Talk:The Importance of Being Earnest

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Good article The Importance of Being Earnest has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 2, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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The Importance of Being Ernest[edit]

Where is the article about the Jim Varney movie? That page just redirects here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.153.117.118 (talk) 23:35, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

A quick check of the links for the films shows that none of them redirects here. MarnetteD | Talk 23:57, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Metaphysical and a little too preachy for his target audience.--24.24.142.225 (talk) 17:45, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Misprison or Misprision?[edit]

Looks like a spelling mistake to me. Is it? Alpheus (talk) 20:21, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I've jumped in and changed it, as Alpheus suggests—well spotted. However, now the pun is less obvious with the spelling change, I've tagged it with a {{fact}} request. --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:18, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Miss Prism's name[edit]

Her name was probably actually based on the "prunes and prism" of the chaperon character (Mrs. General) in Dickens' Little Dorrit (this would have been a fairly well-known reference in 1895)... AnonMoos (talk) 09:09, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

"Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism. You will find it serviceable, in the formation of a demeanour, if you sometimes say to yourself in company--on entering a room, for instance--Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, prunes and prism."

Who was Miss Prism's Former Employer?[edit]

Other contributors continue to amend this article to suggest that, at the time of losing the baby, Miss Prism worked within Lord Bracknell's household. This seems unlikely. The connection between the two that we have in the text is merely that she left Lord Bracknell's house with the baby. But the baby belonged to Lady Bracknell's sister, not to Lord (or Lady) Bracknell. Does it not seem more likely, then, that baby Ernest would have been entrusted to a nurse-maid employed by his parents than to one working for Lord Bracknell? Would Lord Bracknell have employed a nurse-maid at all at this time? Gwendolen (Lord and Lady Bracknell's daughter) is clearly several years younger than her suitor Jack. She does speak of a brother, Gerald, who is given to proposing to her friends "for practice," which may or may not imply an older brother, so it might just be possible that the Bracknells at the time of Ernest's loss employed a nurse-maid to look after Gerald, and that this nurse-maid then happened to take Ernest out for a walk by himself and without Gerald. Note, though, that Prism makes it clear that in taking Ernest out for a walk she was following her normal routine...

A further complication is raised by the fact that Lady Bracknell refers to Prism and the baby leaving "Lord Bracknell's house", rather than "our house", raising the question of whether she and Lord Bracknell were even married at the time Ernest was lost. If they were not married, then what was the nephew of (the future) Lady Bracknell doing in Lord Bracknell's house at all? Perhaps the couple were courting or engaged? Overall, it seems more likely that Miss Prism worked for General Moncrieff and his wife (Lady Bracknell's sister) than for the Bracknells, in which case she may merely have passed by Lord Bracknell's house on that fateful morning, perhaps to show the baby off to his aunt and her fiance. Why the future Lady Bracknell would have been at Lord Bracknell's house in the morning (and Prism expecting to find her there), is a question that delicacy forbids us to pursue further.... Nandt1 (talk) 11:55, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Value of money[edit]

A reference I made to the changing value of money was removed some time ago (I have only just noticed). The two points made were:

  • In Act 1, Jack states his income as "Between seven and eight thousand a year." In the 111 years from 1895, when the play was written to 2006 wage inflation has dramatically outpaced price inflation. An equivalent annual income in 2006 would be about £3,000,000.
  • In Act 3, Jack states Cecily's fortune as "...about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds..." An equivalent fortune in 2006 would be about £12,000,000.

Although automatically out of date with the passage of time (the comparison is with 2006 prices) I think these two points are of interest to show generally how wealthy by modern standards the characters were.

It is interesting to note that proportionately the increase in Jack's income is much greater than the increase on Cecily's fortune. This is, in fact, the case - for equivalent wages we can now buy over five times more than a century ago. Although this sounds excessive, it is the equivalent of wages increasing faster than prices by about 1.6% each year – almost so small as not to be noticeable year-to-year, but compounded over a century gives the dramatic result.

