The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde that was first performed in 1895. A farcical comedy, the work mocks the culture and manners of Victorian society, relying on satire and a comic resolution to make that mockery more palatable to viewers. The subtitle of the play, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, aptly captures Wilde’s tongue-in-cheek take on the cultural milieu to which he was subject. Explore key facts, the plot summary, and important quotes.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, the Full Play Summary, or the Full Play Analysis of The Importance of Being Earnest.


See a complete list of the characters in The Importance of Being Earnest and in-depth analyses of Jack Worthing, Algernon Moncrieff, Gwendolen FairfaxCecily Cardew, and more.

Literary Devices

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Questions & Answers

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Quick Quizzes

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Further Study

Go further in your study of The Importance of Being Earnest with background information about Oscar Wilde and the play, as well as suggestions for further reading.