The Importance of Being Earnest Questions and Answers

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Jack turns out in the end to be Lady Bracknell's nephew, the son of her sister. Therefore, he and Gwendolen are first cousins. As first cousins were allowed to marry in England in the 1890s, that...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2021, 1:06 pm (UTC)

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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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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)

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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

"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)

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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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

I think that your selection of Lady Bracknell’s interview and the tea-time with Gwendolen and Cecily’s fighting over a fictional “Earnest” are both great selections! There are numerous scenes from...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2019, 4:33 pm (UTC)

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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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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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

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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)

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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)

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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

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

"Bunburying" is practiced in The Importance of Being Earnest by both Jack (although initially unbeknownst to him) and Algernon, who actually coins the word in the play and later reveals that Jack...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2019, 2:28 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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

The use of aliases or false identities is the subject of many fictional works, including The Importance of Being Earnest. In the play and in other works, characters who attempt to deceive others...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2009, 5:20 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Lady Bracknell represents the Victorian upper-class, born into wealth and status and obsessed with its maintenance. She is the image of the period’s fascination with propriety, and her primary...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2018, 1:24 pm (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

This line contains several layers of situational irony: theoretically, Cecily should be glad to think that her cousin Ernest (who is really Algernon, the friend of her guardian, Jack—actually, he's...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2019, 1:43 pm (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

"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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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

There are four main techniques used in satire: exaggeration reversal incongruity parody If you look for these, you will see the satire more clearly. For example: there are many examples of...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2013, 11:29 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s script for The Importance of Being Earnest was intended to satirize the Victorian social mores that dominated upper-scale England during the 19th Century. Individuals and families...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2014, 12:03 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Much of the humor in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is created by ironic and/or epigrammatic expressions. Verbal irony is a type of irony that occurs at the sentence level: the...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2018, 2:52 am (UTC)

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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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnestis a criticism of the idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, belief systems, lifestyles, and social expectations. What makes it "criticism" is that Wilde points out in a...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2010, 2:19 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

The title has a dual meaning as it pertains to the play as a whole. First, the title's significance lies in the denotation of the word "earnest." Defined as a quality of being sincere, the word is...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2019, 10:31 pm (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Absurd is defined in the dictionary as "the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable," a quality and state that is prevalent throughout Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2020, 12:03 am (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest involves two romantic relationships, one between Gwendolyn and Jack and one between Algernon and Cecily. The first act of the play introduces us to...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2015, 7:15 pm (UTC)

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The Importance of Being Earnest

Lady Bracknell has just learned the the woman her nephew, Algernon, wishes to marry, Cecily Cardew, is very rich, and though she first opposed the match, when she finds out how wealthy Cecily is...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2016, 6:21 pm (UTC)

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