Questions and Answers for The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Explain The Significance Of The Full Title Of The Play The Importance Of Being Earnest

The full title of the play is The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People. Wilde told Robert Ross that its theme was the idea: That we should treat all trivial things in...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2020 5:48 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is irony used for in The Importance of Being Earnest?

Oscar Wilde, like many writers of the late 1800s, was an iconoclast bent on the deconstruction of Victorian values. Much of the irony in The Importance of Being Earnest serves this purpose. Wilde...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2019 4:52 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

If Jack and Algy are brothers, and Gwendolen is Algy's cousin. Are Jack and Gwendolen cousins and getting married?

In Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest, Act III, it is discovered that Jack Worthing's father's name is, in fact, Ernest. This, in Wilde's own comical way, would then make Jack...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2011 2:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

Satire In The Importance Of Being Earnest

The title of the play helps us understand what Wilde is satirizing or poking fun at. For starters, he is skewering middle-class hypocrisies about domestic bliss; one of the confusions about talking...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2020 6:58 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

What are some examples of irony in Act 2 of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde? 

Act 2, like all of The Importance of Being Earnest, contains many examples of irony. I will cite a few of these and discuss how they contribute to the humor of the play. One early example is when...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2018 4:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What does the word ''Bunbury'' represent in The Importance of Being Earnest?

"Bunbury," or "Bunburyism," refers to the imaginary friend of Algernon called Bunbury that he uses to enable him to get out of awkward social engagements and to lead a double life. Bunbury finds...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2013 8:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

What are some puns (with act numbers) from The Importance of Being Earnest?

Here are four very popular ones. The one below shows that for the first time Jack has been honest about something without even trying nor wanting to. Since his "christian name" would be Earnest,...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2010 4:59 am UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest, what does the following quote mean?   "The truth is rarely pure and never simple."

The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde's most famous play, and a modern comedy of manners. Since Wilde was both a satirist and a master writer, although not a linguist; he was known for...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2012 12:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is the function of the characters of Miss Prism and Dr. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest?

The characters of Ms. Prism and Dr. Chasuble are quite important to the play—even thought hey are secondary characters—in that they allow Wilde to go full-force in his criticism of the "polite...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2020 12:40 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What are three comic techniques Oscar Wilde uses in The Importance of Being Ernest?

Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is a satire, or a comedy of manners that pokes fun at and critiques the mannerisms and values of the upper class. Wilde incorporates a number of...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2019 4:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

How appropriate is the subtitle "A trivial comedy for serious people" for the play The Importance of Being Earnest?

Although The Importance of Being Earnest is now Oscar Wilde's most famous play, it is not characteristic of his work as a playwright and marked a new departure for him. Wilde's other social...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2020 3:27 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

How are Jack and Algernon similar to and different from each other in The Importance of Being Earnest?

Although they do not discover the relationship until the end of the play, Jack is Algernon's older brother. The relationship between the two much aligns with this. Jack is, at least ostensibly,...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2019 9:07 am UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

By the end of the play The Importance of Being Earnest, has Jack really learned the importance of being earnest?

No, Jack/Ernest Worthing has not truly learned "the importance of being earnest" at the end of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest. The ending of the play is meant to be ironic....

Latest answer posted April 13, 2018 3:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

In what ways is Oscar Wilde mocking Victorian society in his drama The Importance of Being Earnest?

Oscar Wilde lived during the Victorian period (i.e., the reign of Queen Victoria, which lasted from from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901). It is important here to distinguish...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2019 8:33 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

What is Algernon trying to say in The Importance of Being Earnest when he says, "Lane's views on marriage seem...

The typical belief during this era was that upper-class morals and propriety would trickle down to the middle and lower class, there the upper class could and should set the example for their...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2020 10:55 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

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

While Oscar Wilde's witty dialogue is no doubt a chief comedic delight, The Importance of Being Earnest also utilizes elements of farce and the comedy of manners style to mine humor out of its...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2020 6:55 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Compare the characters of Jack and Algernon in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy of manners that critiques the members of the Victorian upper class of the period—namely those members of society who had little to do with...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018 7:59 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Compare and contrast the film adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest with the play.

