The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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How does Oscar Wilde produce humour in The Importance of Being Earnest?

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The humor in The Importance of Being Earnest is primarily a result of dialogue and the ridiculous ways that the characters act. This play can be considered a comedy of manners, because it is explicitly meant to mock and satirize the way the rich behave. The dialogue often shows how the characters are vapid and self-concerned, often having responses that are completely incongruous with the conversations they're having.

Lady Bracknell's response to death is a good example of this. Rather than offer sympathy, Lady Bracknell chooses to place blame and fret about whether or not her dinner arrangements might still work. Dialogue also often includes witty turns of phrase but not real substance of meaning. Wilde intends to use these devices to show the ways that the upper class are frivolous and corrupt in a way that invites us to laugh at them.

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Oscar Wilde uses irony to produce humor in this play. For example, there is a great deal of dramatic irony , when the audience knows more than one or more...

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