This study guide for The Importance of Being Earnest contains background information for the play, Brigitte Robinson. Cecily Cardew. When Cecily and Gwendolen meet for the first time, they drink tea and eat cake. When Cecily and. Keywords: Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, post-colonialism, . because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and . The two young ladies of the play, Gwendolen and Cecily, represent the city and the to Smith or Jones or Robinson'” (Holland 9), Wilde is supposed to have said. The Importance Of Being Earnest is one of the most sublime performance as the charming but impulsive Cecily, but although she a worthy adversary in Amy Matysio's irritatingly skittish Gwendolen. And that leaves us with Karen Robinson's Lady Bracknell, one of the great roles in dramatic literature.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote. A delicious box of bon mots! And then there's Margaret Rutherford and Miles Malleson wittily playing characters that fitted them to a "T.
Dorothy Tutin was a perfect wise-for-her-young-years ingenue. But the men, in my view, were merely serviceable, with Michael Denison, especially, somewhat of an annoyance. The Technicolor mounting, deliberately stagey, was eye candy of the best sort, like an extravagantly decorated old-fashioned box containing the sort of confections one would savor to the very last morsel.
Best version of the play maf 3 November The most recent version of The Importance of Being Ernest changed the script! Whoever thought that they could write better than Wilde was sorely mistaken. This version, however, is superb! Not only is the full text in tact, but Sir Michael Redgrave, known for his serious Shakespeare stage performances, shows how farce is best done when done "seriously".
- The Importance Of Being Earnest. A cringe-inducing production that is trivial and insulting!
I love this version, and am ecstatic that it is now available on DVD. Something tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say. My first impressions of people are never wrong. How nice of you to like me so much after we have known each other such a comparatively short time. Then that is all quite settled, is it not? They both sit down together.
Perhaps this might be a favourable opportunity for my mentioning who I am. My father is Lord Bracknell. You have never heard of papa, I suppose? Outside the family circle, papa, I am glad to say, is entirely unknown. I think that is quite as it should be. The home seems to me to be the proper sphere for the man.
And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties he becomes painfully effeminate, does he not? It makes men so very attractive. Cecily, mamma, whose views on education are remarkably strict, has brought me up to be extremely short-sighted; it is part of her system; so do you mind my looking at you through my glasses? I am very fond of being looked at. Your mother, no doubt, or some female relative of advanced years, resides here also?
I have no mother, nor, in fact, any relations. My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous task of looking after me. Yes, I am Mr. It is strange he never mentioned to me that he had a ward. How secretive of him! He grows more interesting hourly. I am not sure, however, that the news inspires me with feelings of unmixed delight. But I am bound to state that now that I know that you are Mr.
In fact, if I may speak candidly - Cecily. I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid. Well, to speak with perfect candour, Cecily, I wish that you were fully forty-two, and more than usually plain for your age. Ernest has a strong upright nature.
He is the very soul of truth and honour. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception. But even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charms of others. Modern, no less than Ancient History, supplies us with many most painful examples of what I refer to. If it were not so, indeed, History would be quite unreadable.
I beg your pardon, Gwendolen, did you say Ernest? Oh, but it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is my guardian. It is his brother—his elder brother.
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time. And now that I think of it I have never heard any man mention his brother. The subject seems distasteful to most men. Cecily, you have lifted a load from my mind. I was growing almost anxious.
It would have been terrible if any cloud had come across a friendship like ours, would it not? Of course you are quite, quite sure that it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian? Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me.
The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday at the latest. Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago. If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you, but I am afraid I have the prior claim.
It would distress me more than I can tell you, dear Gwendolen, if it caused you any mental or physical anguish, but I feel bound to point out that since Ernest proposed to you he clearly has changed his mind. Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? It becomes a pleasure. Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.
He carries a salver, table cloth, and plate stand.
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
Cecily is about to retort. The presence of the servants exercises a restraining influence, under which both girls chafe. Shall I lay tea here as usual, Miss? Cecily and Gwendolen glare at each other. Are there many interesting walks in the vicinity, Miss Cardew? From the top of one of the hills quite close one can see five counties. So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax. I had no idea there were any flowers in the country. Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London.
Personally I cannot understand how anybody manages to exist in the country, if anybody who is anybody does. The country always bores me to death.
This is what the newspapers call agricultural depression, is it not? I believe the aristocracy are suffering very much from it just at present. It is almost an epidemic amongst them, I have been told. May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax? But I require tea! Sugar is not fashionable any more. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays. Gwendolen drinks the tea and makes a grimace.
Puts down cup at once, reaches out her hand to the bread and butter, looks at it, and finds it is cake. You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake.
I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far. From the moment I saw you I distrusted you. Hence, his invention of Ernest gives him new possibilities. In The Importance of being Earnest, the characters are more occupied with the name Ernest than the fact of actually being earnest.
