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LADY WINDERMERES FAN PDF

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Title: Lady Windermere's Fan Author: Oscar Wilde Release Date: January, [ EBook #] [This file was first posted on January 25, ] [Most recently.


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Lady Windermere's Fan. Oscar Wilde. This web edition published by [email protected] Adelaide. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the best of . Lady Windermere's Fan is a four act comedy play, written by Oscar Wilde, an Irish Playwright remembered as the most popular dramatist of London theaters. Lady Windermere's Fan. Home · Lady Windermere's Fan The Opal-Eyed Fan · Read more Fan Application Guide (Technical Memoranda). Read more.

None of us men do look what we really are. Demmed good thing, too. What I want to know is this. Who is she? Where does she come from? Why hasn't she got any demmed relations? Demmed nuisance, relations! But they make one so demmed respectable. You are talking of Mrs.

II. Wilde - “a cynic of deeper significance”

Erlynne, I suppose? I only met her six months ago. Till then, I never knew of her She didn't leave a rag on her. I don't know what to do about Mrs. She has got any amount of explanations for you--and all of them different. Do you think she will ever get into this demmed thing called Society?

Would you introduce her to your wife? No use beating about the confounded bush. I might be married to her. I have been dining with Arabella this evening! By Jove! I have seen a good deal of her since then. I have just seen her. No explanations are necessary about my friendship with Mrs. You should have seen Arabella's expression! Would you do that? You have seen a good deal of her since then.

She's deuced clever. She explains everything. Hear you're going to be But why didn't you tell me that before? It would have saved me a heap of worry and demmed misunderstandings! Cecil Graham!

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Then she's all right. It shows a wide-spread interest in my health. Why don't you ask me how I am? I like people to ask me how I am. Wonder why it is one's people are always so tedious? My father would talk morality after dinner. Been dining with my people. Your wife has sent her a card? But my experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better. Erlynne has received a card. Erlynne is coming here to-night.

I told him he was old enough to know better. It's most dangerous nowadays for a husband to pay any attention to his wife in public.

I say you've been twice divorced and once married. I am afraid--if you will excuse me--I must join my wife. But I'll tell you what it is at supper. It seems so much more probable. Have you been twice married and once divorced. It always makes people think that he beats her when they're alone. I've something most particular to ask you.

I really don't remember which. By the way. You're excessively trivial. I have a very bad memory. Lord Windermere. The world has grown so suspicious of anything that looks like a happy married life. Will you hold my fan for me. It would be terrible A useful thing a fan. A wife should trust her husband! Erlynne is coming here. I want a friend to-night. They look so thoroughly unhappy. One can always recognise them.

I must. That woman is not coming here to-night! Remember that! I MUST speak to you. I knew the time would come some day. I am not going to be one of them. I WILL tell her. Lord Darlington: I didn't know I would want one so soon. Lord Windermere? How charming your sweet wife looks! Quite a picture! I am afraid of the women. I am afraid you're faithless. Lord Augustus? You have quite neglected me lately.

You must introduce me to some of them. The men I can always manage. Every one told me so. I have not seen you since yesterday. She bows coldly to MRS. You have dropped your fan. Lady Jedburgh? I should so much like to know her. Isn't that your aunt. You look faint. It is your chief charm. Reminds me of Prince Doria's at Rome. Come out on the terrace. Erlynne - [They converse together. Cowards are always pale!

So pleased to meet you. Couldn't help it! That woman can make one do anything she wants. Erlynne to Lady Jedburgh? I am so much interested in his political career. He thinks like a Tory. He's such a brilliant talker. Graham talks almost as well as his aunt. I don't know. Lord Allandale was saying to me only yesterday. But we all know from whom he inherits that.

Lady Jedburgh. Hope to goodness she won't speak to me! Aunt Caroline. Had to. I think he's sure to be a wonderful success. He doesn't seem anxious to speak to me to-night. Lord Augustus! Do you know. Those strawcoloured women have dreadful tempers. I think I'll dance with you first. With great pleasure. Haven't got the slightest idea!

Looks like an edition de luxe of a wicked French novel. So that is poor Dumby with Lady Plymdale? I hear she is frightfully jealous of him. You know it far too well. You know I would much sooner dance with you. I suppose he is afraid of her. I can fancy a person But they always insist on it!

I can't well refuse. Come and lunch on Friday. I am so sorry I have been out the last three times you have called. My dear Laura. You haven't told me her name yet! I never can believe a word you say!

