The Importance of Being Earnest: on the play
The play format differs greatly from a novel format. However, you're reading the play instead of seeing it performed as it is meant to be. How does a play differ from a novel? How does reading the play affect, both positively and negatively, your experience with this piece of literature? If you've seen this play performed, how did your experience with being a spectator differ from your experience with reading it?
You will respond to this question by leaving a comment on this post.
Responses should be at least 250 words each.
Remember: you must respond to at least 4 questions per novel.
Extra credit will be awarded if you respond to more than 4 questions.
*and remember, this is a blog--write with good English and use your inner intellectual, but speak casually!
Reading a play and watching a play is very different. The same play seems to take an eternity when you are watching it. Sitting down for three hours watching a play go on feels like so long…especially when you were as freezing cold and hungry as I was the entire time. No matter how great the play—three hours is a long time to sit there and watch. Reading the play, however, was very enjoyable. It flew by. I sat there on the beach for what felt like an hour and just read. I found myself constantly looking down at the page numbers. I would go from page 72 to page 120 in a matter of seconds, so it seemed! The reading was much quicker than reading a novel, because the sentences are all broken up and the font was large. Also, reading the play allows you more freedom. You can picture the characters any way that you please. You are in charge of creating their tone and accents. You choose what they wear, how they speak, how their faces look when they are shocked. In a play, you don’t get this luxury. It’s all laid out in front of you—no room for the imagination to run free. It kind of takes the fun out of it! Unless if Jack and Algernon were played by Taylor Lautner or Ian Harding. I definitely would not complain then. But! They weren’t. Therefore, reading the actual play was much more enjoyable in my opinion. I enjoy letting my imagination run free, and that is something that television and live theatres rob us of.ReplyDelete
Reading and watching a play are very different experiences. When you see a play performed you are experiencing all of the small things the actors decide to add. I enjoy seeing the plays at the Shakespeare Theater because the actors add their own form of comedy. When a play is taken and comedy is added it makes it more interesting and engaging. I enjoyed reading the play much more than watching though, for one sitting in a cold theater for hours is not the most pleasant thing in the world. I would rather be able to sit and read at my own pace. Reading a play goes a lot faster than reading novels. I really enjoyed reading the play because it was easy and the script format is an enjoyable way for me to read rather than long paragraphs and chapters. Reading gives you more freedom to use your imagination. While watching a play you are given faces, voices, expressions and scenery. While reading you can imagine for yourself, I enjoyed creating the characters although my ideas were already skewed by seeing the play. The way people talk in a story is also rather important to me, I will usually give people British accents just to amuse myself while I read, but in this case since that was already the normal I gave them different northern accents as well as southern, I was quite entertained. I am not sure exactly how people can go to plays as a hobby, I suppose if you really loved it and enjoy it, it would not be that much of a pain.ReplyDelete
The Importance of Being Earnest was a great play as well as a great book. One of the major differences between watching a play and reading a play is obvious one you are reading and playing it out in your head and the other you are just watching and letting the actors add the little things that they believe should be in the script. Reading the play let my imagination picture the scenery, voices and characters. That allowed me to get more from the play then when I saw the play. One of the only things I would say reading the play wasn’t as good as watching it is that when the actors were acting out their parts I saw other people’s interpretations of the play and the directors view as well. I enjoyed reading the play more than watching it. The length of the play when watching it was a major reason for that because watching the play seemed like it dragged on and on while reading the play whenever I got bored with it I just put it down and continued it later. There are obvious advantages to both watching and reading the play I am glad I was able to experience both. I enjoyed both reading and watching the play. I usually like to read things before I see them because it allows me to paint my own mental pictures but seeing it was a great way of seeing how other people pictures the characters and sets.ReplyDelete
