The farce is enhanced by comments made by the onlookers who insult Malvolio, "Pistol him, pistol him!" Sir Andrew makes this comment, as he himself desires Olivia's hand in marriage. Malvolio lets his imagination go wild creating further humor when he imagines that his "kinsman Toby" will approach and curtsy in front of him. Malvolio finds the letter and notices that it is Olivia's handwriting. Shakespeare creates comedy with his play on words, Malvolio comments on how it is almost certainly Olivia's writing "these be her very C's, her U's, and her T's and thus makes she her great Ps" The use of the sexual innuendo referring to the female genitalia and urination is very clear when spoken aloud which is very amusing.
Jack’s persona ‘Earnest’ has been described by Miss Prism as “irretrievably weak and vacillating” (701.35). Not only that, but Jack uses his persona of Earnest to make it seem like Jack adheres to notions of duty, honor and respectability all the while getting into mischief in London as his fake brother Ernest. Jack has shown that he will even lie to his loved ones his persona in order to get away with misbehaving and be seen as upright and moral. Later into the play Jack and his double life collide when the woman he loves starts to love his alter ego Earnest, although Ernest was an escape Jack used for his personal life but when his personal life and his real life collide he has to embrace his deception to get the life that he truly
However, the audience knows that Ganymede is Rosalind. Phebe is admiring who she thinks is a male, which creates dramatic irony. She acts irrationally through trying to prove that she is in love, and through disregarding Silvius, who is also a part of the conversation. This conversation, caused by dramatic irony, is humorous for the reader. Similarly, in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Cecily and Gwendolen argue about their engagement with Ernest.
Throughout the late nineteenth century, Oscar Wilde wrote plays such as Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest- his most famous play. Earnest is a comedic work that focuses on a pair of wealthy men. They have been leading double lives so that they can go off for periods of time and enjoy living without responsibility while still maintaining their aristocratic reputation. Because of Wilde’s invlovement in the aesthetic movement, it is not uncommon (or unfair) to believe that his work, Earnest included, is nothing more than fluff. That being said, it is also fair to argue that this particular play does have meaning in it.
Through this statement and others in The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde creates a mockery and joke of the most sacred tradition in society; marriage. Wilde's intent in this play is to satirize and make fun of romantic situations that are far fetched but also contain some reality in the conversations of his characters. Marriage is discussed frequently by all the characters and the conversations are typically normal debates on what marriage is about, but when the characters lives are put in a situation concerning marriage the situation becomes far from ordinary. Through this statement and the play Wilde is showing how people say one thing but usually act differently when thrown into a stressful but pleasant situation. Through these contradictions Wilde has a way of toying with our ideals and emotions by showing that living life in an ordinary way is boring.
Wilde expresses the upper class’ desire to escape the social conventions. In the case of the Importance of Being Earnest’s characters, the same desire leads to a refusal to conform by their creation of another parallel life. Both Jack and Algernon use a n imaginary identity to escape their responsibilities. Jack has “always pretended to have a younger brother of the name Earnest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes” (Wilde 18). Jack uses his double identity to escape from his “position of guardian, [where] one has to adopt a very high moral tone of all subjects” (Wilde 18).
Sommer Wood Mocking Marriage “The Importance of Being Earnest” By Oscar Wilde, is a satirical play that has captured the attention of audiences for over a hundred years. Much of this plays popularity has stemmed from Wilde’s ability to direct viewers attention to the flaws of Victorian society, while maintaining a lighthearted and comical tone throughout. Although the play maintains a humorous nature, Wilde manages to touch on many issues surrounding the moral and social values held by many people in the Victorian era. In this time, expectations surrounding romance and marriage were fairly restricting, making them both controversial and inticing topics for Wilde to critique. Here we will analyze the mentality and actions of leading characters;
Oscar Wilde is the author of the comedic play, The Importance of Being Earnest, which is a drama about two people who hold double lives trying to be the same person. While Wilde intended for his play to have people filling the theatre with laughter he conveys a deeper meaning. By looking closely at the characters in the play readers can see everyone is very selfish or egocentric. All the events that occur between the characters happen because they are only thinking about themselves. The lives of all the characters mingle together all due to this one character named Ernest who is first created by the character, Jack, for personal benefit.
Maxims and Masks: The Epigram in "The Importance of Being Earnest" Oscar Wilde frames "The Importance of Being Earnest" around the paradoxical epigram, a skewering metaphor for the play's central theme of division of truth and identity that hints at a homosexual subtext. Other targets of Wilde's absurd yet grounded wit are the social conventions of his stuffy Victorian society, which are exposed as a "shallow mask of manners" (1655). Aided by clever wordplay, frantic misunderstanding, and dissonance of knowledge between the characters and the audience, devices that are now staples of contemporary theater and situation comedy, "Earnest" suggests that, especially in "civilized" society, we all lead double lives that force upon us a variety of postures, an idea with which the closeted (until his public charge for sodomy) homosexual Wilde was understandably obsessed. The play's initial thrust is in its exploration of bisexual identities. Algernon's and Jack's "Bunburys" initially function as separate geographic personas for the city and country, simple escapes from nagging social obligations.
Wilde explores the issues of social class and turns it into a comedic play. He humorously criticizes Victorian manners and attacking the society of the luxurious life. The audience becomes self-aware as the characters reflect on themselves. Plays such as this become successful because of the backgrounds the writers come from and the experiences they have had. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde satirizes the Victorian society and the ironic differences between the lower and upper class.