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The Importance Of Being Earnest

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Rain Kaulitz

on 30 September 2015

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Transcript of The Importance Of Being Earnest

Algernon: You will
marry me
, won't you?
Cecily: You silly boy! Of course. Why, we have been engaged for the
last three months
. (P. 30)

already engaged for three months
engagement been broken off

Algernon: confused

Not earnest to herself

Lai Yin Hang, Ip Pak Hin, Lo Wing Man, Chan Ho Shan, Ng Tsz Ki
John Worthing, J.P.
Algernon Moncrieff
Lady Bracknell
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Cecily Cardew
Miss Prism
Mr. Thomas Cardew
Found by
"in a somewhat large, black leather hand-bag with handles to it" in the cloak-room at Victoria Station
In Thomas' will
ward of
Look down on
Proposes to
Proposes to
Question about where the baby is
Found him the baby
Sincere or serious
An important factor throughout the play
Algy: Bunbury is

perfectly invaluable
. (P. 7)
Algy: throughout the play,
Bunbury and Earnest
Algy: so proud of not being earnest, very much of a liar
Jack: mostly because of getting rid of

Algy: Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury... A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a

very tedious
time of it. (P. 7)
Jack: If Gwendolen accepts me, I am going to kill my brother, indeed I think I'll
kill him in any case
. (P. 7)
Jack: [Slowing and

.] Gwendolen - Cecily - it is
very painful
for me to be forced to speak the truth. (P. 38)
Jack: [After some
.] I know nothing, Lady Bracknell. (P. 12)
Jack: tells Bracknell about his birth
Jack: once wants to be frank with
Gwendolen about his real name
Jack: ... When one is placed in the position of
, one has to adopt a
very high moral tone

on all subjects. It's one's
to do so... (P. 6)
1. Piano scene
Algernon: I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression. (P. 2)

Implies he does not take a serious attitude towards life

Rules are not important

Sensations and pleasure are the main concerns
2. Eats all cucumber sandwiches
Lane knows Algy’s lying and helps conceal

Lies about no cucumbers in the market

(more examples for always being hungry --> another point)

unlimited desires
4. When Jack talks to Gwendolen about his address in town…
+ pretends to be Earnest
[Agernon, who has been carefully listening, smiles to himself, and writes the address on his shirt-cuff.  Then picks up the Railway Guide.] (P. 17)

Curious about Cecily
Introduction to Algernon
A member of the wealthy class
Cousin of Gwendolen
Fiance of Cecily (Later)
Creates a virtual character called Bunbury
Always hungry
6. Lies to Cecily about his real identity
Algernon and Earnest
3. When Jack abuses Lady Bracknell…
Algernon: I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all (P. 15)

Reason: Pretends to be a gentleman with politeness,
wants to escape
He listens sneakily and smiles to himself
Not being earnest (honest) to Cecily
Grotesque and irreligious

In order to please Cecily, he unscrupulously wants another christening

Do not care about rules

Reason: to get close to Cecily
Pretends his name as Ernest
Introduction of Jack
1. Lying about his identity
2. Deciding whether to be sincere to Gwedolen or not
3. Conversation with Lady Bracknell
4. Candid about all the lies
“Found” by Mr. Thomas Cardew in the cloak room at Victoria Station

Living in country side and guardian of nephew Cecily

Named Ernest in town

Having a romantic relationship between Gwendolen, however, disapproved by her mother Lady Bracknell.

Initially the friend of Algernon, eventually turned out to be his brother
1.1 Cigarette case scene (P. 4-5)

Jack tried to hide his identity in country by saying that he knows no one whose name is Cecily…
Algernon: Yes; but this isn't your cigarette case. This cigarette case is a
present from

some one of the name of

, and

you said you didn’t know any one of that name
Jack: Well. If you want to know,
Cecily happens to be my aunt
Algernon: Your aunt!
Jack: Yes. Charming
old lady

she is, too. Lives at Tunbridge Wells. Just give it back to me, Algy.
Algernon: But

why does she call herself little Cecily if she is your aunt

Repeatedly telling lies and being questioned (Humor)
Finally confess his real name as Jack
1.2 People in the country side perceived Jack as a serious person contrast with his character in town

In country: serious (P. 19)
Cecily: Dear Uncle Jack is so

very serious
! Sometimes he is so serious that I think he cannot be quite well
Miss Prism: Cecily! I am surprised at you. Mr. Worthing has many troubles in his life.
Idle merriment and triviality
would be out of place in his conversation. You must remember his

constant anxiety
about that unfortunate young man his brother.