I think the article would be the better for the references to money in Acts 1 and 3 and propose to reinstate them. Anybody with any thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rickedmo (talkcontribs) 23:29, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The plot[edit]

I don't know why, but whenever I try to understand the plot, my brain begins to addle. To this day, I don't know who's doing what to whom, and why. I wish someone could explain the plot in ways easier to follow. JohnClarknew (talk) 01:47, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Merger of Lady Lancing and The Importance of Being Earnest[edit]

Hi all,

I've proposed the stub Lady Lancing be merged into this article. It contains only one interesting fact, i.e., the play's working title. This clearly belongs in a composition section, which normally exist in articles on literary works where there is interesting information to relate. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 13:20, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

This has now been done. --Ktlynch (talk) 23:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The Brighton Line[edit]

The following has been part of a longstanding trivia section which I have slowly destroyed by attrition. I'm going to dump the final piece here in case anyone can find a citation, validate the story or work it into the article.

"* At the time the play was written Victoria Station in London was actually two adjacent terminal stations sharing the same name. To the east was the terminal of the decidedly ramshackle London, Chatham and Dover Railway and to the west, the much more fashionable London, Brighton and South Coast Railway—the Brighton Line. Although the two stations shared a dividing wall, there was no interconnection: it was necessary to walk out into the street to pass from one station to the other. Jack explains that he was found in a handbag in the cloakroom at Victoria Station and tries to mitigate the circumstance by assuring Lady Bracknell that it was the more socially acceptable "Brighton line"."

--Ktlynch (talk) 09:11, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Too long and in the wrong place—and thanks for the work on that unlamented trivia section—but not immaterial: Wilde is taking advantage of the widely acknowledged difference in status of the two railroad companies to make a joke of Jack's attempt to salvage some crumb of respectability from his situation. See: Dennis, Richard (2008). Cities in modernity: representations and productions of metropolitan space, 1840-1930. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-521-46841-8.  As the joke needs explaining to the modern reader, a tighter version should remain. Mentally, I tried "Plot synopsis" but there it's too cumbersome and interrupts the flow, which leaves "As a satire of society" as a possibility. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:29, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Good work, interesting source and it might make a nice explanatory fact for the themes section, which should be substantial but has been lacking. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 11:57, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I've tried to weave it in, let me know what you think.
"Subtly evoked": that's good. --Old Moonraker (talk) 12:23, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Too kind Moonraker. You did all the heavy lifting! Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 00:57, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:The Importance of Being Earnest/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: J Milburn (talk) 12:16, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria


It'd be great to get this article to GA status, but it is a good way from ready yet.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    See below
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    See below
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
    See below.
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    On the lead image, "it was taken 110+ years ago" it listed as the reason it is public domain. This is nothing to do with any law I know of. Again, File:Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) 1889, May 23. Picture by W. and D. Downey.jpg has issues- the author is not listed (one of the possible authors most certainly did not die 70 years ago) but it is assumed PD.
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    I have not yet read through the themes section. The problems were worse once I actually read through the article- part of me wants to fail this straight off, as there are a lot of issues, but I am willing to place it on hold for a time to see if it can be cleaned up.


Wording[edit]

*Dablinks- climax, Gaiety Theatre, Robert Ross, The Saturday Review, William Archer. The World also clearly links to the wrong place. Fixed.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *"Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play." is not the most neutral of phrases Fixed Mr. R00t Talk 22:43, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

This line comes from the lead section, where often a succint statement of facts can sound a bit pompous. However, this is clearly explained in the following sections. --Ktlynch (talk) 15:57, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

*"Wilde was urged to write further plays" By whom? Fixed.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *"ilde summered with his family at Worthing, where he wrote the play quickly in August.[1] Wilde" repetition Fixed, rephrased enture sentence.---- *"Michael Feingold" Who is he? Fixed He's an American arts critic.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *"When Henry James's Guy Domville failed, Alexander agreed to put on the play.[4]" So, wild sent it? Fixed, they corresponded and eventually reached a decision to go ahead.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

