The mother of Illingworth had offered her six hundred a year Wilde , which Mrs Arbuthnot refused to accept. Furthermore, the appearance of Mrs Cheveley too conforms to the stereotype of the fallen woman. With Mrs Erlynne, Wilde breaks the traditional story arch of the fallen woman. Victorian women were put in a position of dependency on on men. It is interesting to note though that the play seems to criticise this definition of women as both Mrs Cheveley and Mrs Chiltern transgress this definition, seeing that they both rely on their intelligence in their own different ways. Moreover, as in A Woman of No Importance, which I will discuss in the next section, also this play comments on the paradoxical hypocrisy of the contemporary society.

No dinner-party is complete without him. So you get a number of information about her via the explicit figural-characterisation. Though the plays have in common conventional plots and stereotypes, Wilde subverts and undermines his characters, presenting to the reader women attempting to transgress their gender boundaries, succeeding somewhat, yet ultimately conforming to conventionality. This woman becomes even more enigmatic when Lord Windermere starts to defend her. In reducing the length of his dialogue, from a whole paragraphs to single sentences and subverting its matter, discussing much more serious matters of ‘love’ rather than ‘compliments’, is indication of emotion as the ‘hope’ in dissolving away false exteriors.

Invective such as ‘despised, mocked, abandoned, sneered at’ correlated with being an ‘outcast’ confirms such a puissant flaw.

Mrs Cheveley on the other hand is by no means a traditional woman.

lady windermeres fan thesis

His parents were both intellectuals, his father a surgeon and his mother a writer Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Equally, it is Lord Goring who talks Mrs Chiltern into standing by her husband again, taking back her demand of his retreating from politics and public life. Possibly even more surprising is the fact that she repeats part thesus his speech to her husband, implying that she has been enlightened by Ldy words and will thus withdraw her demand that her husband leaves politics winfermeres of his corrupt past.

Consequentially, the veracity of identity, or rather morality, itself becomes subject to vagueness, resonated by Lord Darlington’s statement of inversion, ‘life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it’.


She is at once the fallen woman and the mother. However, in realising their vices, the notion of hope for sincerity to at last overpower facades is delineated. Though yet again it must be said that even if the play certainly offers female power and men as inseparable from women instead of the other way around, it thssis still be argued that the women of the play are inseparable from man.

The other characters slander and gossip about her in the worst way.

lady windermeres fan thesis

windegmeres Another is Gerald Arbuthnot, who would not exist without his ever-present mother who. Choosing freedom and individualism over being a mother transgresses Victorian notions of womanhood, through which the text displays that women are more complex beings that do not have to conform solely to motherhood. It is interesting to note at the beginning of the play how the main characters are introduced and described.

A critical analysis of the play Lady Windermere’s fan by Oscar Wilde

Strict rules of decorum dictated social interaction with the sole purpose of indicating class and upbringing. Within such systems, woman is always connected to and inseparable from man. Wilde’s technique of inversion is what demonstrates this pervading ambiguity of inner character despite the excessive fqn, what seems being a misrepresentation to what actually is; ‘a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’. What comes to mind when examining the female characters in An Ideal Husband, as well as the other three plays, is how the women are windermerew to us as quite stereotypical.

Lady Windermere’s Fan Views & Values Essay | The Student Network

The cold, detached way in which she utters these lines are reminiscent more of the witty lines of a dandy like Illingworth, than those of a Victorian woman. Today almost everything is accepted in modern society.

lady windermeres fan thesis

Regarding previous research relevant to my topic and approach I will mention three works that contain research on topics in the same field as this essay. He embraced those rebellious views such as of socialism and women’s rights rather than to disregard them.

These subversions of the accepted aspects of lay and character ascertain that in looking beneath Lady Windermere’s Fan as merely a winderjeres, the period’s integral imperfections are realised. The most obvious example is perhaps Sir John, who has no lines of his own and is only mentioned in connection with his wife who treats him like a child that could hardly survive without her. The women gain power from residing in territories that generally have connotations of femininity, which is perhaps why the women in the play speak so freely about their thesia in society and of men.


In order to gain access and reputation in the typically male sphere of politics, she has to be immoral, using blackmail as her way in, while the men can rely on their intelligence. Both males and females were forced to abide to the social basics that were ludicrously intricate and these ‘manners’ were undeniably imprisoning. Lord Windermere is established essentially as the husband to Lady Windermere. Characters are similarly categorised into predetermined roles such as Lord Darlington as the dandy or Lady Windermere as the beautiful aristocratic wife and mother, ‘having something of the Puritan in her ‘.

A critical analysis of the play Lady Windermere’s fan by Oscar Wilde :: Theses

Mr Daubeny for example, has practically eindermeres life of his own as he spends most of his time taking care of, or speaking yhesis, his sick wife. All in all, everything that you get to know about her at the beginning of the play is highly positive: It is a play that presents the conventional view of seduced and seducer yet undermines it with a complex interpretation of the power relationship between man and woman.

For members of the Victorian society, reputation was highly important and scandal was to be avoided at all costs. It is my disgrace that has bound you so closely to me. Furthermore, a large part of the research focuses on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Remember me on this computer.