Marrying a man called Ernest can be a goal in life; Gwendolen exclaims: There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. At the end of the play Jack has to reconcile his two names and identities and then he finally understands who he really is. In fact, it is an aristocratic name. While the latter two are evil and the two former are good, Algy has no moral convictions other than to live beautifully.
To be able to escape dull social obligations: In that way Algy can indulge himself while suggesting seriousness and duty. Consequently, in spite of his high position in the aristocracy, Algy employs Bunbury as an alibi and Ernest as a double character in order to escape society and improve his prospects. The two young ladies of the play, Gwendolen and Cecily, represent the city and the country and both of them have secret lives.
The names of the two young ladies are differentiated in a way that: What is more, she has romantic feelings for Chasuble, the vicar. Her dark secret is that she confused a baby and a manuscript twenty-eight years ago and placed the baby by mistake in her handbag, which she deposited at Victoria Station.
In contrast, Canon Chasuble D. Even Jack and Algy request christenings, and Chasuble can thereby be seen as highly connected to the notion of giving a name. To give a name is to give a definition.
Dualism in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest | بطه وبث - barcelonatraveller.info
There is thus a theme of christenings in the play and when Jack and Algy ask to be christened it is as if they want to go back to childhood and change their identity. Jack is not allowed to get married when he is Jack Worthing. However, his new identity in the end as Ernest Moncrieff gives him better prospects; a name is therefore of great importance. Raby argues that Wilde used names in his plays as an act of revenge. In he was in a dispute with his publishers, Lane and Matthews, so he used their names as the manservant and butler in The Importance of Being Earnest.
He relented in the case of Matthews, though, and changed it to Merriman Raby In the play, even the seemingly unimpeachable Lane turns out to have led a double life when he lets slip that he has been married: It is, in 9 short, not only the upper-class that is forced to lead a double life; the entire society seems to be constrained to the same device.
Different names give different possibilities; names can be restrictive but also beneficial, depending on the situation. Since names are connected to identity, a new name can lead to an identity with new possibilities and better prospects.
In addition, there are other ways to escape restrictions: As shown in this chapter, the theme of dualism and complementary character is evident in the play. There are two male principles, Jack and Algy. They argue most of the time, very often about food, and accuse each other of trivial things just like siblings would do and in the end they in fact turn out to be brothers, i. I knew I had a brother! Furthermore, there are two young ladies, Gwendolen and Cecily, who are even more complementary characters since they represent two sides of England.
These two brothers and two sisters make two couples. Jack escaped to the city and pretended to be Ernest and found his bride and Algy escaped to the country, pretended, just like his brother, to be Ernest and found his bride. Chasuble and Prism also ends up being a couple, reconciling church and education and Lane and Merriman, the perfect butlers add perfectly to the symmetry of the doublings. She tells everyone what to do and stands, as suggested in the stage directions of the first production, in the middle of the stage at the end of the play with the couples grouped symmetrically around her Cave The evidence so far suggests that Wilde was, just as the title of the play implies, highly aware of how important a name could be.
In Victorian society a name could be an advantage point or a doom. Victorian morality was based on, and presumably even inseparable from, colonial and imperialistic morality, i. The assumption was that the ruling class are ruling just because they are superior and implicitly good and the others are ruled over because they are inferior and accordingly bad.
From our point of view it was a very oppressive morality, which contained a moral control of human behaviour. Hence, to escape the repressive morality, all the characters are compelled to lead a double life or invent a double character. The duplicity of the characters, their fluid identities, becomes a satire over Victorian behaviour as well as a more truthful description of what a human being is. The duality is enhanced by the complementary characters and the doublings but duplicity is also manifested in other aspects of the work, foremost in the language and in the lying.
Language and Lying Wilde used double identity as well as a dualistic theme in the play, revealed in the language and in the strategies of lying, to exploit the hypocrisy of the society. Employing a double identity might be seen as lying, and in this chapter I will investigate how the dualistic theme is revealed through the language, the dialogue and the farcical tone, but first and foremost, in the lying.
Wilde, the wordsmith, had a way with words and used both wit and wordplay; The Importance of Being Earnest is described by W. For example, the name E a rnest and its obvious pun gives an absurd double meaning to both the name and the word.
Algy uses the word figuratively but Lady Bracknell interprets it literally. Wilde was also fond of using the rhetorical device of inversions for comic effect, i. There is also a frequent use of epigrams, paradoxical expressions, which are the typical emblem of the modern dandy. Epigrams can be seen as dualistic since they contain both truths and lies.
The conflicts are enhanced by the dualistic structure, the doubling of scenes and the repeating of dialogue, even talking in unison.
The play opens with a verbal conflict between Algy and Lane. It is a conflict of class between master and servant; the upper and lower orders; of dominators and dominated. I ask merely for information. The play then moves to conflicts within one social class. In the relationship between Jack and Algy, Algy is the clear dominator. He makes most of the jokes and forces Jack to tell the truth about his double life Stone The conflict is indeed very often about food, a general feature of Victorian farce.