The Importance of Being Earnest Questions and Answers
by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Analyse the comic appeal of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' with close reference to the text.

Expert Answers info

Michael Stultz, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Aquinas American School (Madrid, Spain)


calendarEducator since 2009

write1,817 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Earnest is descended from the great comic tradition.  Like Shakespeare's comedies (particularly , A Midsummer Night's Dream), Earnest gives us:

  • A struggle of old haters to overcome difficulty, often presented by young people
  • Separation and re-unification
  • Mistaken identities
  • A clever servant
  • Heightened tensions, often within a couple
  • One, intertwining plot
  • Frequent punning

Earnest is the blueprint for the modern romantic comedy.  It presages the television sitcom--the most dominant form of drama in our media age.  Earnest contains the same wit and humor of

(The entire section contains 273 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial