The audience assumes that people in the real world as lucky and benevolent as this are so becuase they worked hard and are earnest. By creating a character like this who took the easy money and built a marriage and friendships around lies, wilde has challenged the earnestness of the many victorian people because there were many poeple in a social position like robert's who may have done a similar thing to get there. In An Ideal Husband Wilde presents a view (the least flattering view presented in the play)that victorian society is viciously hypocritical. This is acheived through the characterisation of Lady Gertrude chiltern, as her ridiculously high morals (an important factor of earnestness) almost cost her her marriage.
Act III offers happy resolution to the problems of identity and marriage that drive much of the humor in the previous acts. Wilde continues to mock the social customs and attitudes of the aristocratic class. He relentlessly attacks their values, views on marriage and respectability, sexual attitudes, and concern for stability in the social structure.
One might believe that honesty is one of the building blocks of a society and is what initiates trust between people; furthermore, the Victorian era was a time period in British history where rules and morals appeared to be strict. The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, a nineteenth century author who was one of the most acclaimed playwrights of his day, is a play set in the Victorian time period that demonstrates how trivial telling the truth was. Different characters throughout Wilde’s play establish their dishonestly through hiding who they really are and pretending to be someone whom they are not. In an essay titled “From ‘Oscar Wilde’s Game of Being Earnest,’” Tirthankar Bose describes the characters from The Importance of Being Earnest as playing games with one another, which is a result of the deceit that was present in the play. Although the Victorian time period is a time characterized by strong morals and values, The Importance of Being Earnest proves this notion to not apply to telling the truth and ultimately questions why truth is not valued in the Victorian time period amongst other strictly upheld values. Honesty is not valued throughout the play because some of the characters felt to need to appear as if they represented the strict morals that were common throughout the time period.
“The Importance of Being Earnest,” a satirical play written by Oscar Wilde, discusses a vast variety of criticisms regarding the late Victorian societal period. In this comedic drama, focusing on and analyzing certain minor characters leads to a more effective interpretation of the messages attempting to be portrayed to the audience. For example, through the persona of Lady Bracknell, Wilde effectively mocks the concept of marriage for social status rather than love. Additionally, interpreting the roles of the lower class servants allows the readers to internalize the desperate need for social reform that the author felt at the time period. Finally, the entire concept of Bunburyism, or masquerading as an alternate persona, satirizes the hypocrisy of the Victorian Era.
Oscar Wilde uses his witty criticism of Victorian immorality to argue what true morality is. In this period of time it was normal for people to lie and it was okay. He takes a satirist view on how the people of this time period generally acted. Victor Frankenstein believed he could create something beautiful out of death, but ended up creating destruction. It did not go quite as planned though, Victor was instantly horrified when he saw the monster he had created.
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
What do all great authors, such as Oscar Wilde, do when they see something wrong in their culture? Simple: they show society how shortsighted it truly is by ridiculing its beliefs. It would be impossible to simply mock the beliefs of an entire culture without being labeled as crazy or an outcast, so they ridicule the culture indiscreetly. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a classic example of a highly esteemed work that uses satire to jeer at the cultural norms of the Victorian Era. The Importance of Being Earnest mocks the resolute mind-sets, the aloofness of marriage, and the class-system with satire during the Victorian Era.
- first the name Ernest, which is the main focus of the play, and also
Satire is a specific classification of writing that occasionally makes utilization of realistic and performing expressions with the aim of scorning society into self-change. With social criticism being its fundamental objective, it uses dark sarcasm as its primary device to get the point across. Satire impacts people to reconsider themselves so as to alter senseless thoughts and behaviors. Different techniques are utilized in delivering the satirical impact, those of which use wit as their primary weapon. These methodologies mix the acing of matching unimportant and authentic matters as one joke, demonstrating compliment yet meaning the contrary to show ambiguity, and asking rhetorical questions. Moreover, the creator may downplay an issue keeping in mind the end goal to move the group of audience towards the genuine significance of the theme, antagonistically; distortion is utilized to bring down the effect of an issue to its lesser quality. Aggregately, these procedures are practiced to draw out the human follies and vices in society. In Molière 's Tartuffe and Jonathan Swift 's article A Modest Proposal, both diagonally condemn and criticize human conduct and the discernment we have towards others. Through a comedian conveyance, these creators offer an understanding past the apparently self-evident, and expect to enhance this flawed custom of one sidedness as opposed to disposing of it.
