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In 2002 Oscar Wilde’s play was adapted into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Dame Judi Dench, Rupert Everest, and Colin Firth–in other words, an impressive cast. The movie is available through Netflix and seems to be available to view for free on several websites (but I won’t link to any of those because I cannot determine their legitimacy.) Find or rent the movie to watch (it might also be at your library if you have a library with a video collection).
Attempts to categorize the play often lead to heated debate. Is it a satire? A farce? A comedy of manners?
- We discussed satire in the previous unit, so refer to your notes and to the three guiding questions to ask of a satire. Look up “farce” and “comedy of manners” and write a definition of each in your own words.
- Read Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest then watch the 2002 movie adaptation of the play.
- Determine whether you consider the play to be a satire, a farce, a comedy of manners, or some blending of the three.
- Referring to both the written play and the movie production, compose an essay (minimum 750 words) defending your categorization of the play. You might discuss how one version does a better job of showing satire/farce/comedy, or you might argue that the written play fits one category but that the director has moved the movie into a different category.
- It is okay to focus on a specific scene or character from the play and movie to develop your proof.
- Create a Works Cited page listing the play, the movie, and any websites consulted to create your definitions.
- Format your essay according to MLA guidelines