Plays of Oscar Wilde (Wordsworth Classics)
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Oscar Wilde took London by storm with his first comedy, Lady Windermere's Fan. The combination of dazzling wit, subtle social criticism, sumptuous settings and the theme of a guilty secret proved a winner, both here and in his next three plays, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and his undisputed masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. This volume includes all Wilde's plays from his early tragedy Vera to the controversial Salome and the little known fragments, La Sainte Courtisane and A Florentine Tragedy. The edition affords a rare chance to see Wilde's best known work in the context of his entire dramatic output, and to appreciate plays which have hitherto received scant critical attention.
perfection – cold and stern and without mercy. But I love her, Arthur. We are childless, and I have no one else to love, no one else to love me. Perhaps if God had sent us children she might have been kinder to me. But God has given us a lonely house. And she has cut my heart in two. Don’t let us talk of it. I was brutal to her this evening. But I suppose when sinners talk to saints they are brutal always. I said to her things that were hideously true, on my side, from my standpoint, from the
thunder. Do you not hear, There is artillery in the Heaven to-night. Vengeance is wakened up, and has unloosed His dogs upon the world, and in this matter Which lies between us two, let him who draws The thunder on his head beware the ruin Which the forked flame brings after. A flash of lightning followed by a peal of thunder. GUIDO: Away! Away! Exit the DUCHESS, who as she lifts the crimson curtain looks back for a moment at GUIDO, but he makes no sign. More thunder. Now is life fallen in
Guido Ferranti, while the crumbling sand Falls through this time-glass, thou hast leave to speak. This and no more. GUIDO: It is enough, my lord. LORD JUSTICE: Thou standest on the extreme verge of death; See that thou speakest nothing but the truth, Naught else will serve thee. GUIDO: If I speak it not, Then give my body to the headsman there. LORD JUSTICE (turns the time-glass): Let there be silence while the prisoner speaks. TIPSTAFF: Silence in the Court there. GUIDO: My Lords Justices.
long enough away – where is the letter? VERA: There is none to-day, Father. PETER: I knew it. VERA: But there will be one to-morrow, Father. PETER: Curse him, for an ungrateful son. VERA: O Father, don’t say that; he must be sick. PETER: Ay! Sick of Profligacy, perhaps. VERA: How dare you say that of him, Father? You know that is not true. PETER: Where does the money go, then? Michael, listen. I gave Dmitri half his mother’s fortune to bring with him to pay the lawyer folk at Moscow. He
however that it is only my duty to mention to you, Miss Prism, that Dr. Chasuble is expecting you in the vestry. MISS PRISM: In the vestry! That sounds serious. It can hardly be for any trivial purpose that the Rector selects for an interview a place of such peculiarly solemn associations. I do not think that it would be right to keep him waiting, Cecily? CECILY: It would be very, very wrong. The vestry is, I am told, excessively damp. MISS PRISM: True! I had not thought of that, and Dr.