Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde: A review

Forty-fourth book reviewed as part of the 130 Challenge.

lady windermere's fan coverYet again I turn to a play by Oscar Wilde and yet again I come away entirely delighted by the experience! Every one of his works has his distinct imprint of acerbic satire and astute observations. While his characters are from the late 20th Century, his observations of the human condition are timeless. And while he is wickedly sarcastic, he almost always manages to convince you that in the end, people are essentially good at heart.

Trust is a delicate thing and truth must never come out completely in the open. Some secrets are better left undisclosed. No virtue is complete and no vice is eternal. Ah! So many lessons to be learned from such a simple story! While Googling I have discovered that there is a pulmonary disorder named after Lady Windermere! That speaks volumes about the popularity of the play and its characters!

Truly, Wilde was a master of his craft and wrote some of the very best dramatic and especially witty dialogue. Loved every bit of this play! Too many good bits to miss out on. I came across some of Wilde’s most famous quotes in this play and I have collected some of them here –

LORD DARLINGTON. Ah, nowadays we are all of us so hard up, that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments.  They’re the only things we can pay.

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously.  If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t.  Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.

I am afraid that good people do a great deal of harm in this world.  Certainly the greatest harm they do is that they make badness of such extraordinary importance.  It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.  People are either charming or tedious. 

lady windermere's fan fb cover

I can resist everything except temptation.

DUMBY.  Good evening, Lady Stutfield.  I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?
LADY STUTFIELD.  I suppose so, Mr. Dumby.  It’s been a delightful season, hasn’t it?
DUMBY.  Quite delightful!  Good evening, Duchess.  I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?
DUCHESS OF BERWICK.  I suppose so, Mr. Dumby.  It has been a very dull season, hasn’t it?
DUMBY.  Dreadfully dull!  Dreadfully dull!
MR. COWPER-COWPER.  Good evening, Mr. Dumby.  I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?
DUMBY.  Oh, I think not. There’ll probably be two more. 

Good heavens! how marriage ruins a man!  It’s as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.

Do read this one!

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