Sir Robert Chiltern has a past. His moralistic wife, Lady Gertrude, doesn't know about it. When their acquaintance Lady Markby brings a friend to a party one night, things begin to fall apart. Mrs. Cheveley, Lady Markby's friend, has some dangerous information about Sir Robert's past and threatens to expose him. He must decide whether or not to give in -- or facing telling his wife the truth. His good friend and confidant, Lord Goring, supports any choice his friend will make, when Lord Goring isn't distracted by Sir Robert's own sister, Mabel, or pestered by his father, Lord Caversham. In two hours, the lives of five characters will come apart in a delightful fashion only Oscar Wilde can produce.