There have been various film adaptations of The Importance of Being Earnest. The best known, and probably the best, are Anthony Asquith's 1952 version and Oliver Parker's film, released precisely...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2020 4:09 am UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, how does the following quote demonstrate his transitioning away...

In Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, food symbolizes the appetite for power. Prior to this concluding scene in Act III, there are two other important “food scenes” that help...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2016 8:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest, why is it vulgar to talk like a dentist?

The mention of "talking like a dentist" comes when Jack is forced to explain to Algernon why he is Ernest in the country but Jack in the city. The comment and its surrounding dialogue contain puns...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

Contrast the play The Importance of Being Earnest with the 2002 film.

The 2002 Miramax video production of The Importance of Being Earnest is remakably faithful to Wilde's original script. It does have some notable differences, however. The film begins with Algy and...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2019 1:34 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is the role of women in The Importance of Being Earnest, particularly the role of mothers and single women?

The role of women in this play, particularly mothers and single women, is to pursue marriage. Mothers pursue and police marriage for their daughters, while daughters relentlessly pursue husbands....

Latest answer posted January 15, 2021 1:48 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest, identify uses of hyperbole.

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses extreme exaggeration for emphasis or to highlight a contrast, often with humorous intent. In this play, Oscar Wilde’s characters often speak in hyperbole,...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2020 11:43 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Discuss "conflict" in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde?

The play The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, is a comedy of manners which intends to satirize the oddities that were resounding among members of the middle and upper classes of...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2011 5:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

Why or how is The Importance of Being Earnest funny? Is there a difference between being witty and being funny?

The play The Importance of Being Earnest is humorous mainly in its satire and exaggeration of high-class society. While it seems like a stuffy, self-righteous play, it is really simply a mockery of...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019 2:13 am UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest what does Algernon mean when he says, “I keep science for Life” and later...

There is no "clear-cut" meaning to Algernon words. Instead, his initial dialogue with Lane is a conglomerate of puns written by Wilde with the purpose of declaring, from the very start of the...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2013 11:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest, how does incongruity lend itself to humor?

Almost as soon as the play opens, Algernon makes such another incongruous statement. He says to his butler, Lane, I don't play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2018 11:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What social criticism appears in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest?

Historical context is an important piece of the puzzle when deciphering the social criticism of Wilde's play. The play premiered in 1895, at the turn of the nineteenth century. This was a time when...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2019 4:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Please analyze the following quotation from The Importance of Being Earnest: "In matters of grave importance, style,...

Because The Importance of Being Earnest is an entirely farcical and satirical play, we should consider this quote within that context. Gwendolen speaks these words when she and Cecily are beginning...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2019 5:41 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

According to Lady Bracknell, who are Jack’s parents?

In Oscar Wilde's farcical comedy of manners, when Lady Brackwell learns that Jack was found in a large, black leather hand-bag in a cloak-room at Victoria Station [a major train station in London],...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2015 9:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is the role of religion in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde?

The Importance of Being Earnest is not a particularly "religious play," but there is a character who is associated with the church—Reverend Chasuble—and two of the main characters seek...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2019 3:41 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Is Algernon Moncrieff really in love with Cecily Cardew?

The four main characters in Oscar Wilde's comedy of manner The Importance of Being Earnest are depicted as superficial people, so it's difficult to know if they are even capable of any deep...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2018 3:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

How does the playwright Oscar Wilde present the relationship between Jack and Algernon in The Importance of Being...

Jack and Algernon are friends who seem to have known each other socially for a while; however, in Act I, we learn that Algernon doesn't know that Jack's name isn't actually Ernest Worthing (it's...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2018 7:32 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

How are Jack Worthing's plans to kill off Ernest thwarted in the play The Importance of Being Earnest?

Jack plans to kill off his fake brother, Ernest, saying that he died "suddenly, in Paris, by a severe chill" because he wants to marry Gwendolen (and, presumably, he would not be able to continue...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2019 12:21 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest, Algernon observes, "Women only call each other sister when they have called each...

