Oscar Wilde's wickedly witty yet touching comedy revolves around blackmail, political corruption,
and public and private honor in late 19th-century England, where "an ideal husband" must be above reproach in both spheres. Sir Robert Chiltern is a well-regarded public official happily married to a loving wife. His status as an ideal husband is threatened when undeniable evidence of a past indiscretion appears. Sir Robert turns to his philandering friend Lord Goring for help, who takes matters into his own hands.