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The Importance of Being Earnest

analytical Essay
1239 words
1239 words
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It has been said that ‘Comedy, beginning in turmoil but ending in harmony, celebrates life.’ and this is the general idea with ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ Wilde proves that this comedy of manners does conform to this model. As Lady Bracknell tries to prolong the resolution and tries to prevent the marriage between Jack and Gwendolyn, she can be seen as a ‘gorgon’ because she refuses to let Gwendolyn marry Jack. Despite this, She may be seen as a heroine because she is a strong, commanding woman who isn’t passive like traditional Victorian women as she makes decisions which indicates that she has power within the play. Furthermore, Wilde has constructed her in such a way that she dominates the company wherever she is present and judges people according to their wealth even though she is from a non-aristocratic background. Therefore, Lady Bracknell may be viewed as a character that stays ‘bad’. Despite the obstacles surrounding Lady Bracknell, there are some aspects throughout the play which do conform to this model. For instance, Jack faces problems during the play which are then resolved through his actions and are consequently followed by happiness in the resolution when he finds out ‘the vital Importance of Being Earnest’ . Similarly, the same can be said for Algernon who lies to please the women that he desires to achieve happiness in Act 3. Therefore, depending on each character and their actions beforehand, they either face happiness or distress which indicates that comedy does have some elements of movement from distress to happiness and from ‘bad’ to ‘good’. In ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ Jack is presented as a character that has lied to get what he wants and because of this he has been given faults. Here Joc... ... middle of paper ... ...d’ or bad’. In essence, this comedy of manners does have traces of movement from distress to happiness as all the characters within the play were either involved in ‘good’ or ‘bad’ affairs. But despite this, in the resolution Jack learnt from his mistakes which resulted in happiness for him and Gwendolyn as she got married to a person named Earnest. Similarly, Cecily also got married which resulted in celebration, but as Algernon didn’t tell her the truth about his name he hadn’t reformed in the process which indicates that he did stay ‘bad’. Likewise, Lady Bracknell also stayed distressed when she was not part of any comic resolution. As this is the case, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ does conform to this model, but this movement from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ is dependent on the different characters that Wilde has constructed and the situations that they went through.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how wilde proves that comedy of manners does conform to this model. lady bracknell is a strong, commanding woman who isn't passive like traditional victorian women.
  • Analyzes how jack is presented as a character that has lied to get what he wants and has been given faults.
  • Analyzes how algernon is portrayed as a rake who lives an irresponsible and immoral life filled with decadence.
  • Analyzes how miss prism defines comedy as "the good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. this is what fiction means."
  • Analyzes how the comedy of manners has traces of movement from distress to happiness as all the characters within the play were either involved in ‘good’ or ‘bad’ affairs.
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