Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Oscar Wilde and the Radical Politics of the Fin de Siécle$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Deaglán Ó Donghaile

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474459433

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474459433.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Civil Disobedience and The Importance of Being Earnest

Civil Disobedience and The Importance of Being Earnest

(p.174) Chapter 6 Civil Disobedience and The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde and the Radical Politics of the Fin de Siécle

Deaglán Ó Donghaile

Edinburgh University Press

Wilde’s most successful play portrays the ruling class as being both haunted and mirrored by the spectre of disruptive politics and the threat of revolution. Centred on Lady Bracknell’s claim that the expansion of education can “prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square”, it explores the play’s engagement with late Victorian radicalism in relation to this key reference to its most shocking contemporary expression - the riot. This play parodies and subverts the concept of private property which, he warned in “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”, had already crushed the human spirit. Exploring the play as a text concerned with the problem of violent authority, this chapter points to its darkly subtle commentary on the readiness of the middle and upper classes to deploy coercion and maintain its political authority.

Keywords:   Authority, Violence, Riot, Comedy, Revolution

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.