  • The last paragraph of the plot section (which is, by the way, a little long) could do with rephrasing. The blockquoting isn't useful, and the line "All that now stands in the way of Jack and Gwendolen's happiness, it seems, is the question of his first name." is a little odd.
I agree the plot section still looks long, though it is 712, below Wikiproject Theatre's reccomended maximum of 900. In a play such as this it is difficult to decide what to cut. (Roger Ebert had the same problem. Perhaps editors who are unfamiliar with the play could offer suggestions as to what is not absolutely neccessary to understand the play. Best, Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Just to add that Ktlynch and I have by now both put quite a bit of effort into tightening-up the wording of the plot summary and eliminating any superfluous detail. It should be recognized that this play's plot is a work of really exceptional intricacy and ingenuity. On Word Count we are in the low 700s now, and my own sense is that trying to press down further would almost inevitably lose something in terms of the coherence of the account. Nandt1 (talk) 13:10, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • "It was freezing cold" tone
Really? It sounds quite matter-of-fact to me. Most sources mention this fact, the original premiere was actually delayed due to the cold weather. --Ktlynch (talk) 17:06, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
  • "Freezing cold" is just a little colloquial. J Milburn (talk) 17:09, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't have the reference to hand, but I think I've read it in a respectable book on the subject.--Ktlynch (talk) 21:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

*"that ""In my" What's going on there?

Needed to make the quotation grammatically correct in the context.Ktlynch (talk) 09:51, 6 September 2010 (UTC) 'Changed wording to avoid the usage. --Ktlynch (talk) 21:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
  • "intimate friend"- we really don't need innuendo/subtlty- we're an encyclopedia.
This is not innuendo but a plain english usage of the word intimate. Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
  • "despite its success," What success? That isn't actually discussed in the article...

*"and few dared to discuss, let alone perform, his work" Hardly neutral, inappropriate tone, Changed wording to sound more neutral. --Ktlynch (talk) 17:06, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

  • The "revivals" section has serious prose issues. I'd be inclined to say it should be completely rewritten...
I think the prose in this section actually flows rather well. Could you be more specific please about what is difficult to read? Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
  • "While much theatre of the time tackled serious social and political issues, The Importance of..is superficially about nothing at all." Ref? Rephrase? Not sure about this line.

*"was "his first really heartless [one]"." Wilde's first, presumably?

I would have thought that it was perfectly clear. Adding Wilde's name again would have to much repetition. Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) Changed wording. --Ktlynch (talk) 09:51, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

*"William Archer in The World, while agreeing that the play was enjoyable to watch, also picked up on the play's "emptiness", "What can..." needs rephrasing Rephrased. --Ktlynch (talk) 21:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC) *"dramatical career. he denied the" Come on... Fixed.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *Yeah, the whole section could do with prose ironing... Copyedited for flow.--Ktlynch (talk) 21:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC) *Same with the first edition section. The line "coincidentally inside a handbag; ironically mimicking the discovery of Jack Worthing as an infant" is not appropriate... Fixed, removed some dramatic/sympathetic wording. --Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Referencing[edit]

*Large section of the composition is unreferenced Fixed, adding source for the film changes.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *Almost the entire "in translation" section lacks references; there's even a cite needed tag in there. This section has been entirely re-written, based an an academic article on the subject. --Ktlynch (talk) 01:07, 14 September 2010 (UTC) *The adaptations section has very few references, and could do with rewriting entirely. Bulleted lists are generally not a good thing. Re-written as prose, and extra unreferenced, non-notable productiions removed.--Ktlynch (talk) 01:07, 14 September 2010 (UTC) *Very inconsistent referencing style. Fixed.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC) *Ref 43 is questionable. Fixed, deleted the reference in question.Ktlynch (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Images:The possible author, James Downey, was actually thirteen years old when the photo was taken and published. He was the author's son who took over the business much later. Ktlynch (talk) 09:45, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Seems safe to assume that image is PD then- explain as much on the image page. What about the other? J Milburn (talk) 10:04, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
AS far as I can work out, the other was released under a CC license by the author. I have left him a message suggesting that he provide more information when uploading photos, but I think it is ok to use. Ktlynch (talk) 16:14, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm talking about the lead image; the modern image is fine. J Milburn (talk) 16:17, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Close review?[edit]

It's been a few days since the last edit to the article, and there are still some fairly major problems outstanding. I think this article needs more work before it's ready for GA status, and I am considering closing this as failed. Thoughts? J Milburn (talk) 10:44, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

