Lady Windermere's Fan

Depiction of Marriage in 'Lady Windemere's Fan' 12th Grade

“It’s a curious thing, Duchess, about the game of marriage – a game, by the way, that is going out of fashion – the wives hold all the honours, and invariably lose the odd trick”.

The play ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ by Oscar Wilde presents a window into the minds and manners of the upper-class Victorian society of London. He satirizes the hypocrisy which underlies the day-to-day behaviour of the so-called aristocrats, and wittily mocks at their shallow morals and beliefs, especially those pertaining to marriage. In Victorian society, women were treated as the ‘weaker vessel’ that had to be cared and provided for by men, first her father and then her husband. However, Wilde shows us how different characters hold different views towards marriage. The men treat it like a game and talk about it in a trivial manner. For example, in the above dialogue by Lord Darlington in the first Act, Darlington calls marriage a game, and later on refers to the ‘modern husband’ as the ‘odd trick’ which the wives lose though they hold ‘all the honours’. His comment is mirrored by Cecil Graham’s dialogue in the next act: “By the way Tuppy, which is it? Have you been twice married and once divorced, or twice divorced and once married? I say you’ve been...

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