In Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," discuss some ways characters may reflect each other in the play.

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wilde's play "The Importance of Being Earnest" seems to have characters who echo each other's aspirations. The first mostly closely related characters, as far as personalities are concerned, are Cecily and Gwendolyn. Coincidentally, both of these ladies want to marry a many whose name is Earnest. The second comparable set of characters are Algy and Jack at the end of the play. At the beginning of the play, the two are at odds about whether or not marriage is a worthy activity in which to take part; but after falling in love and finding out that the ladies want to marry men with a specific name, they both hold nothing back to be re-christened in order to be renamed Earnest. The final unlikely pair who seem to reflect each other's personalities is Jack and Aunt Augusta. Both are stubborn about what they believe is the best for Gwendolyn, but also, both manipulate the other in order to get what they want from the other one. Jack refuses to let Algy marry his ward Cecily who is rich unless Aunt Augusta allows him to marry Gwendolyn. Both, here, are pretty clever in their maneuvers.

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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