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The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Introduction

The Importance of Being Earnest. Katrina Stalker By Oscar Wilde "Although primarily a comedy, 'The Importance of Being Earnest' also makes a number of serious points about Victorian society. Do agree with this comment? I agree with the comment that The Importance of Being Earnest is definitely a comedy; There are many amusing quotes throughout the play but also the plot of the play is comical. The plot is a coincidental farcical which builds up to a preposterous climax. It uses irony to poke fun at everyday customs in Victorian England. The language used is also light hearted which adds to the novel's wittiness, for example "Bunburying." This word is used to describe Jack's 'double personality,' as he is in fact Jack in the country and Ernest in the town. This idea is perplexing which adds to the play's drollness. "I don't play accurately [the piano]-anyone can play accurately- but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte." Many examples through out the play show Wild's humour. Another example of the humour in The Importance of Being Earnest is when Jack tells Lady Bracknell about his orphaned childhood. To which she replies, "To lose one parent, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." ...read more.

Middle

"You can hardly imagine that I...would dream of allowing our only daughter...to marry into a cloakroom, and form an alliance with a parcel?" Jack was found in a handbag at a train station so he does not know who his real parents are. Due to arranged marriages and the marriage for material things like money I doubt that many Victorian people married for true love. Something which links in to love and marriage is the Victorian society is their attitude to things. Oscar Wilde heavily lampoons their trivialities of such insignificant things. For example Cecily and Gwendolen's need to love someone called Ernest. Also Gwendolen says how her brother practices proposing. A proposal should be a spontaneous act of love, not something which should one should need to rehearse. Gwendolen then says how beautiful Jack's eyes are. At first this sounds romantic till she says, "I hope you will always look at me just like that, especially when there are other people present." This shows how Wilde found the Victorians very inconsequential and they had a need to look good in front of other people. Another point which is satirised by Wilde is the emptiness of the upper classes lives. Algernon: "What shall we do?" Jack: "Nothing." Algernon: "It is awfully hard work to do nothing." English manners/Customs. ...read more.

Conclusion

"It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what once should read and what one shouldn't." While in the play Algernon and Jack are simply talking about a cigarette case, this is actually a serious point under the humour. When Miss Prism is talking to Cecily in Act two about her novel we see the reason why Oscar Wilde felt that Victorian views to literature were very illiterate. Cecily: "I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much." Miss Prism: "The good ended happily and the bad ended unhappily. That is what Fiction means." Wilde makes fun of peoples ignorance to literature. Religion. Oscar Wilde also satirises religion. "My sermon...can be adapted to almost any occasion, joyful or...distressing." This shows how he thought religion and religious leaders worked. Wilde probably wasn't religious as he would have been snubbed because of his homosexuality. Victorian Endings. Wilde even lampoons Victorian endings of fiction, as they nearly always end in happy marriages, coincidences especially involving relatives, or the changing of money/status. For example Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Conclusion. As Wilde was clearly outside Victorian Conventional society, it gave him a clear view of its hypocrisies and corruption, but I think he might have been slightly biased as no doubt he was bitter from the ignorance of people in general. 2540 words ...read more.

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