I've been busy off wikipedia the last few days, but to my eye the main problem is a lack of credible sources in the translation section (some archaeology has told me parts of the original article were copied from a second rate leaflet). I've found a strong, academic source on translation and am in the process of adding it.
As I hope you've noticed, there are a couple of dedicated editors here who have made significant revisions in line with your comments. I think we can all easily achieve the GA standard with this article. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 13:23, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok; I am happy to keep this open as long as improvements are still being made. J Milburn (talk) 14:15, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Great, I'm working on the translation section at the moment. Nandt1 and I have also copyedited the whole article. Could you give us some pointers about where you think it is weak? The original review queried the image rights, but criteria 2, 3 & 5 didn't seem to have any problems - can we call them passed? There were many small bugs relating to 1 & 4, but many of these have been swept up in the last week. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 15:34, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, the two older images still need their licensing clarified, (the Wilde image is legit as above, the lead image may or may not be, I don't think anyone's looked yet) and the translation section and the adaptations section need sourcing- converting the translation section to prose would also be helpful. I will take another proper read through the article at some point soon. J Milburn (talk) 17:14, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm definitely a non-expert at dealing with images on wikipedia so am not sure how to go about tracking down rights on the lead photograph. One possibility is removing the infobox altogether from the article until we can source the image correctly. --Ktlynch (talk) 14:26, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, there are a few questions we can ask. Do we know who created the photograph? Do we know when they died? Do we know when the image was first published (or do we know any early publications?) It probably is public domain, it's just that the current reasoning is weak. J Milburn (talk) 11:37, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Another read through[edit]

Ok, I'm gonna give the article another read through, and shout out about anything I see.

  • In the lead, a link to the 1992 play would be good, even if we don't have an article- don't be scared of redlinks.
Done--Iankap99 (talk) 19:11, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • "lived at Bracknell. [Notes 1][2]" sure you want the spacing like that?
  • "a solicitor come down from London" That's an odd phrase
  • You have a large unreferenced section at the end of "composition"
  • "that ""In" Assuming that's a typo?
  • In the lead, you mention "He continued harassing Wilde, who eventually sued for libel, triggering a series of trials ending in Wilde's imprisonment." This isn't really discussed in the article.
  • "contemporary reviewers were wary of" of which contemporary reviewers were wary?
  • "William Archer in The World," perhaps "William Archer, writing in The World,"?
  • There's an inconsistency in how you refer to the play in shorthand. Ernest or The Importance of...?
  • "All of this said, the fact that both of the play's leading male characters lead "double lives" creates an obvious parallel to the lives of upper class homosexuals in Victorian England, including the married Wilde himself." Again, unreferenced.

I will finish reading it at some point later today. J Milburn (talk) 12:07, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks these, all have been corrected. --Ktlynch (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

And the rest-

  • "were still on stage in London the time of his prosecution," Missed a word?
Seems Corrected--Iankap99 (talk) 19:12, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • "On 19 October 2007, a first edition (number 349 of 1,000) was discovered inside a handbag in a branch of Oxfam in Nantwich, Cheshire, mimicking the discovery of Jack Worthing as an infant. Staff were unable to trace the donor. It was sold for £650.[47]" It's kind of interesting, but it feels a bit lonely there. I guess I'm happy for it to stay, but I think there'd need to be more (where are the other first eds?) if you plan to take it to FAC
  • "italianate" Would that not need a capital I?

Done. I must say, you are right- this really does feel like a decent good article, while still lacking the comprehensiveness that would be required for a featured article. Once the issues listed above and the lead image issue are resolved, I would be happy to promote. I'd also be happy to give some pointers towards improvements to make before FAC, if you're interested. J Milburn (talk) 23:08, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

