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Thread: I would appreciate your comments on this.

  1. #1
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    May 2006

    I would appreciate your comments on this.

    Shaw said, “It is the business of a writer of comedy to wound the susceptibilities of his audience. The classic definition of his function is ‘the chastening of morals by ridicule’.” Does Oscar Wilde‘s An Ideal Husband wound susceptibilities to teach morals or is his level of comedy more superficial with no social message?

  2. #2
    Me & Myself Shakira's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    As the title might suggest, An Ideal Husband's primary theme is marriage, a common premise for the potboiler melodramas of Wilde's day. The Victorian popular theater provided stock storylines of domestic life that, after various crises, would culminate in the reaffirmation of familiar themes: loyalty, sacrifice, undying love, forgiveness, devotion, and onward. More often than not, this reaffirmation also involved the re-establishment of the conjugal household.Though An Ideal Husband adopts these motifs, it also mocks, parodies, and ironizes them with its more decadent and dandified characters. Thus we can organize the play's treatment of marriage according to the "poles" these characters might represent.

    I think, therefore, that we can say An Ideal Husband wounds susceptibilities to teach morals & exposes the faults of his time.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
    In Wilde's plays with the exception of Salome I have always found there to be a moral message mainly the one to be compassionate above all things and do not judge. Maybe the message wasn't suitable to the time but its definitely there in the way Wilde shows to Lady Chiltern that everyone has faults and its more important to keep her imperfect husband then to remain rigid and uncompromising and look for a so called Ideal one.

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