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An Ideal Husband

An Ideal Husband

by Oscar Wilde

An Ideal Husband Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Marriage

Marriage was a popular topic for plays in Oscar Wilde's time. It's still popular in ours. Remember all those movies in which a young couple fight and break up, but make up in time for the credits?...

Compassion and Forgiveness

In An Ideal Husband, compassion and forgiveness are the holy grail of marriage, and the only way marriage can possibly work. In this play, both the men and the women are forever messing up and inad...

Politics

Politics serve a number of purposes in An Ideal Husband. They start the show with a party, lend weight to the protagonist's crisis, and give occasion for many, many witticisms. The public nature of...

Respect and Reputation

Respect and reputation are extremely important in the polite Victorian society of An Ideal Husband. The respect of your peers gets you an invitation to dinner and a potential opening for what it is...

Morality and Ethics

In An Ideal Husband, morality and ethics are inextricably bound to respect and reputation. As most characters shrewdly scale the social skyscraper, ethical behavior is valuable in gaining credibili...

Power

Characters in An Ideal Husband have two kinds of power. In a play with a political setting, the first is naturally public power, the ability to make decisions on a grand scale. Speeches made, votes...

Memory and the Past

In An Ideal Husband, the past is mostly a thing one wishes had never happened. The characters don't want to talk about the past or hear about it. They definitely don't want a letter from it, especi...

Women and Femininity

Search "woman" in An Ideal Husband and you'll come by lots of zingers. "Women represent the irrational." "Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvio...

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