Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 243
• The play The Importance of Being Earnest (1896) is Wilde’s comedic masterpiece; it premiered a month after An Ideal Husband in 1895.
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• The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888) is Wilde’s much admired first book of fairy tales.
• Translations (1981) is a play by the well-known Irish playwright Brian Friel. It takes place in 1833, dramatizing Britain’s project of mapping Ireland and, in the process, substituting English names for the original Gaelic ones.
• The conclusion to The Renaissance (1873) by Walter Pater conveys the aestheticist creed that so impressed Wilde.
• Like Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, The Way of the World (1700) by William Congreve is said to be one of the finest and funniest comedies of manners ever written in English.
• Literary scholar Terry Eagleton’s forays into fiction include a play about Oscar Wilde, Saint Oscar (1989). This humorous, erudite play explores the nature of Wilde’s art and place in British society.
• The Norwegian Henrik Ibsen’s most famous ‘‘problem play,’’ A Doll’s House (1889), revolutionized European theater at the end of the nineteenth century. It set a new serious standard for playwrights, moving away from the fantastical entertainments of melodrama in favor of a new social realism in which social and political problems of the day were addressed. A Doll’s House takes on the issue of the ‘‘New Woman.’’
• Patience (1881) is a comedic operetta about aesthetes and dandies by the famed Victorian musical theater duo W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.