The minor change has been made. The story of the copy of the first edition is a leftover from earlier versions of the article, I've left in because it's a well-sourced, nice anecedote though "cutesy". I agree that it would have to be added to or removed for FAC. My understanding is that "italianate" is an adjective, thus does not take a capital. Thanks for your kind comments, other pointers would be most welcome. I've done a little searching, and am not able to turn up anything reliable regarding the photo. You seem to be better informed than me on image rights, if you'd give a pointer or two I'd be happy to do the work. You mentioned before that a fair-use justification might be possible. What form might this take? Copyright expires 70 years after the author's death, and it was taken 115 years ago - that leaves the assumption that the photographer was dead 45 years after he took the photo, not an extravagant claim. Thanks and best wishes, --Ktlynch (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Ok, concerning the image, we need to find out where it was originally taken from- and I mean originally. Where was it first published? A newspaper? Something like that? Orbicle (talk · contribs) uploaded the image nearly four years ago, as Image:Cigarettecase.jpeg, on enwp. There are a few options- if it was published at all before 1923, it is public domain in the United States, and may be uploaded freely to the English Wikipedia. If it was published first in the United States before 1923, it's public domain enough for Commons. If we make a reasonable effort to find out the author, but cannot, and it was published more than 70 years ago, it's public domain. Alternatively, if we find out the date of death of the author, regardless of whether it was published, if the author died more than 70 years ago. To be honest, if you have a snoop and don't get anywhere, I'd be happy with it just being tagged with this template and for us to move on- however, be aware that this may come back to bite you at any future FAC, so looking for the right licensing (or a different image altogether) may be worth your while. J Milburn (talk) 20:55, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

My research shows that it was indeed taken in 1895. So does that mean that this article is good enough to be passed?--Iankap99 (talk) 19:21, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
No. Could you please update the image page with when (and perhaps where) it was taken, who took it and where it was first published, if known? Using that information, we will hopefully be able to determine whether the image is public domain. J Milburn (talk) 12:25, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

There hasn't been any update on either side in nearly a month; what's the status of this review? Wizardman Operation Big Bear 16:53, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

We are working on assessing the rights for the lead image, otherwise editors have reached a consensus on the article. My disappearance has been due to workload and internet access issues, and I thank editors for their indulgence. Does anyone know of good methods for tracing the history of the photo? Ktlynch (talk) 11:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't. Infact I only dropped by this article because i saw it was on hold at GAR. My method was to do a google image search that would turn up this image, then click similar image. However, this only verified the year that it was taken.--Iankap99 (talk) 01:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
If the photograph was taken in 1885 it is clearly out of copyright, so I fail to see what the problem is here. Jezhotwells (talk) 23:30, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Howso? I wish people would stop asserting and start demonstrating. I'm no lawyer, but so far as I am aware there is no law that states "if it says on Wikipedia that a photograph was taken in 1885, it is in the public domain". I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it seems we simply don't have information on this image (and, for what it's worth, it clearly would not meet our NFCC, as we have at least one free image of the play being performed). J Milburn (talk) 23:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well it appears that this source suggests that it is a contemporaneous illustration. I should have noted 1895, rather than 1885. The image would qualify under a fair use rationale as an image of an historic event that cannot be replaced. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:05, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't- free images illustrating the play are possible (we even have one) and so a non-free image would not be at all suitable in the infobox. However, I think it almost certainly is in the public domain, and the sourcing information has been improved. This issue may be raised again at FAC, but, for now, I am satisfied, and I am therefore willing to promote. J Milburn (talk) 00:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I beg to disagree. The English première of this important play was an historic event without any doubt. An image of a college production is of no merit at all and adds nothing to the article. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:49, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

No, I agree the college shot is adding little/nothing to the article. That doesn't mean we can plaster non-free content whereever we like. At the very least, the cover of the first edition publication is in the public domain- that would be a suitable lead image for an article of this sort. A non-free image would not be, though it could (potentially) be justified alongside critical commentary of the first performance (though by no means automatically). J Milburn (talk) 00:55, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Broadway Revival[edit]

Why is there no mention of the revival on b'way right now? 74.89.58.36 (talk) 22:54, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Because of WP:RECENT. Any help? --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Now it's got two mentions. The article notes only six revivals altogether in the performance history. Some of those seem to have been selected rather arbitrarily, but each has an explanation as to why it's in. There's no such justification for this one. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:43, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It is plenty worth a mention considering the favorable reviews it got. Also I was under the impression that all B'way revivals were notable. And even though what I'm about to say means nothing, it is going get nominated for several Tonys. I know that means nothing, but still. 74.89.58.36 (talk) 23:16, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. As you see I've removed one of the two mentions (the revival of the revival) but suggestions from other editors welcome. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:40, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I noticed that too. If anyone can add in a paragraph about that revival, here are some sources: [1][2].
--Bialytock&Bloom (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:00, 7 February 2011 (UTC).

