Essay on Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

Essay on Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

Length: 3082 words (8.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest


Oscar Wilde is a legendary author who has composed many great plays including The Green Carnation and A Woman of No Importance, however, The Importance of Being Earnest was undoubtedly the most famous of his works. First published in 1930, yet acknowledged since the late 1800s, The Importance of Being Earnest helped to revive the theater tradition of Congreve and Sheridan. The story is a comedic view of romance and the emphasis we place on seemingly trivial articles, such as a name. In this story, contrary to the typical saying, a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet.

Our first scene begins with a confrontation, and the whole story is a man versus confusing women (better known as society) conflict from there on out. Jack Worthing drops by the home of Algernon Moncreiff on a friendly call after being in the country all weekend. Algy is expecting company, his Aunt Augusta Bracknell and cousin Gwendolyn Fairfax. After announcing this to Jack, Jack states his intentions of proposal to Gwendolyn. The confrontation comes about when Algy produces a cigarette case belonging to his comrade, and is inscribed ‘From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack.’ This invokes confusion because Algy has always known Jack to be a Mr. Ernest Worthing. At this, Jack explains that he is leading a double life as Jack Worthing in the country and Ernest Worthing in the city. In the country, Ernest Worthing is his fictional younger brother who is always getting into trouble, thus requiring him to make frequent trips to the city. This way, Ernest Worthing is also seen in town to further promote his existence and an excuse for departure.

Jack proposes to Gwendolyn, who also knows him as Ernest, yet Lady Bracknell vocalizes a slight disconsent. For one thing, “Ernest” is an orphan who was found in a handbag at the cloakroom of a train station, while Gwendolyn’s parents have strong family values. However, Jack and Gwendolyn decide to go on with the wedding. Jack must depart for the country, so he politely excuses his egression. Once in the country, Jack is surprised by the arrival of Algernon, acting as Ernest Worthing. Sensing trouble, Jack does his best to induce the exit of his “younger brother” but it is to no avail. Cecily, always wanting to marry a man by the name of Ernest, falls in love with...


... middle of paper ...


...en was going to be christened and change his name out of love. He would actually wait seventeen years for Cecily, and that was clearly driven by love. This book made me realize that some people really don’t know what’s good for them. Gwendolyn wasn’t going to marry Jack, even though she loved him and he would be great for her. I’ve never really noticed that much in our society today, but now that I look back at things, people do idiotic things on a daily basis. Take Las Vegas, for instance. People will go to Las Vegas and gamble away their life’s savings, when they didn’t have a reason to gamble to begin with.

I wouldn’t read another book by Oscar Wilde. The Importance of Being Earnest was far too boring for me to voluntarily put myself through that kind of agony again. It was comical at some parts; it had an all-around great plot. It just lacked that little extra something to make you intrigued with the author. Perhaps it was the lack of creativity when it came to writing style, or that it was written in play format. Whatever the reason, the thought of another Wilde piece induces nausea. But, hey, if you like drab sentences piled on top of one another, this book is for you!

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Satire in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest Essay

- Satire in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy of manners, whereby Oscar Wilde uses satire to ridicule marriage, love and the mentality of the Victorian aristocratic society. It can also be referred to as a satiric comedy. What is a satire and what is Oscar Wilde trying to emphasize by employing it in his play. A satiric comedy ridicules political policies or attacks deviations from social order by making ridiculous, the violators of its standards of morals or manners....   [tags: The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde]

Powerful Essays
1998 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

- In The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde revealed that animalistic traits can tint a character’s intellectual attributes. All of the characters possess an overwhelming desire which seems to diminish their morality. Wilde uses Jack Worthing’s animalistic behaviors to reveal that his animal self is damaging his intellectual self. The play is presented to show that the characters retain an exaggerated pleasure with food, which shows their pleasures in inanimate objects. Every character in the play is drawn into lustful relationships, thus mutilating their psychological self....   [tags: the importance of being earnest, oscar wilde]

Powerful Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Timeless Message of Equality in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

