dumbfounded as I wonder how this man managed to write things in such a way that no matter how terrible an opinion or point of view a character is expressing, it sounds convincing and A very quick read with nothing but splendidness. I was sort of reluctant to begin this book simply because I am more of a novel-person rather than a play-person. Placing my trust on one of my favorite authors, however, I decided to read it. And of course, as usual after reading any of Wilde's works, I sit here dumbfounded as I wonder how this man managed to write things in such a way that no matter how terrible an opinion or point of view a character is expressing, it sounds convincing and enchanting. He could be describing a table for two pages straight and I'd be pleased to read it. You've done it again, lil' Oscar, you've proved your brilliancy and talent. Let's just say that, pun 100% intended, you make me go wild, Wilde.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This was my first Oscar Wilde, and I have to say that I read it more quickly than I would have liked. I was trying to finish it before my Vic Lit book club (which I did) and I think later, I will wish I had spent more time reading the play and enjoying Wilde's writing. This is definitely something which I want to own and re-read, and it really made me want to explore more Oscar Wilde. A lot of people probably think "homosexual undertones/overtones" when they're reading Oscar Wilde's work, but This was my first Oscar Wilde, and I have to say that I read it more quickly than I would have liked. I was trying to finish it before my Vic Lit book club (which I did) and I think later, I will wish I had spent more time reading the play and enjoying Wilde's writing. This is definitely something which I want to own and re-read, and it really made me want to explore more Oscar Wilde. A lot of people probably think "homosexual undertones/overtones" when they're reading Oscar Wilde's work, but that wasn't necessarily true of this play. It's definitely a satire, but I think it also has a somewhat macabre tone to it. That said, I actually laughed out loud while I was reading this play. Wilde has written some really entertaining characters into this play. In terms of of Lady Windemere, I thought that the reader could sympathize with her because of the way all of the other characters treated her. I think one of the most important aspects of reading this novel is remembering that it is a very different context than today in terms of feminism. Definitely a great read. If you're interested in reading more Wilde, check this out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    {rereading Lady Windermere's Fan, Feb. 2016} I am altering my rating of this play from 4* to 4.5* (see my print edition of "The Plays of Oscar Wilde" for review) -- I had forgotten how many wonderful lines there were in the dialogue of this play. These raise it up but I still don't think it is as good as my favorite, The Importance of Being Earnest so I can't give it 5*. While my opinion of the play itself has been increased by this reread, I found some of the cast of narrators were not great. {rereading Lady Windermere's Fan, Feb. 2016} I am altering my rating of this play from 4* to 4.5* (see my print edition of "The Plays of Oscar Wilde" for review) -- I had forgotten how many wonderful lines there were in the dialogue of this play. These raise it up but I still don't think it is as good as my favorite, The Importance of Being Earnest so I can't give it 5*. While my opinion of the play itself has been increased by this reread, I found some of the cast of narrators were not great. Nobody was dreadful but Mr. Hopper in particular was poor and I found Lord Windermere spoke too slowly and deliberately. Mrs. Erlynne (voiced by Elizabeth Klett) was excellent.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sham Issa

    First book I read for Oscar Wilde, although I've always been a fan of his quotes. I found the play very amusing and utterly observant and smart, with remarks on the human nature and its tendency to label people and judge them. In the end, no one is entirely bad or entirely good, and nothing is supposed to be viewed in white and black shades exclusively. I love the cynicism in it as well. Dumby and Cecil Graham are real entertaining characters, with that insightful conversation between the men in First book I read for Oscar Wilde, although I've always been a fan of his quotes. I found the play very amusing and utterly observant and smart, with remarks on the human nature and its tendency to label people and judge them. In the end, no one is entirely bad or entirely good, and nothing is supposed to be viewed in white and black shades exclusively. I love the cynicism in it as well. Dumby and Cecil Graham are real entertaining characters, with that insightful conversation between the men in Act 3. I am to re-read this play many times; it is definitely a good read. Expecting to become a recurrent reader of Wilde's work.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Not Wilde's best. The plot was pretty lame - done before, and with lots of those rom-com situations where you think "This would all be cleared up if they'd just talk to each other like normal humans" - but it's still Wilde, so it's still plenty fun to read and has lots of things you probably would have put as your high school yearbook quote if you'd read it back then. "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." "Experience is a question of instinct about life." "There's Not Wilde's best. The plot was pretty lame - done before, and with lots of those rom-com situations where you think "This would all be cleared up if they'd just talk to each other like normal humans" - but it's still Wilde, so it's still plenty fun to read and has lots of things you probably would have put as your high school yearbook quote if you'd read it back then. "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." "Experience is a question of instinct about life." "There's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about."

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