While those of the Victorian upper class were usually the most refined and intelligent, Wilde portrays them as ignorant and dense. One of the most well described ladies, Miss Prism, is shown to be the least aware. “The most cultivated of ladies, and the very picture of respectability”(63). She is ultimately the most absent minded and leaves baby Jack in a handbag in a cloak room of a major railway station. Through Miss Prism, Wilde is able to propagandize the intelligence the aristocrats usually embody. In addition to this, Wilde refutes the morality of the Victorian elite. The main two characters, Jack and Algernon, are deceptive and are rarely seen to have any morals. Reviewing this play with a sociological/Marxist perspective provides insight on how Wilde wants others to perceive the elite of
The main purpose of this theme is to stimulate laughter from the audience. Wilde is able to satirize the upper classes by placing this play in an upper class social setting. This “…requires the audience to accept the world presented on the stage as a real world, a possible world; and its human foibles, even if heightened and exaggerated in the play’s satirical exposure of them…” (Foster 19). Then he fills the characters language with sayings, which make them seem ridiculous. The characters constantly contradict the basic values in their speech. This works to Wilde’s advantage because he wants his play to be funny and not offensive. Raby states “… [i]n his political and aesthetic theory Wilde was both romantic and cynical. In his drama he was both sentimental and satirical” (Raby 26). He could manipulate the audience to think that the play was just a storyline but in reality it was mocking them. Which includes the theme of the irrational upper class; the question arises: what is the importance of being earnest.
Wilde uses a deceptively flippant tone and irony to criticize the hypocrisy of the upper class in Victorian society in relation to living an earnest life. Earnestness as a virtue was of paramount importance during Victorian Society, with people constantly striving to live an earnest life, that is, a life of honesty and seriousness in intention and purpose. The Victorian society was passionately obsessed with the ideals of earnestness, that individuals in the upper middle class were pressured to go to any lengths to lead such a life, even if it meant a difference between what they said, how they acted in public and what they honestly thought. "My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing
Oscar Wilde's, "The Importance of Being Earnest" revolves around the dichotomy of the true definition of honesty versus the victorian definition of honesty. It is apparent that Wilde's opinion is that true honesty is expressed through being genuine to one's self as opposed to putting on a front as is important in victorian ideals. In this work, Wilde uses humor to off-set the seriousness of the theme of the story. One who has studied this work can also clearly see that Wilde is using sarcasm to say things that would not have been accepted by society if they were said bluntly. For example he exemplifies in a very sarcastic manner the hypocracy that victorian society represents by the very fact that they pretend to uphold honesty above all
Such as, Marriage, class discrimination, manners and sincerity. Those themes are presented with the Lady Bracknell’s help. Wilde has created, with Augusta Bracknell, a memorable instrument of his satiric wit, questioning all he sees in Victorian upper-class society. With her power and weakness shown, she, as an upper class lady, connects and presents the themes in the play.
The genre of comedy, throughout the history of dramatic art has always served to not only entertain audiences, but to make them aware of their own individual flaws, or flaws that exist in society. (Weitz, E.) Comedy has no precise definition, and its boundaries are broad. One function of comedy however has remained the same - to hold up a mirror to the society of the time but through pleasure, inviting audiences to reflect and also providing amusement. Set in the late nineteenth century, the play An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde (1895) epitomises comedy, as both a literary and dramatic genre. Wilde was masterful in his ability to combine aspects of evolved comedic traditions and dramatic conventions to critique Victorian society. Drawing on characteristics of Greek and Roman tragicomedy, the choices in the play’s plot involves elements of tragedy as well as scenes that serve as comic relief and give the audience a sense of finality through a happy resolution. (Bureman, L) Focussing on the upper class stratum, Wilde employs a comedy of manners Molière style, of the Restoration Period in the seventeenth century in the play by combining forms of comedy with aspects of realist drama. The portrayal of archetypal figures such as Lady Chiltern and Lord Goring satirize rigid moral value of the time and expose their hypocrisies, through dialogue involving irony, wit and humour. Elements of farce and disguises characterized by ‘commedia dell’arte’, a form of comedy first developed in