A revival "will be shown in cinemas in June 2011"[edit]

There is no indication of any notability in this insertion and it seems to be an egregious example of recentism. How does it help readers' understanding of the work? Its only purpose seems to be WP:SOAP and I intend an early revert. Views? --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:39, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

As a major, critically-acclaimed Broadway revival, it should be included in the article. --Bialytock&Bloom (talk) 22:57, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

In no way what so ever is SOAP. Like the user above says it's "a major, critically-acclaimed Broadway revival" I see absolutely no reason not to add it. Even without being shown in theaters, it's notable, now with it in theaters it's very notable. JDDJS (talk) 23:20, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

As the deletion guideline has it: "Notability of one or more members of some group or class of subjects may or may not apply to other possible members of that group". Why does a Broadway revival of a commonly staged work immediately become notable without some claim in its own right? I've seen over thirty West End productions in the last twelve months: only a couple (AFAICR) made it into the encyclopaedia. Why is a Broadway revival exempt from the usual Wikipedia strictures on recentism? I'm hoping for a more defining answer than merely shouting the name, by the way. --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:05, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd agree with Moonraker that we should be very careful about what to add, especially since this is a good article on a classic play, there have been many revivals in many prestigous theatres, links to schedules, or even reviews in respectable papers are not enough. A book chapter on the theatrical history of the play is needed. --92.103.162.78 (talk) 13:23, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

There are several things that make it notable: it will win a Tony Award (it's obvious), and It's on Broadway. If it doesn't "help readers' understanding of the work", how come any productions are mentioned? Even the section title for this discussion ("A revival will be shown in cinemas in June 2011") shows notability, as a production that is distributed to movie theaters would basically be a "film adaptation", and merits it's own article. So why not only two or three sentences?--Bialytock&Bloom (talk) 13:57, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Still shouting, I see. Are there any arguments to override the WP policies cited? And one I missed: WP:OTHERSTUFF. Just because some existing entries may not comply doesn't justify adding more. --Old Moonraker (talk) 15:10, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Again: "as a production that is distributed to movie theaters would basically be a 'film adaptation', and merits it's own article"--Bialytock&Bloom (talk) 15:25, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Good idea: many movies have their own article. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I've started a very crude version here: User:Bialytock&Bloom/The Importance of Being Earnest (2011 film). Any editors are welcome to format and expand it.--Bialytock&Bloom (talk) 16:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


