Nevertheless, he continued harassing Wilde, who eventually launched a private prosecution against the peer for criminal libeltriggering a series of trials ending in Wilde's imprisonment for gross indecency.
The very title of the play is a double-edged comment on the phenomenon. The play is set in "The Present" i.
Jack thinks it necessary to preserve a high moral tone in the presence of Cecily and her governess. Pretence was reality all along. Horrified to learn that he was adopted after being discovered as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station, she refuses him and forbids further contact with her daughter.
Jack accordingly resolves to himself to be rechristened "Ernest". Lady Bracknell informs Jack that, as the first-born, he would have been named after his father, General Moncrieff. Her dandiacal qualities make her a perfect match for him.
Having acquired such respectable relations, he is acceptable as a suitor for Gwendolen after all. Algernon thinks the servant class has a responsibility to set a moral standard for the upper classes.
The four young characters of the play have an engaging insouciance about them; they are defiant in their frankness and lovable for their vulnerability.
He proves to be deeply moral and essential to the happy resolution of the plot. The Constraints of Morality Morality and the constraints it imposes on society is a favorite topic of conversation in The Importance of Being Earnest. It was not until the s that the case for s costumes was established; as a critic in The Manchester Guardian put it, "Thirty years on, one begins to feel that Wilde should be done in the costume of his period—that his wit today needs the backing of the atmosphere that gave it life and truth.
The minister states that he will return to the church where Miss Prism is waiting to see him.
The jibe at the inbred nature of polite society remains implicit, but it is all the funnier for being so. Therefore, Algernon, too, plans for the rectorDr. William ArcherA. Suddenly even innocent actions take on sinister meanings as the family struggles with deception, lies and choosing between loyalty to their country or to their friends.
It was not until the s that the case for s costumes was established; as a critic in The Manchester Guardian put it, "Thirty years on, one begins to feel that Wilde should be done in the costume of his period—that his wit today needs the backing of the atmosphere that gave it life and truth.
It is no wonder that audiences continue to love the play: Gwendolen, however, insists she can love only a man named Ernest. This is because Wilde is seeking to mock the triviality of the upper class society of London.
Because both Gwendolen and Cecily believe that they are in love with the same man, the nonexistent Ernest, their initial politeness to each other soon gives way to open warfare. She is informed that Cecily is the granddaughter of a very wealthy man and the heiress topounds.
He loves being called Earnest. Gwendolen returns his love, but in particular she falls in love with his name, Ernest, of which she is very fond. The pun in the title is a case in point. He even goes so far as to appear at the manor house in Hertfordshire in deep mourning for his brother Ernest.
The Importance of Being Earnest, in particular, was immensely popular, its run cut short only by the real-life scandal that overtook the playwright.LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Importance of Being Earnest, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Campodonico, Christina. "The Importance of Being Earnest Themes." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 14 Apr Web.
. The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations.
The Importance of Being Earnest study guide contains a biography of Oscar Wilde, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Importance of Being Earnest study guide contains a biography of Oscar Wilde, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Struggling with themes such as Lies and Deceit in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest? We've got the quick and easy lowdown on it here. Struggling with the themes of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest?
We've got the quick and easy lowdown on them here.Download