Gwendolyn and Cicely are the two female leads in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and the competitive elements of their relationship reflect some truth in Algernon's statement. It is...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2019 2:32 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is your favorite moment in The Importance of Being Earnest? Describe the scene and explain why you like it.

Depending upon one's penchant for humor, there are many scenes that evoke laughter in Wilde's irreverent play. But, because the farcical appeals often to many students you may wish to choose such a...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2014 8:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

What Is Bunburying

"Bunbury" is the imaginary friend Jack (Earnest) must "visit" in order to avoid attending his aunt's long and boring dinner parties. This is a purely virtual invention of his to have an excuse for...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2009 10:58 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Please analyze the following quotation from The Importance of Being Earnest: " To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may...

A paradox often considered as one of the funniest in any Oscar Wilde play, this expression is spoken by Lady Bracknell during her interview with Jack Worthing (whose name they all think is actually...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2013 7:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest,  who is Egeria, and why might Chasuble refer to Miss Prism in this manner?

Act II of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest shows the flirtatious relationship between the reverend Dr. Chasuble and the prude Miss Prism as they meet during one of Chasuble's...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2012 10:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

How does Oscar Wilde mock traditional nineteenth century drama with his play The Importance of Being Earnest?

The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in 1895, near the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. Victorian values such as respectability prevailed during the sixties and seventies, but...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2016 5:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

Can you list the examples of hyperbole in the importance of being earnest.

Hyperbole is one of the techniques Oscar Wilde uses most often in The Importance of Being Earnest. Hyperbole—exaggeration for effect—enables Wilde to satirize the ridiculous ideas and behaviors of...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2017 1:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

How is language an important source of humour in ''the importance of being earnest?''

The importance of language as an important source of humor in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest is based on Wilde's ubiquitous use of sarcasm, irony, epigrams, paradoxes, and...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2011 4:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

In The Importance of Being Earnest what do we learn about Algernon’s relationship with his servant Lane from their...

Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest begins with Algernon Moncrieff playing his piano, whether "accurately" or not, while his manservant, Lane, enters the scene. While the two men only engage...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2013 12:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

What is the significance of the title The Importance of Being Earnest?

It is evident as soon as Jack Worthing admits he has an alter ego named Ernest that the title of The Importance of Being Earnest is a pun. Both Gwendolen and Cecily are determined to marry a man...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2020 4:18 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

How are love and marriage treated in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde?

In the play, love and marriage are treated as fodder for jokes. We typically think of things like marriage as being serious subjects, but one of the ways that Oscar Wilde creates humor in the play...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2019 9:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

How do Cecily and Gwendolen from The Importance of Being Earnest compare and contrast?

Gwendolen and Cecily seem to think they are vastly different, and they do have a few superficial differences. Mostly, the women are from different environment: Gwendolen lives in London, while...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2019 2:32 pm UTC

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Please analyze the following quotation from The Importance of Being Earnest: "I do not approve of anything that...

Lady Bracknell is interviewing Jack to see if he is worthy of marrying her daughter. Much of the comedy of the scene comes from quotes like this one. Lady Bracknell asks questions that feel like a...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2019 11:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

Help writing a thesis for The Importance of Being Earnest? I have to write an essay about the use of humor in the...

A great thesis statement concerning the humor in The Importance of Being Earnest might concern the genre of satire, which is the use of humor, irony, wit, or even ridicule to expose the flaws of a...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2018 9:17 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

How is food symbolic in The Importance of Being Earnest?

In the play, there are several places which indicate that a character's relationship with food seems to be symbolic of their adherence to, or failure to abide by, social rules and conventions. For...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2018 12:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

Please analyze the following quotation from The Importance of Being Earnest: Jack: I have finally realized for the...

In Act III, Jack finalizes the play with the sentence I have finally realized for the first time in my life, the vital Importance of being earnest. By extrapolating the phrase "being earnest"...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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