A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

Today’s review is from one of my brilliant young book reviewers who has been doing a bit of pre college reading, let us know what you think of Louise’s review.

‘A Woman of No Importance’ – Oscar Wilde

Rating: 4.5/5

This play, which is perhaps one of Wilde’s most famous works and was first staged in 1893, is set in the late 19th century. Based on the fanciful, diamond-dripping upper glass of London, the play explores the attitudes and ideas towards relationships and gender, from the view-point of men and women, as well as traditional Victorian morals and values. Throughout the play, the society’s immoralities are exposed, until one particularly secret secret is revealed, changing the life of the protagonists forever.

I am required to study this play as part of my AS-level English Literature course. At first, I was sceptical; I have always hated reading plays because I find it so hard to flit between sets and scenes and characters and events without forgetting key information; I just get too lost! However, with only 4 scenes this play was perfect in length and in location; just a few different sets and scenes made it very simple for me to follow the whereabouts of the characters. Also, there were few stage directions which allowed me to really get engrossed in the language of the characters, rather than in their layout, and left the finer details of the setting up for interpretation; my imagination was free to roam! Furthermore, the outrageous opinions of many of the female characters kept me fascinated, and I couldn’t help but smile at their offensive, hypocritical and incredibly cynical views on romance and relationships; the characters were truly memorable, and I loved this about the play. I also enjoyed how the whereabouts of certain characters were mentioned, but never actually seen; this added mystery to a witty and wonderful piece.

Overall, I found it hard to find anything at fault with this play, but in the end it came down to personal opinion: whilst the play was engaging, endearing and outrageous, to me I would still rather read a book, as I continued to find it harder to follow the plot than I would with a novel. However, this was one of the first plays I have ever really enjoyed, with the final line having a true impact; this play was unforgettable!

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When I checked it was free to download to Kindle from Amazon.­­­