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The Importance of Being Earnest

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Justin Reeder Ms. Kavanagh Humor in Literature April 17, 2008 The Importance of Being Earnest In Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest there are many different forms of comedy used throughout the play. Wilde uses examples of Low comedy, Farce, Comedy of Manners, and Comedy of Ideas. Many of Oscar Wilde's Humoristic comments and examples are still relevant and it's been over a hundred years. Throughout the book Wilde shows many examples of Low Comedy. One example of Low Comedy being showed is when Gwendolen gets a tattoo of Jacks name, but she really thinks his name is Earnest. This is in Low Comedy because it would be considered dirty and makes you laugh the most. I would consider that a mishap and that is in the Low Comedy section. Another example of Low Comedy is when Algy says that all women turn out like their mothers. ...read more.


The third example of Farce in the play is how Jack is separated from everyone when he is a child. Its considered Farce because being separated at birth from siblings is a device of Farce. Comedy of Manners is the most used level of comedy in the play. An example of Comedy of Manners is that Jack and Algy are actually brothers. This is an irony because they always pretend to be brothers and irony is part of Comedy of Manners. The next example of Comedy of Manners is Jacks name being Earnest in the end. This is also irony therefore it is in the Comedy of Manners. Another example of Comedy of Manners is when the girls aren't talking to the guys after they find out that they've been lying. This is Comedy of Manners because it shows that the girls are stubborn and unite after disliking each other. ...read more.


Wilde's message in this book is showing how there really is no importance to being Earnest in the world. There are so many lies throughout the play and people obviously don't care about morals enough to stop. The importance of being earnest in today's society is that it will keep you out of trouble most of the time. I don't believe there is a huge emphasis on being honest in today's society because the world is so cut throat that people will do anything to gain the upper hand. I think that Wilde doesn't really make a big deal out of marriage in his play but in the real world today it is a big deal. So I don't think that his commentary on marriage is very applicable to today's society. Most of Wilde's humoristic comments are relevant over a hundred years later today because much of what he says still makes people laugh and see the comedy in what he writes. ...read more.

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