An Ideal Husband by Oscar WildeAlthough Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) created a wide range of poetry, essays, and fairy tales (and one novel) in his brief, tragic life, he is perhaps best known as a dramatist. His witty, clever drama, populated by brilliant talkers skilled in the art of riposte and paradox, are still staples of the theatrical repertoire.
An Ideal Husband revolves around a blackmail scheme that forces a married couple to reexamine their moral standards — providing, along the way, a wry commentary on the rarity of politicians who can claim to be ethically pure. A supporting cast of young lovers, society matrons, an overbearing father, and a formidable femme fatale continually exchange sparkling repartee, keeping the play moving at a lively pace.
Like most of Wildes plays, this scintillating drawing-room comedy is wise, well-constructed, and deeply satisfying. An instant success at its 1895 debut, the play continues to delight audiences over one hundred years later. An Ideal Husband is a must-read for Wilde fans, students of English literature, and anyone delighted by wit, urbanity, and timeless sophistication.
An Ideal Husband Synopsis
An Ideal Husband
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The play opens with a party at the Chiltern house, where all the major characters are introduced. At this party, Mrs. Cheveley blackmails Sir Robert and forces him to support her Argentine Canal scheme, in which she has invested heavily. She has in her possession a letter he wrote early in his public career in which he sold state secrets for a great fortune that has supported him to this day. Faced with certain ruin, Sir Robert has no choice but to accept Mrs. Cheveley's terms, and agrees to go before the House of Commons and publicly support the canal. Later in the night, Lady Chiltern, who prides herself on having an "ideal husband" and is unaware of Sir Robert's prior corruption, appeals to his morality and forces him to write a letter retracting his promise to Mrs.
A short summary of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. An Ideal Husband opens during a dinner party at the home of Sir Robert Chiltern in London's fashionable.
ecclesiastes a time for everything
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Sir Robert, a prestigious member of the House of Commons, and his wife, Lady Gertrude Chiltern, are hosting a gathering that includes his friend Lord Goring, a dandified bachelor and close friend to the Chilterns, his sister Mabel Chiltern, and other genteel guests. During the party, Mrs. Cheveley, an enemy of Lady Chiltern's from their school days, attempts to blackmail Sir Robert into supporting a fraudulent scheme to build a canal in Argentina. Apparently, Mrs. Cheveley's dead mentor, Baron Arnheim, convinced the young Sir Robert many years ago to sell him a Cabinet secret, a secret that suggested he buy stocks in the Suez Canal three days before the British government announced its purchase. Sir Robert made his fortune with that illicit money, and Mrs.
An Ideal Husband is an stage play by Oscar Wilde that revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four hours. After Earnest , it is his most popularly produced play. In the summer of , Oscar Wilde began writing An Ideal Husband; he completed it later that winter. His work began at Goring-on-Thames , after which he named the character Lord Goring, and concluded writing at St. James Place. He initially sent the completed play to the Garrick Theatre , where the manager rejected it, but it was soon accepted by the Haymarket Theatre , where Lewis Waller had temporarily taken control.