An ideal husband

I just read a play from Oscar Wilde, „An ideal husband“ – A society couple gets blackmailed by a femme fatale. She uses a letter the man has written in his youth and in which he offered some scandalous financial service to an other man – which made him his fortune. Now he is married to a very moral wife, whom he loves dearly. He would not only loose his career, but also the love of his wife, if that letter was to be presented to public.

The blackmailer wants him to change the opinion about another financial affair so that she and her friends could make money from that. He agrees, his wife makes him withrdraw his agreement – and a friend of his sees to it, that all comes out even in the end.

The fast paced intro in that play, where guests of an evening society enjoy witty remarks and quick retorts set the tone of this play.

Today it would be boulevard theatre. Of the best kind.



3 Antworten zu “An ideal husband

  1. Wilde was a visionary in the comedies of manners, something some of the screenwriters could take a page from today!

    • For his time yes, he was visionary, but today each small theatre that plays to the not overly intellectual audience shows this kind of plays.
      It’s a little bit like the High Society-plot – overly moral wife learns her lesson …
      No doubt today’s screenwriters could learn a lot from Wilde – but then – some could learn a lot from every author.
      Don’t get me wrong, I liked „An ideal husband“! It was an easy read – even though I might not have grasped all its fineries, being german. But I liked how the play started – could almost put that into a muscial 50ies-style, the opening scene left a strong impression of people swirling in and out of a room, throwing little remarks at each other ..

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