THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.doc

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					Karen King

Designer/Director Collaboration Lab

Rigdon/Wallace

July 21, 2008




THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
                           Script Analysis Outline

I. Where does the play take place?
        A. What does the author say in the stage directions?
  ACT      Char                             Text                            Pg
    I     AUTH Algernon Moncrieff's Flat in Half-Moon Street, W              1
    I     AUTH LONDON: ST. JAMES'S THEATRE                                   1

    I     AUTH Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street.         2
               The room is
               luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a
               piano is heard in
               the adjoining room.
               …
    I     AUTH tea on the table                                             2
    I     AUTH Lady Bracknell sweeps out                                   18
    I     AUTH [Algernon, from the other room, strikes up the              18
               Wedding March. …., and goes to the door.]
    I     AUTH [Algernon retires to the fireplace.]                        21
    I     AUTH Lane presents several letters on a salver to Algernon       22
   II     AUTH The Garden at the Manor House, Woolton. A flight of grey23   stone steps leads up to the
               house. The garden, an old-fashioned one, full of roses.
               Basket chairs, and a table covered with books, are set under a large yew-tree. [Miss
               Prism discovered seated at the table. Cecily is at the back
               watering flowers.]

   II     AUTH [Calling]                                                    23
   II     AUTH …to come down here…[Cecily begins to write in her            24
               diary.]
   II     AUTH Cecily from the house                                        31
                                                                                King 2


II      AUTH    Runs back into the house                                   32
II      AUTH    Goes back into the house                                   33
II      AUTH    Goes into the house.                                       34
II      AUTH    Enter Cecily at the back of the garden. She picks up the   35
                can and begins to water the flowers.
II      AUTH    Kneels at table, opens box, and produces letters tied up   37
                with blue ribbon.
 II     AUTH    …rushes down the garden.                                   39
 II     AUTH    …salver, table cloth, and plate stand.                     42
 II     AUTH    …clear table and lay cloth…                                42
 II     AUTH    …retire into the house…                                    46
III     AUTH    Drawing-Room at the Manor House,                           49
                Woolton…window, looking out into the garden
III     AUTH    …crossing to the sofa and sitting down…                    53
III     AUTH    Sitting down….Cecily goes across.                          54
III     AUTH    Cecily goes over.                                          56
III     AUTH    She looks anxiously round as if desirous to escape.        58


      B. What do the characters say specifically about where
      they are?
ACT     Char                              Text                             Pg
 I       Jack   Tunbridge Wells                                            6
 I       Alg    …B. 4, The Albany                                          6
 I       Alg    …at Tunbridge Wells                                        7
 I       Jack   …that the place is not in Shropshire                       7
         Alg    I have Bunburyed all over Shropshire on two separate       7
                occasions.
 I       Jack   …who lives in the Albany                                    8
 I       Alg    …be able to go down into the country ….. dine with         8
                you at Willis's
 I       Lady   Won't you come and sit here Gwendolen?                     10
          B
 I      Gwen    I'm quite comfortable where I am.                          10
 I      AUTH    go into the music-room                                     12
 I       Lady   ..will wait for me below in the carriage.                  14
          B
 I       Lady   [Gwendolen goes to the door]                               14
          B
 I       Lady   [Sitting down.] You can take a seat, Mr. Worthing          14
          B
 I       Lady   in Grosvenor Square                                        15
          B
 I       Jack   Belgrave Square                                            16
 I       Lady   In Belgrave Square                                         16
                                                                          King 3

