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The Importance of Being Earnest

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Andrew Kreager

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of The Importance of Being Earnest

Andrew Kreager, Dara Adeosun, Sarah Koester, Catherine Egley, Tiberious McGhee
Plot (cont)
Author's Life
Author's Style
Literary Criticism
Personal Response
Oscar Wilde
October 1854 – November 1900
Irish Author
Known for involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism and wit
Early life.
Arrested for "gross indecency with other men"
Wrote many other plays before his death.
Oscar Wilde, our author , was highly infatuated with morbid Imagery; however, he didn't include any of it in this novel. instead he chose a more "Ironic" approach.
“I never change, except in my affections.”

Honesty- “Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?”

Status - “Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.”
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
earnest: showing sincere and intense conviction; pledge, assurance

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple"

The story starts at Algernon Moncrieff's house where Algernon is waiting for Lady Bracknell
Jack Worthing walks in and tells Algernon that he is going to propose to Gwendolen under the name Ernest
Lady Bracknell shows up with Gwendolen and Jack proposes
Lady Bracknell questions Jack on his heritage and where he is from
Jack does not know his parents or where he is from
Act 1
Act 2
Takes place at Jack's house in the country
Cecily Cardew is introduced
Cecily is being taught German by Miss Prism
Algernon comes in, posing as Ernest Worthing.
Cecily is excited to finally meet him as thy had been sending letters to each other
Jack arrives and tells Algernon to leave but he tells Jack what has happened.
Gwendolen comes to visit Jack and meets Cecily and they find out the truth behind Ernest Worthing.
Plot (cont)
Act 3
Cecily and Gwendolen know the truth about Jack and Algernon
still love them
Lady Bracknell shows up to take Gwendolen home
Tells Jack that he can't marry her
Tells Cecily that she can marry Algernon
Jack finds out that his real mom is Lady Bracknell's sister
Lady Bracknell allows them to marry
Jack finds out his name is actually Ernest
Father was a doctor
Awarded Royal School Scholarship to attend Trinity College in Dublin
Received the Berkeley Gold Medal as Trinity's best student in Greek
Continued to study at Oxford
Married with two children
Author of:
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Lady Windermere's Fan
A Woman of No Importance
An Ideal Husband
During this scene, Gwendolen and Cecily meet and both believe they are engaged to Ernest.
Lady Bracknell
Ernest in the city, Jack in the country
29 years old
Lies about having a brother named Ernest to go to the city
Didn't know his parents, found in a black purse-like bag.
Ernest in the country, Algernon in the city
Unromantic-thinks marriage is unromantic
Continuously eating
Has fake friend Bunburry
Lady Bracknell
Mother of Gwendolen
Disapproves of Jack and Gwendolen
Cares about social rank
Mackie, W. Craven. "Bunbury Pure and Simple." Modern Drama 41.2 (Summer 1998): 327-330. Rpt. in Drama Criticism. Ed. Scott T. Darga. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Engaged to Algernon...Ernest? for 3 months
Ward of Jack
Made up proposal to Ernest and even wrote letters.
Engaged to Jack...Ernest?
Sensible and intellectual
Dreamt about marrying an Ernest
Fixed on name Ernest
From the city
Cat: Irrational, crazy, devoted love
Sarah: Funny, witty, seemingly absurd at times.
Andrew: Funny, weird, hard to put down
Dara: relatable, hilarious, clever
Stone, Geoffrey. "Serious Bunburyism: The Logic of The Importance of Being Earnest." Essays in Criticism 26.1 (Jan. 1976): 28-41. Rpt. in Drama Criticism. Ed. Scott T. Darga. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
"But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if my name wasn't Earnest?" (42)
"I hope you have not been leading a double life." (60)
Nassaar, Christopher. "Wilde's The importance of Being Earnest." The Explicator 60.2 (2002): 78+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 11 Dec. 2013
"Ernest we may never be married. From the expressions on mamma's face i fear we never shall." -Gwendolen
The distinguish of being Earnest and being Ernest!
It takes place in the July of the 1890s (Late Victorian Era), in the city of London, and the country, in Hertfordshire
Act 1: takes place in Algernon's London flat on Half Moon Street. The scenes unfold in two “adjoining morning rooms"
Act 2: Hertfordshire - in Jack’s Manor house, more specifically in the rose garden
Act 3: takes place in Jack's Manor House, in the drawing room
Literary Criticism
Raby, Peter. ""The Persons of the Play": Some Preflections on Wilde's Choice of names in The Importance of Being Earnest." Nineteenth Century Theatre 23. 1-2 (Summer-Winter 1995): 67-75 Rpt. in Drama Criticism. Ed. Scott T. Darga. Vol. 17 Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
Baselga, Mariano. "Oscar Wilde and the Semantic Mechanisms of Humour: The Satire of Social Habits." Rediscovering Oscar Wilde.
Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1994. 13-20. Rpt. in Short story Criticism. Ed Joseph Palmisano. Vol. 77. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 9 Dec. 2013
Full transcript