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Wilde: An Ideal Husband

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Anne Varty (Royal Holloway, University of London) explores Oscar Wilde’s 1895 drama, An Ideal Husband. We begin by thinking about the structure of the play, focusing in particular on the ways in which Wilde both conforms to and subverts the dramatic form known as the ‘well-made play’. In the second module, we consider the themes of marriage and moral absolutism, before turning in the third module to an analysis of each of the four major characters in the play – Lord Goring, Lord and Lady Chiltern and Mrs Cheveley. Finally, in the fourth module, we think about the critical reception of An Ideal Husband, from its earliest critics (George Bernard Shaw and William Archer) to the present day (Regenia Gagnier, Kerry Powell, etc.).

About the Lecturer

Prof. Anne Varty is Professor in Victorian Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway, and has wide-ranging interests in contemporary Scottish literature, and theatre and literature since the Victorian period.