- Timeless Message of Equality in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest   Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest satirizes Victorian society.  The witty epigrams of his characters provide light comedy masking the underlying theme of criticism of the Victorian way of life.  Wilde's effective use of humour diffuses the tense theme of his work.  In a Victorian society that emphasized progress, it was precarious for artists like Oscar Wilde to express an imperfect interpretation of life in nineteenth-century England.  Wilde's attack on the ethics of his era is an attempt to fulfill the author's prophecy that art has the power to dictate life, not merely imitate it (614-615).  At...   [tags: Importance Being Earnest Oscar Wilde Essays]

Powerful Essays
1958 words (5.6 pages)

Satire in “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde Essay

- A satire is a piece of work that is designed to ridicule or tease a group or organization, generally for the purpose of being humorous. “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a play by Oscar Wilde, is a satire, ridiculing class, gender, and marriage. This essay will describe some points from each of these sections, as well as give a brief synopsis of the play these examples come from. The Importance of being Earnest includes three acts, with seven major characters. In act one, we start with a conversation between Jack (a notable bachelor) and Algernon (an in debt bachelor, with a laid back temperament), in which we learn both have made up 'friends,' who are often sick, as to escape from whereve...   [tags: Satire, Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde, ]

Powerful Essays
700 words (2 pages)

The Dichotomy of Honesty in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

- Oscar Wilde's, "The Importance of Being Earnest" revolves around the dichotomy of the true definition of honesty versus the victorian definition of honesty. It is apparent that Wilde's opinion is that true honesty is expressed through being genuine to one's self as opposed to putting on a front as is important in victorian ideals. In this work, Wilde uses humor to off-set the seriousness of the theme of the story. One who has studied this work can also clearly see that Wilde is using sarcasm to say things that would not have been accepted by society if they were said bluntly....   [tags: The Importance of Being Earnest]

Powerful Essays
537 words (1.5 pages)

Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest Essay

- Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" In the closing lines of the first act of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," Algernon remarks, "I love scrapes. They are the only things that are never serious," to which Jack responds, "Oh, that's nonsense Algy. You never talk about anything but nonsense." Algernon caps off this exchange with a proclamation of the purpose of the whole work: "Nobody ever does" (1642). Wilde never allows anything in the work to conclude on a serious note....   [tags: Oscar Wilde Importance Earnest Essays]

Powerful Essays
3835 words (11 pages)

Essay on Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

- Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest Setting: Begins in a flat in London then proceeds to a manor house in the countryside in the late 1800's. Plot: Two men, John Jack Earnest Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, use the deception [a Bunbury] that both their names were Ernest, in order to secure marriage to the women they love, Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Then there is the ultimate unraveling of their lies, which still ends in their impending nuptials.Cast of Key CharactersJohn Jack Ernest Worthing"Bon-vivant" [Jack to Algernon 2] Algernon is asking Jack what brought him to town....   [tags: Importance Being Earnest Wilde Essays]

Powerful Essays
4849 words (13.9 pages)

Essay on Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

- Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde is a legendary author who has composed many great plays including The Green Carnation and A Woman of No Importance, however, The Importance of Being Earnest was undoubtedly the most famous of his works. First published in 1930, yet acknowledged since the late 1800s, The Importance of Being Earnest helped to revive the theater tradition of Congreve and Sheridan. The story is a comedic view of romance and the emphasis we place on seemingly trivial articles, such as a name....   [tags: Oscar Wilde Earnest Essays]

Powerful Essays
3082 words (8.8 pages)

Essay on Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

- In “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, humor functions through the use of Characterization and the social satire of the Victorian period. Characterization is the method an author uses to reveal or describe characters and their various personalities. Satire is a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of the satirical attack. These two comical devices are part of the nature of humor, which is the concept that a person’s flaws are funny....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
591 words (1.7 pages)

Review of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest Essay

- Review of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest The play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde definitely proved itself to be “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” I saw the play at State University’s State Theatre. The play was long, in a three-act structure, yet it moved along at a good pace. They did a nice job of preparing the audience, there was an interesting lobby display with sketches of each of the costumes with fabric samples and they played music to fit the time period before the show began....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
618 words (1.8 pages)