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An Ideal Husband

Oscar Wilde

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Belletristik / Dramatik


First performed in 1895, “An Ideal Husband” is Oscar Wilde’s classic and much-loved comedic drama. The play tells the story of an up-and-coming politician, Sir Robert Chiltern, who tries to hide his secret past from his judgmental wife and the blackmail scheme he is forced to participate in to keep that secret quiet. Lady Chiltern has a very particular idea of what makes the “ideal husband” which leaves her with little tolerance for Sir Robert’s all too human shortcomings and compromises. With his biting wit and brilliant powers of observation, Wilde highlights the moral ambiguity of politicians and the hypocrisy of the British aristocracy. With the help of a complex and fascinating cast of supporting characters, Sir Robert and Lady Chiltern must re-evaluate their moral convictions and what constitutes honor in the private and public sphere. Immediately popular after its first production, “An Ideal Husband” continues to entertain and challenge audiences to this day. Wilde’s play is a first-rate comedy that challenges its audience with the basic theme of morality and the greater standard that seems to fall upon those individuals in the public eye. This edition includes a biographical afterword.