Analysis of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wylde

757 Words Feb 26th, 2018 3 Pages
The play repeatedly derides even the most sensitive social customs of the Victorian period, such as love and the institution of marriage. The protagonists, Algernon and Ernest, demonstrate Wilde’s suggestion of the trivial nature of the self-righteous moralism of the time. Wilde says, “That we should treat all trivial things in life very seriously, and all serious things of life with a sincere and studied triviality.”(961) This theme is suggested several times within the characters’ dialogue and serves as the underlying principle of conversation. Additionally, the farcical humor in the dialogue ridicules the upper class of the Victorian England society, which suggests that Wilde places the most importance and sincerity on the constraints of morality rather trivial then earnest.
For Wilde, the word earnest involves two different ideas; false truth and a false idea of moralism. The moralism of Victorian society pushes Algernon and Jack to invent their alter egos so enabling them to escape the confines of respectability. One very prominent idea is that none of the characters ever express true remorse or guilt about lying. No one seems to hold truth and honesty in high regard. Lying has…
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