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What are the themes in "An Ideal Husband"?

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Some of the major themes of the Oscar Wilde play "An Ideal Husband" are femininity, marriage, and the relationship between aesthetics and life. The most significant theme of the play, however, is marriage.

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In "An Ideal Husband," Oscar Wilde adopts common Victorian motifs and story lines of domestic life but treats the topics of domestic life and marriage in an ironic and parodic manner. Some of the characters in the play are unusually decadent and vain when compared to other characters in Victorian theater, and they help serve Wilde's ironic treatment of domestic and literary conventions. The wit and intelligence of some female characters also challenge Victorian views of womanhood. Finally, Wilde challenges the somber propriety of Victorian life, addressing the importance and beauty of living life in an artful and aestheticized manner.

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