In town: rich in emotions and not really serious
The way he talked to Gwendolen and Algernon

Reason: the name ‘Jack’ brings great pressure to himself
After knowing Gwendolen loves him purely based on his name “Ernest”: Choose to get christened and retain “Ernest”
to get a “new” name - “Ernest”
not an earnest act (rationalize his deception)
Before proposing to Gwedolen: Choose to be sincere to Gwedolen
Jack: I'm not a Bunburyist at all. If
Gwedolen accepts me, I am going to kill my brother
, indeed I think Ill kill him in any case. Cecily is a little too much interested in him. It is rather a bore. So I am going to get rid of Ernest. And I strongly

advise you to do the same

with Mr.… with your invalid friend who has the absurd name. (P. 7)
3.2 Hesitation while answering he knew nothing
Lady Bracknell: A very good age to be married at. I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either
everything or nothing

Which do you know
Jack: [
After some hesitation
.] I

know nothing
. Lady Bracknell. (P. 12)
Seek for an answer that satisfy Bracknell
Not sincere to himself
Hesitation as a sign of struggle
3.1 Concealing his view towards education
Miss Prism: Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that
you should improve yourself in every way
. He
laid particular stress on your German
… (P. 19)
Did not controvert Bracknell’s idea towards education and ignorance although he valued the importance of education
Jack: [Slowly and

.] Gwendolen – Cecily – it is

very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth
. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a

painful position
, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind. However, I will tell your quite frankly that I have
no brother Ernest.
I have no brother at all... (P. 38)

Hesitation as a sign of struggle
Feeling painful and guilty for telling lies

Cecily: [Surprised.] No brother at all?
Jack: [

Gwendolen: [Severely.] Had you never a brother of any kind?
Jack: [

. Not even of an kind (P. 38)

Lady Bracknell: My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality
Jack: On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I’ve now

realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being
Earnest (Wordplay)
(P. 51)

Feeling of relief and pleasure after telling the truth
Bring out the theme of the play
Trying hard to be a sincere person, however, sometimes overwhelmed by his internal drives and emotions. (pleasures, excitement, desires, etc.)

Overall, a sentimental person with rather sensitive and clear mind for moral alertness
Cecily and Gwendolen
Introduction of Cecily
Mr. Thomas Cardew's grand-daughter
Fiancee of Algernon (Later)
Lives in the country
Personal Qualities: Innocent
Cecily: That certainly seems a
satisfactory explanation
, does it not?
Gwendolen: Yes, dear, if you can believe him.
Cecily: I don't. But that does not affect the
wonderful beauty
of his answer. (P. 41)

Doesn't care if Algernon lied

Does not value earnestness

Algernon: If
my name was Algy,
couldn't you love me?
Cecily: I might respect you, Ernest, I might admire your character,
but i fear that
I should not be able to give you my undivided
. (P. 31)

Cecily: I like his
so much (P. 32)

Cecily: His
alone inspires one with absolute credulity. (P. 41)

Her love is shallow and imaginative

Not earnest to Algernon

Lady Bracknell’s daughter
Algernon’s cousin
In love with Jack
Personal qualities: idealistic
Introduction of Gwendolen
Gwendolen: It is a
name. It has a
of its own. It
produces vibrations

Gwendolem: Jack?…No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It
does not thrill
. It produces absolutely
no vibrations
…I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a
domesticity for John! And
i pity any woman who is married to a man called John
. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single women’s solitude.
The only really safe name is Ernest.
” (P. 10-11)

Not earnest to Jack

Earnest to 'Ernest'

Gwendolen: Mr. Worthing, what explanation can you offer to me for pretending to have a brother?
Was it in order that you might have an opportunity of coming up to town to see me as often as possible?
(P. 41)

She believes in ideal

Not earnest to herself

Earnest VS Desire
Social Value
(esp. in today's society)
Main difference between human and animals: Humanity
Build mutual trust
Why to be earnest?
Why being not earnest?
For pleasure
For releasing pressure
For desire
For keeping socially unacceptable impulses under control (e.g. Marriage)
Cecily: Miss Prism has just been complaining of a slight headache. (P. 20)

Cecily lies to Chasuble that Prism has a headache

Not being earnest

No, thank you
. Sugar is not fashionable any more. [Cecily looks angrily at her, takes up the tongs and

puts four lumps of sugar into the cup
Cake or bread and butter
Bread and butter,
please. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nawadays.
Cecily: [
Cuts a very large slice of cake
, and puts in on the tray.] Hand that to Miss Fairfax. (P. 36)
Gwendolen: From the moment I saw you I distrusted you. I felt that you were



. (P. 36)
5. Already christened and wants another christening
Jack: ……You have been christened already.
Algernon: Yes, but I have not been christened for years.
Jack: Yes, but you have been christened.  That is the important thing. (P. 40)
A charming yet self-absorbed, unrestricted and irreverent person
Not only acknowledges his wrongdoing as "Bunburying" but also revels in it
Recognizes no duty other than the responsibility to live beautifully
Shmoop. (2014). Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest. Retrieved October 20, 2014, from

Novelguide. The Importance of Being Earnest: Theme Analysis. Retrieved October 20, 2014, from

Gradesaver. The Importance of Being Earnest Summary and Analysis. Retreived October 20, 2014, from http://www.gradesaver.com/the-importance-of-being-earnest/study-guide/section1/

Gwendolen: Someithing tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say.
Cecily: How nice of you to like me so much after we have known each other such a comparatively short time.
Not earnest
Different reaction when they are angry
Both of them are earnest
Full transcript