ACT   Char                               Text                        Pg
         B
 I     Jack    149 (Belgrave Square)                                 16
 I     Jack    The Manor House, Woolton, Hertfordshire.              21
 I     Alg     A glass of sherry                                     22
II     Miss    This parish                                           30
      Prism
II    Chasu    Outlying cottages on your own estate.                 31
        ble
II    Cecily   Who do you think is in the dining room?               31
II     Jack    My brother is in the dining-room?                     32
II    Merri    I have put Mr. Ernest’s things in the room next to    33
       man     yours…
II     Jack    …called back to town                                  33
II    Algern   …go up…                                               34
        on
II     Jack  …presence in my garden…have a pleasant journey          34
             back to town…
II    Algern …Bankruptcy Court….                                     38
        on
II    Merri Mr. Worthing went over in the direction of the Rectory   39
       man
II    Cecily I live here.                                            40
II    Merri …I lay tea here…                                         42
       man
II    Gwen …interesting walks in the vicinity                        43
      dolen
II    Cecily …you live in town?                                      43
II    Gwen Quite a well-kept garden this is…                         43
      dolen
II    Gwen I had no idea there were any flowers in the county.       43
      dolen
 II   Cecily …flowers are as common here…                            43
 II   AUTH …chair…                                                   49
III    Alg   …somewhere else…                                        52
III    Lady Hertfordshire                                            53
        B
III    Jack 149 Belgrave Square, S.W.; Gervase Park, Dorking,        53
             Surrey; and the Sporran, Fifeshire, N.B.
III    Jack …during my temporary absence in London…                  55
III    Lady Lord Bracknell’s house, Number 104, Upper Grosvenor      58
        B    Street
III    Miss …cloak-room of one of the larger railway stations in     59
      Prism London…
III    Jack I must reture to my room for a moment.                   59
                                                                                 King 4




      C. What do the characters say that implies a place?
ACT     Char                              Text                              Pg
 I       Jack    “…on earth…”                                               5
 I       Jack    …is Ernest in town and Jack in the country                 7
 I       Alg     …Ernest in town and Jack in the country.                   7

 I      Lane     no cucumbers in the market this morning, sir. I went       10
                 down twice.

 I      Gwen     Mamma has a way of coming back suddenly into a             12
                 room that I have often had to speak to her about.
 I      Lady     In land…                                                   15
         B
 I      Lady     a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal   17
         B       a social indiscretion--has probably, … it could hardly
                 be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised
                 position in good society
II      Chasu    In Paris…at harvest celebrations, christenings,            30
         ble     confirmations, on days
                 of humiliation and festal days
II      Cecily   …leaves the pleasures of London to sit by a bed of pain.   32
II      Gwen     The homes seems to me to be the proper sphere for the      40
        dolen    man.
II      Gwen     …train.                                                    42
        dolen
II      Cecily …a great. From the top of one of te hills quite close one    43
               can see five countries.
II      Algern …dinner parties                                              47
          on
II      Algern …in Paris…                                                   48
          on
III      Lady Three addresses always inspire confidence…                    53
          B
III      Lady …platform…                                                    57
          B


      D. How do the characters describe the place they are in?
ACT     Char                              Text                              Pg
 I       Alg     a bachelor's establishment                                 2
 I       Alg     the happy English home                                     9
 I       Alg     [The sound of an electric bell is heard.] …..Wagnerian     9
                 manner
                                                                                     King 5

     ACT       Char                             Text                            Pg
      I        Alg      [Goes over to tea-table.]                               10
      I        Lady    A country house! How many bedrooms? You have a           15
                B      town house, I hope? A girl with a simple, unspoiled
                       nature, like Gwendolen, could hardly be expected to
                       reside in the country.
      I        Jack    I have a country house with some land, of course,        15
                       attached to it,
                       about fifteen hundred acres, I believe
      I        Lady    The unfashionable side. I thought there was something.   16
                B      However, that could easily be altered.
       I       Jack    Do you mean the fashion, or the side?                    16
      II       Chas    House of sorrow                                          31


           E. What do the characters say about items or clothing that
           might indicate a specific place?
     ACT       Char                             Text                            Pg
       I       Jack    In the cloak-room at Victoria Station                    17
       I       Jack    The Brighton Line                                        17
      II      Mima     Three portmanteaus, a dessing-case, two hat-boxes, and   33
                 n     a large luncheon-basket.
      II      Cecily   …under this dear old tree here.                          37


           F. What is the significance to the place or places in which
           each scene takes place?
Act        Significance
I          Set in Algernon’s London bachelor place in order to convey a sense of the
           “naughty” and “untamed” in a young man’s fancy.
II         Takes place at in order to show the gentry lifestyle, wealth, and to bring
III        Same estate, but has moved inside to the drawing room with a window looking
           out to the garden.