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Why did you tell me you didn't know her? What do you mean by calling on her three times running? You are not to go to lunch there. You are the most adorable of all ladies!

I wouldn't dream of going! What a nice speech! So simple and so sincere! Just the sort of speech I like. They form the basis of other people's marriages. They say she is ruining poor Windermere. How extremely amusing! It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing. That woman!

And Lady Windermere. Because I want you to take my husband with you. How very interesting! How intensely interesting! I really must have a good stare at her. He has been so attentive lately. You are to lunch there on Friday! What a mystery you are! He'll dance attendance upon her as long as she lets him. He insisted on her coming-against my entreaties--against my commands. He took it--used it--spoiled it! I am degraded in my own eyes.

I did not ask her. I feel that every woman here sneers at me as she dances by with my husband. I know now what you meant to-day at tea-time. Her coming here is monstrous. I couldn't! A man can't tell these things about another man!

But if I had known he was going to make you ask her here to-night. That insult. Why didn't you tell me right out? You should have! I think I would have told you. I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

I am--to myself. What have I done to deserve this? I gave him all my life. There is passion. If I know you at all. But where am I to turn? You said you would be my friend. You are right--you are terribly right. I love you! You are more to me than anything in the whole world. You would have to be to him the mask of his real life. I know that you can't live with a man who treats you like this! What sort of life would you have with him?

You would feel that he was lying to you every moment of the day. He would come to you when he was weary of others. What does your husband give you? Whatever is in him he gives to this wretched woman. You would feel that the look in his eyes was false. Between men and women there is no friendship possible. Be my friend now. I offer you my life He would come to you when he was devoted to others. I won't tell you that the world matters nothing. You did not know it then--you know it now!

Leave this house to-night. They matter far too much. From the moment I met you I loved you. You know it! What are you now? This woman has the place that belongs by right to you. All London will know why you did it. My life--my whole life. You have that moment now. They matter a great deal. Take it. No one. There may be six months of pain.

But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life. Lord Darlington! I love you--love you as I have never loved any living thing. If they do. You would endure anything rather than break with one blow this monstrous tie. Let me think!

Let me wait! My husband may return to me.

You said once you would make no compromise with things. I am afraid of being myself. Be brave! Be yourself! You are right. You have no courage. You would stand anything rather than face the censure of a world. And you would take him back! You are not what I thought you were. You are just the same as every other woman. You break my heart! I cannot answer you now. In a week you will be driving with this woman in the Park. It must be now or not at all.

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde

What is wrong? It's wrong for a man to abandon his wife for a shameless woman. It is wrong for a wife to remain with a man who so dishonours her. She will be your constant guest--your dearest friend.

Make none now. I am very. Of course. To-morrow I leave England. Dear Margaret. You have taken Agatha out on the terrace.

They must never meet or touch again. Told me she entirely disapproved of people marrying more than once. But where is Agatha? Mine is already broken. For one moment our lives met--our souls touched.

Other guests come on from ball-room. It's those horrid nieces of mine--the Saville girls--they're always talking scandal. She is just a little too attractive. I've just been having such a delightful chat with Mrs.

How alone I am in life! How terribly alone! I really should. Can't imagine why people speak against her. You will never see me again. A most attractive woman. This is the last time I shall ever look on you. I should go to Homburg. I am so sorry for what I said to you this afternoon about her. Agatha has told me everything. How cleverly you have both kept your secret. And what answer did you give him. You always say the right thing. You don't mind my taking Agatha off to Australia.

Awfully sorry. We went out for a moment and then got chatting together. I should like to have a chat with the Duke. But she said she'd like to come with me.

You'll come to lunch. But we'll talk about that to-morrow. He has not said a single word to me yet. I am sure. The Duke will wish to say a few words to you. At half-past one. I'm afraid it's the old. I think on the whole that Grosvenor Square would be a more healthy place to reside in. I think you'll find he will have a great deal to say to you to-morrow. There are lots of vulgar people live in Grosvenor Square.

And Windermere knows that nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion. Erlynne coming. But Lady Windermere has that uncommon thing called common sense.

Sensible woman. Awful manners young Hopper has! DUMBY and exit. My dear Margaret. I should be quite jealous if I were you! Is she a great friend of yours? Lots of wives would have objected to Mrs. Hopper is one of Nature's gentlemen. What a fascinating woman Mrs. So pleased to find that nothing has altered!