Watching a play and reading a play can clearly be interpreted very differently. Through my experience, watching the play went on for what felt like forever. I’m not sure if it was due to that fact that I had no idea what the play was about or because I was just as tired and hungry as Megan. I just couldn’t make myself get into the experience. The actors didn’t excite me at all. It wasn't as enjoyable as reading. I couldn’t get the same satisfaction out of watching the play like I did when reading the play. When I read the play, I rarely glanced at the page numbers or checked to see how long it would take to finish each act. I didn’t have to rapidly try to decipher what was going on the entire time. I read the play in one sitting and that is something I rarely do when it comes to summer reading. I could create in my head what I imagined the play would look like; which made it far more interesting. When watching the play, however, it was harder to relate to the characters because each actor was portraying their roles in their own way. I couldn’t focus on the play… (this might also be due to the fact that I was trying to see if the leading actor was the same guy that played Hamlet two years back… It wasn’t. I really should’ve read the play before trying to sit through it my junior year. I would have enjoyed it more and actually learned from the experience! The Importance of Being Earnest is probably one of my favorite plays now.ReplyDelete
There is quite a bit of difference between watching a story take shape through actors and reading the story for myself. When I watch a play, I see the character through the eyes of the actor. The actor is the one interpreting and painting the picture for you of what this character is like down to the smallest little mannerisms. Reading the story on the other hand, you build up in your own mind to what you see the character to be. That’s why so many times people say, the book is way better than the movie. The actors acting out the characters you have already envisioned in your mind sometimes just don’t meet people’s standards. Personally, whether I’m reading the play or watching it, I don’t mind either way. Now if you were to ask me if I would prefer watching or reading a novel…well I’d prefer to watch it because I long reading (I know, it’s a sin). Yet, there is something about reading a play that is different. Yes, it is shorter which a plus is but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s more the feel of playwright; it’s simple, it leaves so much more room for interpretation and personal illustration. There is just a factor of fun when reading plays as opposed to novels in my opinion. I have not seen this play before….like I said in another post, I wasn’t cool enough to go…But I have gone to other plays. Like I said up at the beginning, I enjoy both going to plays and reading it for myself. I like seeing the character through an experienced actor whose job is to study that character to the point where they know the character’s smallest mannerisms; and I also enjoy interpreting the characters in my own mind.ReplyDelete
The spectator or reader will get a different experience from either watching a play or reading one. In theatre, plays are presented from one person’s point of view on the play. Both the director and playwright will sometimes make their own twist on a classic play. For example, when the high school went to go see The Importance of Being Earnest at the Shakespeare Theatre in Orlando, you could easily tell that what was being shown was the original play by Oscar Wilde, but with a few modern twists to it to connect to a modern crowd. Also when we went to see Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, there were times when the spectator could obviously tell that parts of the play were added, such as the music in the scene at the ball where Romeo and Juliet first met. The downside to having modern directors change classic plays is that they may change too much and not get the original point across. Reading a play also has its ups and downs. When someone reads a book or a play, they have the ability to create the imagery of the setting or make up what the characters look like to an extent. What I liked about reading The Importance of Being Earnest was that I could make up what I wanted the characters to look like even though I already saw the play. However the reader can sometimes overdo their character creation or setting and sometimes it is harder to read a play because the setting or some other details might be confusing to the reader.ReplyDelete
Aside from the obvious formatting differences between a written play and a major novel, a play is meant to be watched and “played” out with actors and stage scenery, creating a better vision of what the author intended it to be originally. Furthermore, it can be recognized that in plays when compared to novels have almost full dialogue and less ominous narration, coming from a third point of view. In the Importance of Being Earnest the explanations, plot, and climax comes from the characters unique dialogue and doesn’t require narrating to follow. Arguably if a narrator were to be added it would ruin the work overall and lose its stage flavor. This is yet another difference, if you were to remove all the details and narrating of Harry Potter the book would be probably one-hundred pages long, sound like “wizard-jargon” and probably never make it past the desk of the publisher. The fact of the matter is that novels and books like Harry Potter need details and explanation to tell the story; characters in novels are there to be a part of it, and not to make it. Reading a play can have a plethora of pros and cons along with it. On the more positive side, reading a play allows for a some-what better, understanding of it, and a more in depth analysis of the plot and hidden symbols. Also reading a play allows for you the “reader” to create and illustrate the characters in your imagination. On the contrary, despite your superfluous imagination and character creation, chances are Wilde didn’t intend for Jack to be a stout porcelain-white man with a white powdered wig. A play allows for a clear connection between the authors mind and the readers, creating a better experience. In other words, giving your brain a break! I never saw the play, but I can only imagine it was much more enjoyable and lively than reading it in an old dusty book.ReplyDelete
