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Premium Content Maxims and Masks: The Epigram in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

By Theoderek Wayne - December 02, 2001

Oscar Wilde frames "The Importance of Being Earnest" around the paradoxical epigram, a skewering metaphor for the play's central theme of division of truth and identity that hints at a homosexual subtext. Other targets of Wilde's absurd yet grounded wit are the social conventions of his stuffy Victorian society, which are exposed as a "shallow mask…

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