           G. Summary, in what country, city, town building room
           does the play take place and why did the playwright chose
           this location for this story.
Act         Summary
I          Takes place in Algernon’s bachelor flat located in the west end of London.
           Wilde chose this location as it was one he was familiar with and where a smart
           young upper crust would reside.
II         Takes place at The Manor House, in Woolton in Southern England outside in the
           garden. Wilde chose this location because it adds dignity and wealth to the
                                                                                 King 6


      setting and also shows why Jack escapes from the burden of such a
      responsibility as Ernest in town
III   Same estate, but has moved inside to the drawing room with a window looking
      out to the garden. The drawing room adds to the overall elegance of Jack’s
      wealth and affords a “proper” place in which to tie up all the loose ends.


       H. How does each character feel about the places they are
       in?
Character      What they say
Algernon       Algernon seems very content with his London flat and enjoys the
               nearby amenities of his area. He seems extremely pleased with
               himself that he has found Jack out and discovered Jack’s country
               home.
Jack           Jack enjoys his country home, but craves the excitement of the city.
               He seems to feel as if he must behave austere in the country and can
               let loose in the city.
Lady Bracknell A little uncomfortable at Algy’s because it is a bachelor’s pad and she
               can only imagine the “possibilities” of goings on, which place her on
               edge. She’s not very pleased with having to have gone to Jack’s
               estate, but is satisfied with it.
Gwendolen      Algernon’s flat provides Gwendolen excitement and just the hint of
               “things which are desired”. She’s very happy to go to the country
               where Jack is.
Cecily         Enjoys her estate, but wishes for more excitement. She finds it much
               more appealing after Algernon’s arrival.
Miss Prism     Comfortable where she is and feels obligation and duty to her
               surroundings.
Dr. Chasuable Pleased to visit and commune with the gentry.
Lane           It’s his place of employment and he knows all the ins and outs.
Merriman       Ditto


       I. Why do you think the playwright chose this/these
       place/s?
Oscar Wilde set his play in the fashionable West End because his audience would know
of the places the characters mention. The country estate shows the wealth and expected
societal norms of Wilde’s time. Both settings add to the plot and story line by
establishing character.
                                                                               King 7


II. When Does the Play Take Place?
      A. What does the author say in the stage directions?

Act Text                                                  Page
    The Present: 1895- When First Presented               1
1   Afternoon                                             2
2   . . . July                                            23



      B. What do the characters say specifically about the time
      date, month, day, year, season ?
Act   Char                              Text                              Pg
1   Alg          …On Thursday Night…                                     2
1   Alg          When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one        3
                 is in the country one amuses other people.
1    Alg         …I dined there on Monday, and once a week…              8
1    Lady B      I'm sorry if we are a little late, Algernon, . . .      10
1    Lady B      …before the season is quite over.                       17
1    Alg         … say a severe chill. (winter)                          19
2      Cecily    … no time, this afternoon.                              27
2       Jack     … by the four-five train.                               34
2       Alge     … christened at a quarter to six…                       48
 3   Jack/Alge   … we are going to be christened this afternoon.         51
 3      Alge     I killed Bunbury this afternoon.                        52
 3    Lady B     Gwendolen! the time approaches for our departure.       54
 3      Jack     … This afternoon during my temporary absence in         55
                 London…
 3     Miss P    … waiting for you there for an hour and three-quarters 58


      C. What do they say that implies time?
Act Char                            Text                            Pg
1   Alg   … slight refreshment at five o'clock                     5
1   Lady …. quite a treat for you to-night, Algernon….             11
    B
1   Jack  … before the end of the week I shall have got rid of     19
          him.
1   Alg   … trot round to the Empire at ten?                       20
 2   Jack Would half-past five do?                                 31
 2   Alg … it is the first time I have come here.                  32
 2 Cecily He arrived about half an hour ago                        32
 2   Alg … more than a week this time.                             33
                                                                           King 8


