The Importance of Being Earnest Essay

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AThe Importance of Being Earnest a play written by Oscar Wilde is set in England in the late Victorian era. Wilde uses obvious situational and dramatic irony within the play to satirize his time period. According to Roger Sale in Being Ernest the title has a double meaning to it and is certainly another example of satire used by Wilde. With a comedic approach, Wilde ridicules the absurdities of the character’s courtship rituals, their false faces, and their secrets. (Sale, 478) In the Victorian era, courtship rituals were slightly different from modern time courtships. It started with couples speaking first, going out together, and finally they would keep each other company after mutual attraction was confirmed. The character …show more content…
“Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone. When you do become engaged to someone, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself” (Wilde, 622). Lady Bracknell’s harsh criticism and stubborn ways are customary of upper-class mothers in the era. Ironically enough, Algernon later develops a kind of forbidden love. The object of his affection is young and being taught to be unimaginative and serious. One thing that Jack and Algernon have in common is that they both have these false faces. Algernon’s alter ego Bunbury is a version of himself used in the country but he uses Ernest to marry Cecily. The story deals with Ernest, this immorally imaginary man that both Cecily and Gwendolyn become engaged to, it exemplifies the irony within the name. Most of the irony comes from this character. One of Wilde's satiric targets is romantic and sentimental love, which he ridicules by having the women fall in love with a man because of his name rather than more personal attributes. Gwendolyn said “No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces
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