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Examples Of Conflict In The Importance Of Being Earnest

Decent Essays
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…show more content…
Jack’s creation of a fictional brother Ernest gives audience an impression that he is a hypocritical person who ignores the consequences of being dishonest. Only when his desire to marry Gwendolen is threatened does he learn that he cannot escape from responsibility or “come up to town as often as [he] like[s]” (Act 1, p.8). Suffering from the dilemma, his hidden sincerity and kindness are discovered. This makes him become a rounder character. As a consequence, the rest of the plot will be affected and advanced by his unique traits and…show more content…
To illustrate, Jack takes revenge on Lady Bracknell and firmly “decline[s] to give [his] consent” (Act 3, p.54) to Cecily’s marriage with Algernon. His desperate revenge can be considered a rising action directly resulted from the external conflict. Besides, at the end Jack finds that he belongs to an upper-class family and his Christian name is truly Ernest. It is a twist as well as a perfect solution to his external conflict that guarantees a happy ending. Consequently, the external conflict builds tension that allows the following events happen in a well-reasoned
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