The Importance of Being Earnest - Act 1

2163 Words Oct 9th, 2012 9 Pages
The Importance of Being Ernest – Act 1
Task 1
How are the characters of Algernon and Jack/Ernest created for the audience?
They are presented to within a high class of society, with a lack of consideration or care for the lower classes. Both are bored by their high society lives and “stiff” lunches/meetings that they must attend, so have created alter egos which they use to have fun in a different place. Algernon has invented a sick friend called Bunbury, who he sometimes must spend long lengths of time “looking after”, and when in the country, Jack becomes Ernest.

What is the effect of the interchange between Algernon and Lane?
It sets the scene in terms of the large difference in classes. Algernon feels that as a lower class, Lane
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He feels that if a person does not have this escape, they will lead a very boring life.
Jack: “If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen, and she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry, I certainly won’t want to know Bunbury” – This shows that Jack does want to settle down and is very much in love with Gwendolen. He feels that if he has her in his life, he will no longer need to escape out of where he lives to have fun and be wilder, as he won’t want that anymore.
Lady Bracknell: “a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.” This is suggesting that you either have to have knowledge of women so know how to please them, or let your naivety be your guide as this is endearing and means the woman can get what she wants. Otherwise it will not work.

Task 3
“A trivial comedy for serious people” – List words/phrases where trivial events are treated with overblown seriousness:
- “Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations” – Algernon is making this seems as though this is a huge problem for Jack, and is acting as a concerned friend in terms of helping him change it. This is comic for the audience as they can see it is not that large an issue.
- “I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.” – Algernon is making a statement of juxtaposition here, as caring a lot about
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