Except Margaret. Good night. I expect the Bishop and dear Lady Merton. Never thought he would. Erlynne is! She is coming to lunch on Thursday. I am afraid I am engaged. The dear Duchess! Just the type of girl I like! The last time I saw her--twenty years ago. So sorry. Positive fright. She's grown quite pretty. Charming ball it has been! Quite reminds me of old days. Of course I am going to take him. He kept on proposing. I do the encouraging. I am not called on to encourage Lord Augustus.

Fortunately it is all on the surface. And I dare say I'll make him an admirable wife. And there is a great deal of good in Lord Augustus. Such a bad habit! But I told him I wouldn't give him an answer till tomorrow. In fact he did. He's to call to-morrow at twelve o'clock! He wanted to propose to-night. They are unconscious of her presence. Just where good qualities should be. But you will make me a handsome settlement. Poor Augustus. Of course you must help me in this matter.

Even business should have a picturesque background. With a proper background women can do anything. And I think it would be a good thing if I was able to tell him that I had--well. You have a delightful opportunity now of paying me a compliment. But you are not very clever at paying compliments. Should it not.

Won't to-morrow do as well? But seriously. I am afraid Margaret doesn't encourage you in that excellent habit. In modern life margin is everything. It would be an additional attraction. Music strikes up in ballroom. When men give up saying what is charming. It's a great mistake on her part.

To stay in this house any longer is impossible. I only break its bondage. Her ladyship has just gone out. He may do as he chooses now with his life. I have done with mine as I think best.

Gone out? She's not on the terrace? I refused it. Enter MRS. To-night a man who loves me offered me his whole life. I will go to him! Sits down at table and writes a letter.

When he reads this. It is he who has broken the bond of marriage-not I. Is Lady Windermere in the ball-room? I will give him mine. I will offer him mine now. Her ladyship has just gone out of the house. It was foolish of me. A letter addressed to her husband! Takes it up and lays it down again with a shudder of fear. Thank you. Why do I remember now the one moment of my life I most wish to forget?

Does life repeat its tragedies? A letter for Lord Windermere?

Have you said good-night to my wife? The music in the ball-room stops. It would be impossible! Life doesn't repeat its tragedies like that! The same words that twenty years ago I wrote to her father! I must go to her.

You'll excuse me? It's nothing serious. She's only very tired. She wants you to make her apologies to them. She said she didn't wish to be disturbed. Oh yes. Where is she? Will you ask them to call my carriage. She has gone to bed. She said she had a headache. She is very tired. Lord Augustus. Dear lady. It must be done somehow. What can it mean?

The daughter must not be like the mother--that would be terrible. Who knows that better than I? Windermere must be got out of the house.

But you said you wished me to keep early hours! I am in such suspense! May I not have an answer to my request? You are to take Lord Windermere down to your club at once. How can I save her? How can I save my child? A moment may ruin a life. What can I do?

I feel a passion awakening within me that I never felt before. Do what I tell you. You understand? A large sofa is in front of fireplace R. Doors L. Your reward? I might be her husband already. Remember you are to keep Windermere at your club.

If you do I will never forgive you. And my reward? Table C. I will never speak to you again. But don't let Windermere out of your sight to-night. Positively I might. At the back of the stage a curtain is drawn across the window. I'll have nothing to do with you.

Lady Windermere's Fan

I will go with him--I have no choice. If a woman wants to hold a man. I must go back-no. I am cold-cold as a loveless thing. How hideous life is! That fatal letter! Lord Darlington leaves England to-morrow. What do I bring him? Lips that have lost the note of joy. I can't go back.

Why is he not here. He should be here. Table L. Others make brutes of them and they fawn and are faithful. Arthur must have read my letter by this time. I wonder. I bring him nothing. But he doesn't care. What woman knows? What woman in the whole world? But will he love me always. He's entrammelled by this woman--fascinated by her--dominated by her. This waiting is horrible.

And yet. We make gods of men and they leave us. I will go back. Lamps lit. Then starts up and puts on her cloak. If he cared for me. Don't come near me! As for Lord Darlington--Oh! What can I say to him? Will he let me go away at all? I have heard that men are brutal. It has been madness my coming. You must come with me and drive straight home. I can't wait here. There is not a second to be lost. You must go back to your husband's house immediately. Then recoils in contempt.

You must leave this place at once. I must go at once. You are on the brink of ruin. Lord Darlington may return at any moment. There is something about you that stirs the wildest--rage within me.

What are you doing? He shall have a scandal. You don't think that--you can't. I would have gone back. Men are such cowards. My husband sent you to lure me back that I might serve as a blind to whatever relations exist between you and him. You fill me with horror. He shall see his name in every vile paper. I suppose he is afraid of a scandal.

