The Importance of Being Earnest Questions and Answers
by Oscar Wilde

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

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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

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