Questions and Answers for The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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

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

1 educator answer

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

2 educator answers

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

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

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

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

5 educator answers

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

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

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

In The Importance of Being Earnest, the consumption of food and drink is used to show the differences between life as a bachelor and married life—between an overindulgent lifestyle and one that...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2020 2:58 am UTC

2 educator answers

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

Synonymous with the term "Restoration comedy" is the phrase "comedy of manners." A comedy of manners is one in which the manners of a particular social group, usually the upper class, are satirized...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2018 12:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

4 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

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

4 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

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

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

3 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

3 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

3 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

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

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

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

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

3 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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

The symbolism that we find in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is mostly situated around the items that constitute the different ways in which Jack and Algernon indulge in their...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2012 7:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

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

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

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

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

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

2 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

The Importance of Being Earnest

While both relationships are similar and involve a certain amount of deceit, Jack and Gwendolen's relationship has been happening for some time and is more mature than Algernon and Cecily's...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2018 4:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Importance of Being Earnest

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

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

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

3 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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