I admit I would have gone back to the life of degradation you and he had prepared for me--I was going back--but to stay himself at home. I feel that nothing in the whole world would induce me to live under the same roof as Lord Windermere. He belongs to you and not to me. Had he come himself. Erlynne--if you had not come here. And I know why you are here. But now that I see you.

But he had better prepare himself. He shall have the worst scandal there has been in London for years. Go back to my husband. They outrage every law of the world. I am telling you the truth. He doesn't know you are here--he thinks you are safe in your own house. How simple you think me! Who told you I had left the house you were shameless enough to enter?

Who told you where I had gone to? My husband told you. I-saw it. No--he knows nothing about it. I--read it. He never read the mad letter you wrote to him! You wouldn't dare! I opened it. If my husband didn't read my letter. He thinks you are asleep in your own room. Here is the letter. I cannot trust you. I swear it to you! That letter that is burnt now WAS your letter. You seem to think the commonest device can take me in! What object do you think I have in coming here.

Your husband has never read it. He never shall read it. You do. You don't know how terrible they are. He understands it as little as you do--but I see what you want. Its purification is sacrifice. The whole situation on her birthday is overcharging for her. So the rush decision of leaving her husband is nothing but a panicky reaction to something that she has never expected to happen in her own life. All her life she has been spoon-fed - first by her sister and later by her husband.

She has never been encouraged to have a mind of her own and to be a strong, independent individual. Nevertheless Lady Windermere is an intelligent, young woman.

In her conversations with Lord Darlington she displays more sense for reality than one would trust her to have and she proves to the audience that she is not as ignorant as her husband assumes her to be.

Still she is unable to relativise her own moral standards. Her unworldly innocence makes her think that she lives a blameless life. She does not realize that nobody is ever blameless and that true goodness only reveals itself when it is being tested. Lady Windermere thinks herself save in the role of a righeous wife, but in the progression of the play her education in moral feeling begins and she has to learn that life is not as easy as she always thought is to be.

She gets her eyes opened to a side of life that she did not know of before. And then suddenly- Oh! Life is terrible.

It rules us, we do not rule it. In the play Lord and Lady Windermere are the only two characters who are seriously concerned about morals and virtues. They stand in contrast to a selection of cynics and pragmatics. All the other characters have lost this romantic view on marriage.

This clearly describes the Victorian role of a female in society: suffer and be still. Lady Windermere as a young idealistic bride though believes in an equal law of fidelity for both husband and wife. So when she leaves her husband, all she said at the beginning about her moral standards suddenly appears to be just as hypocritical as the rest of society is.

At that moment she denies herself and fails to fulfill these standards.

Lord Windermere tries to protect his wife from every evil. He tries to perserve her innocence and purity which he loves so much about her by hook or by crook. That is why he lets himself be blackmailed by Mrs Erlynne, that is why he lies to her about her mother. He wants to save his wife from the truth about her parentage because it would devestate her in his opinion. At least we all should have.

Mine is my mother. If I lost my ideals, I should lose everything. He treats his wife like a child and shows in his behaviour a perfectly fine example of a Victorian husband. He does not see an equated partner in her but an inferior child that needs his protection and guidance. This -of course- does not preclude that he loves her but it certainly underemines the set gender roles of the time and excuses Lady Windermere in a sense for her naivty and lack of tolerance towards people of different moral understanding from her own.

Lord Windermere clearly believes that he is fulfilling the role of the protective male and all-knowing guardian to his wife and in this presumption ironically emphasizes his own lack of understanding in the end of the play when he requires the protection of the two women to keep the stainless picture of his wife.

His evaluation of his wife is very narrowed. He fancies her incapable of any wrong and it seems as if he needs this picture to love her. The truth about the doubtful night would have a disenchanting effect on him. Lord Windermere would not be able to fully forgive his wife. Into your world evil has never entered. There is the same world for all of us, and good and evil, sin and innocence, go through it hand in hand. You sully the innocence that is in her. In the entire play Lady Windermere never talks about her child spontaneously.

Only once when Mrs Erlynne tries to convince her of her maternal duty this subject is touched. Ironically in Act Four Lord Windermere reproaches Mrs Erlynne for her mistake of leaving her child behind when she left her husband unknowing that his own wife would have done just the same only a few hours earlier.

But of course this does not discharge her of the guilt. In this scene it becomes most evident how selfish and self-righteous Lady Windermere really is. She does not spent a single thought on her child.

