The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape social obligations. Its funny dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde’s most enduringly popular play. Despite the play’s early success, Wilde’s notoriety and prison caused the play to be closed after 86 performances. After his release from prison, he published the play from exile in Paris. The play is now considered Wilde’s masterpiece. Apart from of a number of radio, opera, musical, and “made-for-television” versions, The Importance of Being Earnest has been adapted for the English-language cinema at least three times.
“More humorous dealing with theatrical conventions it would be difficult to imagine. Mr Oscar Wilde has decorated a humour that is Gilbertian with innumerable spangles of that wit that is all his own” — H. G. Wells