All people are different in that we all have different ways of learning and things like that, so each person responds differently to the way something is presented to them. I have always been a more visual person. I think that the experience of going to see the play in person was no oly more interesting, but it also help me understand how important it is to be a honest and sincere person. I am glad that we didn’t read the play before we went to see it because as I was reading, I was able to visualize how the situation played out with the actors and actresses. Sitting down and watching the play did take a lot more time than reading it. We had to sit there for over three hours and we had no access to food, which is my main complaint, and it was also very cold. While reading the play, I was able to get up and go get food and drinks and stuff like that, and I was also able to control the temperature of the room. I also found that reading the play allowed me to pick up more of the different types of literary devices that Oscar Wilde used. While watching a play or a movie it is hard to go through the whole thing and pick out these different kinds of devices, I do think, however, it was easier to see the sarcasm and the humor when we went to see the play as a class.ReplyDelete
One of the greatest differences between reading a play and watching a play is the reader's ability to create and imagine the scenes in his/her own way. I personally preferred reading the play, simply because I had complete control over the imaginative aspect. I could imagine how each character looked and dressed, what the scenery looks like, what the food looks like, and even how the characters physically interacted with each other. The downside to reading a play instead of watching it is that the actors can open your mind to viewing the play in a different light. An actor may portray Algernon in an even sillier, or perhaps more serious, manner then I had originally imagined. It also allows the viewer to sit back and simply enjoy the play, instead of having to imagine up the entire play. It simply depends on the preference of the person. And of course, a play differs immensely from a novel in many ways. A play has cues that are necessary to read in order to understand the play, but are not enjoyable to read at all times. For example, I personally don't enjoy reading, "Exit Algernon. Enter blah blah blah."A novel also has cues, but words them in such a way that it is enjoyable to read. Instead of my previous example, a novel would say, "As Algernon storms from the room, Cecily skips into the field." The rewording of the phrase simply adds an aesthetic appeal and reads easier. Novels also have an advantage in the fact that they, unlike plays, don't read as follows: "Algernon: i'm feeling very well, Aunt Augusta. Lady Bracknell: That's not quite the same thing." In a novel, we don't have the character's name, a colon, and then a witty phrase. Instead, novels tend to phrase things more smoothly. Of course, all of the cues and phrasings that a play has are necessary to actors, it just simply is a bit cumbersome for a reader. I feel that reading the play, overall and despite any cues and such, really made me enjoy the play I saw even more. I felt I understood even more jokes, and i feel that I connected with the play on a deeper level then when I watched it. All in all, The Importance of Being Earnest was amazing, and definitely worth the read!ReplyDelete
Watching the play and reading the novel were two completely different experiences or perspectives of the same thing. For one, I didn’t particularly enjoy the character that played Algernon in Orlando, but while reading the novel, I could picture him the way that I wanted to and I could make him run around in my mind and he was my favorite by far. During the play however, his voice was very distracting and a tad annoying. Also, sitting in a cold theatre when I’m hungry after a bus ride for over an hour with too many people to fit isn’t as enjoyable as laying in my bed with my Pandora running with my refrigerator twenty feet away. There is nothing like the comfort of your own home. Oh, and for those of us with long legs, there wasn’t much room to stretch out while watching the play. I was a bit distracted. I could only see some of the angles and people’s faces, and half the time I couldn’t understand what they were saying. While reading the novel, however, I could read exactly what they were saying, whom they were speaking to, and I could picture the entire room and what it looked like in my head. Watching the play did help me to picture exactly what was happening while reading it though. It was actually kind of nice to be able to watch the play first and understand the body language of the characters. All in all, no matter how you get it, it is a great piece of work.ReplyDelete
