The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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

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The relationship between Miss Prism and Reverend Chasuble serves as a useful contrast to the relationships between Jack and Gwendolen and Algernon and Cecily, respectively. While the other two couples seem to have met fairly recently (actually the latter couple has met on the same day he proposes to her), Prism and Chasuble seem to have been familiar with one another for quite awhile. It is clear that they are attracted to one another but are very awkward together. Prism is a bit more forward, insinuating that Chasuble should marry her. He uses the excuse that "the primitive church" forbids reverends from marrying; of course, this is 1895 and the primitive church is long gone. Jack and Algernon, on the other hand, are both very forward with the women they "love" and make no haste in trying to secure their marriages. Ultimately, though, all of these characters and their relationships are targets of Wilde's satire . Though Prism and Chasuble's love is based on more, perhaps, than the...

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