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The Importance of Being Earnest
Transcript of The Importance of Being Earnest
A Colorful Cast of Characters
Jack Worthing: Jack is the protagonist and the play's most sympathetic character. he is a major landowner. He would like to marry Lady Gwendolen but her mother will not approve. When he was little he was found in a handbag at Victorian Station so he really doesn't know what his real name is. He lives in the country but has a made up wicked brother named "Ernest".
Algernon Moncrieff: He is a good friend of Jack. He is a charming and decorative bachelor. He has a brilliant and wiffy personality. He views his own life as art's highest form.
Lady Augusta Bracknell: She is Lady Gwendolen's mother and also the Aunt to Algernon. She is very overpowering and forbids Gwendolen to marry Jack.
Gwendolen Fairfax: She is the daughter of Lady Bracknell. Gwendolen is in love with Jack mostly because she thinks his name is Ernest. She appears self-centered and flighty.
Cecily Cardew: Cecily is jack's niece. She falls in love with Algernon because she thinks he is Jack's brother, Ernest.
Miss Prism: She is Cecily's tutor and once wrote a novel. She has romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.
Rev. Canon Chasuble: He si the Rector of the church in the country. He has a crush on Miss Prism. jack and Algernon both want to be baptized by him and renamed Ernest.
Lane: He is Algernon's servant in London.
Merriman: He is Jack's butler at the Manor House. He appears only in Acts II and III.
The plot for this play involves two young man who fall in love with women while pretending to be other people. The storyline keeps the audience guessing as to whether or not the young men will be able marry these women.
These two men have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Jack Worthing has invented a brother, Ernest, whom he uses as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind to visit the ravishing Gwendolyn. Algy Montcrieff decided to take the name ‘Ernest’ when visiting Worthing’s young and beautiful ward, Cecily at the country manor. Things start to go wrong when they end up together in the country and their deceptions are discovered – threatening to spoil their romantic pursuits.
Each of the girls has decided they can love only a man named Ernest which causes much conflict. Lady Bracknell, mother of one of the girls, also brings about conflict when she has a habit of getting in the way at the most inconvenient times.
Setting and Audience
The play takes place in London in the 1890's. The scenes change between a city setting to a countryside setting.
The plot is revealed to an audience. They are given all the clues to understand the mix up in the story line long before the characters figure it out.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
It was a period of Decadence in France and England. Humorous, ironic and satiric described the overall tone with characters that are highly self-indulgent.
"When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people." -Oscar Wilde
"Oh! It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read." - Oscar Wilde
"I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything of nothing." - Oscar Wilde
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." - Oscar Wilde
"The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else, if she is plain." - Oscar Wilde
"It is awfully hard work doing nothing, However, I don't mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind." - Oscar Wilde
"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." - Oscar Wilde
I believe my friend, Annie Franks being a girl would like to read this story. I think girls would really enjoy the victorian age with their fancy dresses and decorative settings that go along with this play and this era.
The love story, which combines many friendships and potential marriages would keep her interest as she would get to know the characters and their feelings towards each other.