Even with the new article being made, there should still be some mention of the new revival on this page. There has been plenty of coverage to warrant at least one sentence about it. JDDJS (talk) 15:10, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Still don't agree, and the latest addition wasn't just one sentence, but a whole paragraph. Please consider that this article is about the play and any individual production, just one in the long history of this popular work, has to have something exceptional to be singled out for inclusion: "it's obvious it's going to win a Tony" isn't enough. Anything else is WP:RECENTISM, and quite possibly WP:SOAP and WP:SPAM as well. Thanks, though, for not shouting at me this time. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:42, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The whole paragraph is clearly advertising and overly recent, their is no way this production is particularly noteworthy. It should be deleted at once. Best, Ktlynch (talk) 11:42, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
How is it advertising? It only lists facts. It doesn't even mention the positive reviews it received. I just don't understand, what would make it notable? I thought being nominated for three Tony Awards would be more than enough. I mean the page for Hamlet (which is much older and a featured article) contains a paragraph about a revival featuring Jude Law which does not seem to be anymore notable to me. JDDJS (talk) 14:57, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
You should have seen the reaction to Law's portrayal while it was still topical! Have a look at here for a flavor. The Wikipedia version of "two wrongs don't make a right" is here, and I suspect that the policy will catch up on the Hamlet page before long: regular contributors have already noted "this page is beginning to deteriorate" and "there's a tendency towards trivia and recentism". This brings me back to the Wikipedia policy on this, which complains of "editing without a long-term, historical view, thereby inflating the importance of a topic that has received recent public attention". This seems to describe exactly the position pertaining here. Again, may I ask where's "the long-term, historical view", please? --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:29, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for waiting so long to respond. The historic value is in the three Tony nominations. Tony nominations are a very big deal and two of the three were in important categories. There is also historic value in how it was shown in theaters. There is also minor historic value in how a guy played Bracknel in drag and received very positive reviews and a Tony nom for it. If you simply think the section is too long and shorten it thats fine. but there should be some mention of it. JDDJS (talk) 17:50, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I've posted a message on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Theatre talk page about the debate going on here so that a few more editors can weigh in and help end this discussion. If there are clearly more editors opposed to including the revival then in favor, then I promise to give up. JDDJS (talk) 18:02, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Here via WP:Theatre. IMO, the revival should certainly be mentioned, since it got some Tony nominations, but not the cinema broadcasts. Such broadcasting is becoming increasingly popular (see also: opera), and it isn't necessary to talk about it unless the broadcasts themselves were nominated for some kind of TV or movie award (for example, NYCO won an Emmy for its broadcast of Madama Butterfly). Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:04, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
    • That's fine with me. JDDJS (talk) 18:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that Broadway and West End revivals, especially ones that are nominated for Tony or Olivier awards for best play revival or best musical revival, are certainly notable. And, I think you could briefly survey the critical response, or refer to a survey of the critical response. This revival is a major production that received critical acclaim, and I think it should certainly be described. Whether the broadcast should be mentioned depends on how successful it was. If it was no big deal, make it a footnote. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Form (Wikipedia guidelines) cannot be allowed to dictate content; any play by Wilde is notable, most Broadway (and West End) productions are notable, and any Broadway (or West End) production of Wilde is notable (and there are many other playwrights for which this is true.) — Robert Greer (talk) 16:11, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Possible push to FAC[edit]

As discussed at User talk:Ktlynch, a colleague has kindly sent me some suggestions on how the article might be further improved. These are they:

  1. The composition section seems readable but a little anemic for a FA. Is there any information about how the cast were selected or how the rehearsals went? Also, perhaps expand the discussion of how Wilde's personal life affected the original production of the play and forced its closure.
  2. The revivals section is missing some major productions. For example, there were 8 Broadway revivals, and there must have been other important American productions. See [3]
  3. With respect to each production, you should name the director, in each case, as well as those principal actors who are blue-linked (and also name Jack and Algy, even if not blue-linked). Also, describe any major changes in the script or any famous incidents with respect to the revival. You'll need to try to identify all of the major productions. The descriptions of the films and other adaptations are also too thin.
  4. Was there any notable incidental music for any of the productions? Was there anything else notable about any of the productions - Famous set or costume designs? An onstage army? Fires, heart attacks, newsworthy marriage proposals during the intervals, etc?
  5. More about the characters - Jack's interesting childhood/backstory and hedonism; Algy as the archetype of a witty scoundrel; the men's rebellion against repressive norms; their genuine love for their sweethearts and their efforts to make their lies reality; the interest of the girls in marrying a man named Ernest; how Gwendolen's actions are influenced by her position as a Victorian aristocratic socialite, but her ability to forgive; how Cecily's actions are influenced by her being a hopeless romantic. How does Wilde use these characters to comment on the artistocracy and privilege (vs. the poor and middle-class) and Victorian culture and society in general?
  6. References to home rule for Ireland. Fortunately, Jack, though a Liberal, is a Unionist and can dine with Lady Bracknell's set. Fear of social unrest. Perhaps in the Triviality section you can specify that Wilde contrasts the characters' trivial and hedonistic concerns with particular weighty matters mentioned in the text. Also, how marriage is regarded trivially. I'm sure one of your sources must mention these ideas.
  7. You mention that the play is influenced by "Engaged", but if I recall, it also shows the influence of French plays, especially "The Foundling"?
  8. Other themes: Duty and respectability, Compassion/lack of compassion, Chasuble and the phoniness of religion.

Some points worth looking at there, I should say. Tim riley (talk) 09:52, 12 August 2013 (UTC)