Sadly, I did not go to see the play last year, so I have no idea how the play went. On the other hand, reading a play or a book will make the reader's mind wander. It makes you think, "What would this character look like?" or "I wonder what this place would be like?" Its like, for example, taking a book and changing it to a movie. If you read what it is going to be like beforehand, it will make going to see the play or movie so much better. It could be just how you pictured it, or even better, the complete OPPOSITE of how you pictured it. The downside is, it can sometimes be hard to read a play and tell exactly how the characters are talking or what emotions they are showing. When you go see the play, the people act it out and make what were just words actually come to life. You understand that the character was being sarcastic or making a joke. Also, if there are people distracting you at a play or something else going on, then you could miss part of it. Even just daydreaming for a few seconds can be harmful to your understanding of the play and then you are brought back to the real world when everybody is laughing at the play and you don't know what the heck just happened! While reading the play, you can easily go back and re-read the part of your mind starts to wander.ReplyDelete
It seems as though a piece like "The importance of being Earnest" should be read in play format. When it is only necessary to inject stage directions or non verbal action (barely) once every page, yet fill pages upon pages with dialogue, it would be very much rough to write in novel format. There would be far too many, "he said"s, or things of the sort. Yet, if it were writen in first person, the incredible humor would not be possible. After seeing the play, I could picture the different characters making the witty comments as if they were speaking into my ear. I found no negative aspect to reading this piece as a play.There were undoubted differences in reading and viewing, however. In reading, I was able to grasp the technical aspects much easier: the play on words, and other details. However, during the live play, it was easier to understand each persons character traits. It took me two words from Lady Bracknell in the theatre to understand her temperment, while it would take a bit longer to fully understand Bracknell in the book. However, Wilde`s play allows for extreme humor and wit on stage, as well as in the book. Oscar Wilde was a true master at perfecting a play to that point. He had a clear vision, and wrote the play where generations upon generations could enjoy it because of its witty, yet easy to understand dialogue, and it would easily be enjoyed through several different media.ReplyDelete
A play is sometimes a little tougher to read and get into than a novel for me, however, Oscar Wilde’s, The Importance of Being Earnest is easier than most. I’m super duper happy that this play didn’t have the continuous exits stage or some other action like Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Wilde displays his sense of humor through his entertaining characters and the predicament that they find themselves in. I continuously found myself laughing out loud while reading certain parts. I loved Wilde’s humor and wit that he has woven in his characters. While I read the play I noticed that I switched voices for the different characters which helped me get more involved with the story. Like for Cecily I used a high girly voice, but for Gwendolen I used more of a sophisticated sounding voice that I found fit them as their personalities developed throughout the play. Unfortunately I missed out on going to see the play which I’m very sad about. I’m sure it would have been as amusing as the book. I would have LOVED to see how an actor acts out Algernon, who happened to be my favorite character. To me this play has no negative effects even though I read it and did not see it performed. Wilde kept me so entertained I barely noticed that it was a play rather than a novel. By far my favorite book for our reading list!ReplyDelete
Reading the play and watching the play definitely gave a completely different experience. I enjoyed watching the play much more than reading it. It was easier to stay focused on what was going on, and alot more enjoyable. One thing that both helped and hurt reading the play for me was the names before the lines. I found it helpful because it made remembering who was who way less complicated, but I got very frustrated with the incomplete feeling I would receive unless I would read out the name before every single time the speaker would change. I also found it annoying that I couldn't help changing the accents that I heard in my "minds ear" as I read. I got very annoyed with myself as I found my face forming to the expressions that the characters emotions indicated. On a positive note, reading the play did give me very vivid mental pictures and imagery, although I usually pictured myself being a part of the play, rather than a spectator (which made my reading very slow and precise, like I was trying to impress the audience). Overall I think that reading the play was a difficult and self degrading task.ReplyDelete