Throughout much of the play and especially the beginning, Wilde satirizes the setting in which both the characters as well as his audience live in. This satirization specifically requires that the audience be thoughtful whenever Wilde makes a joke, resulting in the thoughtful laughter which makes a true comedy. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is set during the late 20th century in Britain, a time period known as the Victorian Era, in which the British Empire was at its absolute peak. The dominance of Britain in world affairs resulted in a sense of
In the Importance of Being Earnest, two characters, Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing fall in love with two women, Cecily Cardew and Gwendolyn Fairfax. However, from the start of the romance there are lies and deceit. Jack and Algernon pretend to carry on the names of “Ernest” instead of telling their true names to the women. They do this so they can escape their real lives and instead lead a double life. The two couples fall in love with each other and the women forgive the men eventually for their lies. In the next fifteen years, the couples will grow a strong bond and have a healthy marriage.
The Importance of Being Earnest appears to be a conventional 19th century farce. False identities, prohibited engagements, domineering mothers, lost children are typical of almost every farce. However, this is only on the surface in Wilde's play. His parody works at two levels- on the one hand he ridicules the manners of the high society and on the other he satirises the human condition in general. The characters in The Importance of Being Earnest assume false identities in order to achieve their goals but do not interfere with the others' lives. The double life led by Algernon, Jack, and Cecily (through her diary) is simply another means by which they liberate
The Importance of being Earnest includes three acts, with seven major characters. In act one, we start with a conversation between Jack (a notable bachelor) and Algernon (an in debt bachelor, with a laid back temperament), in which we learn both have made up 'friends,' who are often sick, as to escape from wherever they live whenever they want. We also learn
Algernon’s stances on marriage, relationships, and self accurately describe his selfishness. Not only does Algernon destroy his own sense of reality, he destroys everyone else’s concept of the truth. The Importance of Being Earnest is meant to make people laugh; unfortunately, Wilde’s characters are so rude and condescending that the reader can have trouble finding the humor. This play is so full of unhealthy relationships that one has to assume that nothing will work out in the end. Algernon is an egomaniac, and there is no doubt that his attitude will rub off on Cecily, Jack, and
The core of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest lies within the play-long pun that is conveniently introduced in the very title of it. The most important twist in the entire book is not only is no one being earnest, but no one in the book is actually named Ernest! It follows two characters, the protagonist and his foil, and primarily focuses on their opinions on the world that they live in. The two characters whom bunbury their way through town/the country in order to escape the responsibilities they have waiting for them at home. These two characters masquerade around with seemingly nothing going wrong until the issue of marriage is presented to them. Throughout the entirety of the play no one is at all acting up to the true definition
Webster's dictionary defines earnest as “characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind". Which can be considered a pun since thought this play we see the characters being more apathetic. The Importance of Being Earnest is the story of Jack Worthing is the main character and the protagonist of this play. He is a well of business man who lives in the country and is very well respected there. But Jack has a secret he lives another in the city of London where he claims to go to take care of an irresponsible little brother named Earnest. There he meets a friend Algernon Moncrieff a person who also has created a person named Mr. Bunbury who he goes to the city to see because of him being on his deathbed. Through these
It is very humorous when one watches a play or movie or reads a book and knows more about what is happening than the characters do. This is no different in the play “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. There are many instances when the audience has more information that the characters do, and this is partly what drives the plot of this book. When the reader or viewer is given more information than the characters are it changes the dynamics of a book or play. Dramatic irony creates interest in this play through adding humor, suspension, and insights.
Being one of the most famous plays written by Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest is a romantic comedy that makes good use of the conflicts of characters to deal with themes such as marriage, social class and hypocrisy. There are two different types of conflict to drive plot and capture audience attention in a story: internal and external conflict. The former concerns a character’s emotional, moral or ideological dilemma within his own mind; the latter concerns a character’s struggle against an opposing view from another character, society or the nature. In fact, in The Importance of Being Earnest, by increasing the story’s tension and enhancing character development, the internal and external conflicts of Jack Worthing contribute
In the play, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, there is a lot of humor that can be found. Specifically, developed behind the characters in this play that display many instances of irony and how important it was to fit into the “status quo” of this time period. There are specific behaviors from the characters of Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, and Algernon that portray Wilde’s opinion of society during the Victorian Age. The attitude of these characters is snobbish and their manners display double standards and superiority. The play’s use of mockery and irony of these satirical situations is meant to publicly ridicule the self- loving attitude of the upper class while exposing their true absence of intelligence which causes their absurd social behaviors
One of Oliver Wilde’s famous plays “The Importance of Being Earnest” follows two wealthy bachelors in love and webs of lies. Jack Worthing falls in love with a rich socialite Gwendolyn, but to leave a life of responsibility he made up a brother to visit the city, where he meet Gwen. So when Gwendolyn falls in love with the non existent brother, Jack is stuck in a double life predicament. When his poster boy bachelor finds out about Jack's real name and his young ward, Algernon decides to take on a second fake identity, to meet the young Cecily. Throughout the play Wilde uses humor to show the hypocrisy ways of the upper class; by uses satire through standards, appearances, and marriages.
Every line, every character, and every stage direction in The Importance of Being Earnest is set on supporting Oscar Wilde’s want for social change. The Importance of Being Earnest was written during the late period of the Victorian era. During this period social classification was taken very seriously. It could affect working and living conditions, education, religion, and marriage. Wilde explores the issues of social class and turns it into a comedic play. He humorously criticizes Victorian manners and attacking the society of the luxurious life. The audience becomes self-aware as the characters reflect on themselves. Plays such as this become successful because of the backgrounds the writers come from and the experiences they have had.
It is a well known phenomenon that many authors' lives are reflected through a character in their work. In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the double life, or double identity, can be seen as the central metaphor in the play, epitomized in Algernon's creation of "Bunbury" or "Bunburying". As this term is the only fictitious word employed throughout the text, it is crucial to critically analyze not only its use and implications, but more importantly, the character who coins the term; Algernon Moncrieff. In addition, it is also significant to note the marked differences between Algernon and Jack's perceptions of the notion of bunburying, as it further develops Algernon's character within the text. But perhaps the single most
Earnestness, which implies seriousness or sincerity, is the great enemy of morality in The Importance of Being Earnest. Earnestness can take many forms, including boringness, solemnity, pomposity, complacency, smugness, self-righteousness, and sense of duty, all of which Wilde saw as hallmarks of the Victorian character. When characters in the play use the word serious, they tend to mean “trivial,” and vice versa. For example, Algernon thinks it “shallow” for people not to be “serious” about meals, and Gwendolen believes, “In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.”
Gender fluidity through the characters’ personalities and actions is subtly utilized in both plays to comment on the social traits expected of both sexes. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack and Algernon exhibit immature personalities through their Bunburying. When Algy says to Jack, "I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose" (Wilde, 301), it demonstrates Algernon’s yearning for an aesthetic life free from the social correctness. The same behaviour is seen in Jack through his creation of Ernest, and Algy’s comment on Jack being “one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know” (|Wilde ?301). Their desire to escape the monotonous routine of their daily lives reveals their