Importance being earnest term paper

Which of the characters in the play embodies this aesthetic principle, and how?

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From your consideration of these characters' utterances and actions develop an appropriate essay topic. William Keach contends that Lady Bracknell's "cross-examination of Jack lays the groundwork for much of the rest of the plot" , and that the underlying tension of the play depends upon "the contrast of city and country so important to the double lives being led" Explain these two points, then develop one of them into a suitable essay topic.

Otto Reinert claims that "Wilde's basic formula for satire is [his characters'] assumption of a code of behavior that represents the reality that Victorian convention pretends to ignore" Reinert argues that in this play Wilde is principally concerned with the difference between conventional and actual manners and morality.

Extract of sample "Oscar Wildes The Importance of Being Earnest"

Discuss these points, then refine this "formula for satire" into an essay topic. Richard Foster believes that the terms "farce" and "comedy of manners" are unsuitable for this Wilde play because it is far more subtle, complicated, and artistic than such labels imply.


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Apply the terms "farce," "comedy of manners," and "lampoon" to The Importance of Being Earnest , then develop an essay topic that utilizes these terms. Pointing out that inverted relationships are the norm in this play, Robert J. Jordan , rejects the proposition that The Importance of Being Earnest is a satire or a social criticism; rather, "at the most important level it seems to be a fantasy in which unattainable human ideals are allowed to realize themselves.

Apply the term "fantasy" to Wilde's play, demonstrating how it achieves some of Foster's ideal elements listed above, then develop a suitable essay topic.


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Wilde suggests that his Victorian contemporaries should treat trivial matters with greater respect and pay less attention to what society then regarded as serious. Discuss how Wilde expresses this philosophy and comment on the effectiveness with which he has communicated his 'message' with reference to ONE of the following in the play: death, politics, money, property, food, or marriage.

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Using three examples drawn from the play, show how Algernon uses Wilde's aesthetic principles to transform his life into a work of art. How does Wilde portray food as both a weapon and a means of demonstrating one's power? Discuss three examples from the play to demonstrate how Wilde uses food. Describe how this play mayor may not fit the criteria associated with the genre of the lampoon. Define the term "lampoon" and apply this definition to the play: what is Wilde lampooning? What is his intention in lampooning it? What are his techniques, and do these produce appropriate attitudes in the audience?

Define the term "fantasy," then demonstrate how Wilde treats ONE of the following fantastically as opposed to realistically : Victorian society's class structure, food and the Victorian conventions surrounding it, the resolution of the plot. Using appropriate quotations and paraphrases from at least one major scene in the play, show how Wilde treats humorously serious issues and conflicts that existed within Victorian society. You might wish to demonstrate how the play deals with one of the following matters: marriage and courtship, sexual double standards, the class structure, money and property, and attitudes towards illness and death.

Explain how this title sheds additional light on the key issues of self-awareness, self-knowledge, and being "earnest" versus being "constant. Beckson , Karl. Jack too believes that the word does not make him eligible to be chosen as his name when he reveals to his love Gwendolen,. It is the smugness and sheer arrogance in the form of moralism in the Victorian society that induces Jack and Algernon to invent their imaginative identities of Ernest Worthing in order to escape the rebukes of propriety and decency.

Wilde is particularly sensitive about the character portrayals when it comes to describing the typical English society of the late 19th century. Gwendolyn and Cecily are the young ladies who love to express their romantic relationships based on a whimsical fact that they are engaged to men named Ernest. The consequence becomes hilarious when they both come to the eventual realization that neither is really named Ernest. The characters of Gwendolen and Cecily are significant examples of how frivolous and stupid women were thought to be as well as how humorous their shallow thoughts were Swenty Lady Bracknell is another example as described by Jack in front of her nephew Algernon,.

Importance Of Being Earnest Essays (Examples)

In any case, she is a monster, without being a myth, which is rather unfair. Algernon further reveals to Jack the shallowness of relationships, which also ironically represents the essence of the entire Victorian society. The amount of wit and sarcasm practiced by Wilde has hardly any match in any other playwright of his time. Most of the interactions between the characters exercise the mocking mannerisms of the high-class English society in the Victorian era.

This is personified more specifically by the inventive identity of Ernest Worthing.

Importance Of Being Earnest Essays and Research Papers

The humor is sarcastically aimed at mocking the Victorian notions of respectability and duty. What is more important to Gwendolen is the ideal name than the actual qualities of the man in her life. Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you. We live, as I hope you know, in an age of ideals.

The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love someone of the name of Ernest.

There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you. The witty dialogues and characterizations of Oscar Wilde genuinely evokes the essential elements of the Victorian melodrama. Therefore, in order to conduct a deeper evaluation of the Victorian mindset, a critical analysis of the play makes considerable sense.

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On Oscar Wilde´s "The Importance of Being Earnest"

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