The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest focuses on the surface to reveal the problems and hypocrisy of society. The audience is meant to see what the characters do not see. Select one passage from the play and discuss what the play keeps at the surface AND what the audience is supposed to take away from the commentary.  

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The Importance of Being Earnest is arguably Oscar Wilde ’s masterwork. Besides being one of the best plotted and most tightly structured plays of all time, it is also tremendously funny. Beneath the humor, however, Wilde does have a lot to say about the times he lives in and reflects on the upper-crust circles to which the characters in his play belong. Take for example the discussion between Jack and Algernon in act 2, when Algernon contends: “If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely...

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