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Comparison Essay Between 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde and 'Pack of Lies' written by Hugh Whitmore

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The reason why I am comparing the plays, 'The Importance of Being Earnest' and 'Pack of Lies',' is because they have a connecting theme that is 'Not Who They Seem.' 'The Importance of Being Earnest' was written as a play by Oscar Wilde in 1894, during the summer and reign of Queen Victoria. The play was performed in 1895. It is a classic comedy of manners and is regarded by many critics and scholars as being the wittiest play in the English language. It is set in England in 1890s, in the city of London (Act I) and Hertfordshire, a rural county not far from London (Acts II and III) Its primary source of humour is based upon the main character Jack's fictitious younger brother Ernest. The play focuses on Jack and Algernon, two young men in love with girls both determined to marry someone named Ernest. Jack and Algernon both create personas to be free. These other lives allow them to neglect their duties, in Algernon's case, or to leave their duties and pursue pleasure, in Jack's case. ...read more.


They stopped short of full scale war because of the development of the Atomic bomb. It turned into a battle for world domination which is why Britain got involved. This is why there were spies who tried to interrogate each country's security. The Cold War was 1945-89. 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' was based on the society that Oscar Wilde lived in; the Victorian era in the late 19th century. Wilde tried to show up the snobbish attitude in his society for the audience to laugh at. However despite the historical context being different, the concept of the two plays being based on the writer's life at that time is similar. The genre of each play is different as in 'Pack of Lies,' it is a drama but 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' is a comedy. The impact of each play towards the audience is entirely different. For example the audience at the end of, 'The Importance of Being Earnest' may take a look at themselves and try to change their ways, because the character's in Oscar Wilde's play are generally shallow. ...read more.


For instance; Lady Bracknell is kind to Jack until she discovers his background. Gwendolen and Cecily are overly kind to one another until they find something upon which to disagree. Lady Bracknell is kind to Cecily when she discovers she has money. These examples show the complexities of each character and the many sides they show once they discover one's status or wealth. The mood of 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' is largely satirical. This is because Wilde is seeking to mock the triviality of the upper class society of London. He often portrays lines that characters deliver as quite normal, for example when Gwendolen tells Ernest that she loves him because of his name. This, however, is quite ridiculous- making Gwendolen appear so. However 'Pack of Lies,' is about a family struggling with deception, lies and choosing between loyalty to their country or to their friends the Krogers, who are in fact Russian spies. The mood is very realistic and dramatic and compared to 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' is a lot darker. 1,102 words ?? ?? ?? ?? Comparison Essay Between 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde and 'Pack of Lies' written by Hugh Whitmore ...read more.

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