As a mother she fails just as her own mother failed. If she did not return to her husband, her child would have had the same destiny as she had it: A motherless upbringing and uncertainty about her parentage. Is this what a good woman would do to her child? He is the exact opposite of her. For him nothing is sacred. Marriage is nothing but a game. He is a cynic through and through.

When Lady Windermere resists his request to leave her husband she does exactly what he unknowingly expects her to do. He claims to love her but in fact the only thing he loves about her is that he cannot have her. That she is unaccessible to him is what constitues his attraction to her.

So her reaction is highly opportunistic and imprudently. Lord Darlington who offers her his friendship is simply used as the only way out she sees at that moment. She does not consider the consequences of her action.

Her decision to go to him is nothing but a compromise and this again is a massive violation of her own principles. Lady Windermere makes a bogeyman out of Mrs Erlynne from the first time on she hears something about her.

She has never seen her before but does not even consider this first judgement to be wrong. To her Mrs Erlynne is the enemy and only when Mrs Erlynne saves her from disgrace she is ready to change this opinion.

Ironically Lady Windermere does not realize that Mrs Erlynne did nothing else but what she herself was about to commit by leaving her husband. Strictly spoken they are both adulteresses. So right at the beginning she speaks out an accusation which could be her own only a few scenes later. By condemning her mother she condemns herself in advance and gambles away the chance to moderate her own fault.

The difference between the two women is that Mrs Erlynne is ready to take the consequences for her actions while Lady Windermere is unable to do so. You have neither the wit nor the courage. Now the question raises whether Lady Windermere is still any better than her mother.

Shall she get credit for her return back home? Does her youth and lack of experience excuse her for her violation of Victorian morality? Is her reaction not understandable with regard to her situation? Would a woman nowadays not act likewise when she was to suspect her husband of infidelity? No other reason can be imputed to her. She was never seriously interested in Lord Darlington and before Mrs Erlynne tries to convince her to go back home she has already made this decision for herself.

This is an important difference between the two woman. Lady Windermere might have a very simple concept of good and bad. She surely is very judgemental and self-righteous but she also has a true desire to live a moral life. Mrs Erlynne on the contrary is not interested in morals. She is a realist and does not regret her bad actions because of a guilty conscience but the as disadvantages and trials she had to go through afterwards.

Repentance is quite out of date. She feels guilty and deeply regrets her action. She feels how much she is in her debt. It seems to be the first time in her life that she really feels guilty about something and realizes that she herself has commited a sin.

The relationship of the two women is very peculiar. Only because of the appearance of Mrs Erlynne it becomes necessary for her to question her own moral standards and only because of her she sees herself confronted with a situation that probably would never have occured otherwise in her life. She learns to question her judgement. Within twenty-four hours she begins to see that life is far more complex and difficult to be tamed by her hard-and-fast rules.

Lady Windermere undergoes a remarkable change of attitude in the progression of the play. Unconsciously she begins to free herself from the nonage that determines her life up to the point when Mrs Erlynne enters it.

At the beginning she is a stiff, narrow-minded Puritan who can tell exactly what is right and what is wrong. She tolerates no compromise between good and evil and does not know how to qualify a statement. She estimates everything by her own moral standards without accepting deviations. Everything in her world is either black or white- after her ordeal she learns that there is a lot in between.

She is not as confident about herself as before and now see the necessity of compromises in life. With this new awareness of her own fallibility[28] she is brought to look more kindly on the sins of others. She becomes wild with jealousy and confronts him with the accusation of him being unfaithful to her. But instead of defending himself he begins to defend the woman and she only receives threadbare explanations as an answer for it..

She was well born she had position —she lost everthing- threw it away if you like. She has been a wife for even less time than you. She wants to get back into society, and she wants you to help her. To the audience it seems obvious: Lord Winderemere is cheating on his wife. Thereupon Lord Winderemere invites Mrs Erlynne himself. In Act Two she really turns up at the party. What a scandal! Lady Windermere feels deeply humiliated and hurt but does not have the courage to insult Mrs Erlynne in front of everybody as she announced to do before.

So pleased to find nothing has altered!Will you go out on the terrace and look at the sunset? Yet he never succeeded in doing so. Erlynne looked very handsome to-night. So pleased to find that nothing has altered! You dear simple little thing! It's nothing serious. In dandyism, any artificial thing is held in great esteem since the dandy recognises that art is an artificial reality in its own paradox, but not a natural one.

NICKIE from New Hampshire
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