2   Cecily    … exactly three months on Thursday.                     36
2   Cecily    … we have been engaged for the last three months.       36
2   Cecily    On the 14th of February last.                           37
2   Cecily    On the 22nd of last March.                              37
2   Cecily    … newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next          41
              week.… engaged to be married
3   MP       … On the morning of the day you mention, a day that      58
             is forever…
3    Jack     …must retire to my room for a moment.                   59
3    Jack     … I’ve now realized for the first time in my life…      62


     D. How do the characters describe the time period in which
     they are in?
1   LB     … modern education is radically unsound.                   15
1   LB     …nowadays that is no guarantee of respectability…          16
1   LB     … reminds one of the worst excesses of the French          17
           Revolution.
2   Cecily …Agricultural depression . . . aristocracy are suffering   43
           very much from it
           just at present.
2   Gwen Modern, no less than Ancient History, supplies us with       41
           many most painful examples of what I refer to.
3   Auth … dreadful popular air from a British Opera.                 50
3     LB   We live…in an age of surfaces.                             54
3    Jack … Colonel, General 1869, Christian names, Ernest            62
           John.


     E. What do the characters say about items or clothing that might
     indicate a specific period?
1   Alg      … Mr. Worthing left in the smoking-room the last         5
             time he dined here.
1   Jack     …my cigarette case all this time?                        5
1   Jack     … dine with me anywhere to-night.                        8
1   Alg      Modern life … and modern literature …                    8
1   Gwen     …We live, … in an age of ideals. ….                      12
1   Gwen     Few parents nowadays pay any regard … The old-           21
             fashioned respect for the…
2    MP      … why the Primitive Church has not lasted up to the      28
             present day
                                                                                  King 9


      F. Over what timeframe does the action of the play occur?
Act   Char                                 Text                            Pg
1     LB       …to have a relapse on Saturday…                            11
1     LB       …to have a relapse on Saturday…                            11
1     Alg      …must go and dress… it is nearly seven?                    20
1     Alg      …must go and dress… it is nearly seven?                    20
1     Jack     …nearly seven.                                             20
1     Jack     …nearly seven.                                             20
1     Alg      ...back till Monday.                                       22
1     Alg      ...back till Monday.                                       22
1     Alg       To-morrow, Lane,…                                         22
 2    Miss P    ….as he was leaving for town yesterday.                   23
 2    Chaus     And how are we this morning?                              25
 2    Cecily    … he said at dinner on Wednesday night,…                  27
 2    Cecily    … till Monday afternoon.                                  27
 2      Alg     … to go up by the first train on Monday morning.          27
 2     Jack     … I would like to be christened myself, this              30
                afternoon,…
 2    Cecily    It can wait . . . five minutes.                           35
 2     Alg      … to come round next week, at the same hour.              36
 2    Cecily    But I forgave you before the week was out.                37
 2     Alg      I must see him at once….                                  38
 2    Gwen      … to be his wife yesterday afternoon at 5.30.             42
 2    Gwen      …announcement will appear in the Morning Post on          42
                Saturday at the latest.
 2    Cecily    Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago.            42
 2     Alge     … ask me to go without having some dinner.                48
 3     DC       … by the pew-opener that for the last hour and a half     57
                Miss Prism has been waiting for me…
 3     LB        . . . we have already missed five, if not six, trains.   57
 3     LB       … Twenty-eight years ago, Prism,…                         58
 3     LB       A few weeks later, through the elaborate                  58
                investigations…
 3      LB      … was discovered at midnight, standing…                   58
 3     Jack     The Army Lists of the last forty years are here.          61


      G. Summarize, in what time of day, day of the week, date,
      month, year, season, decade, century doe the play take
      place?

      ACT I: 1895, Play starts in the afternoon, at teatime, 5:00 to be exact, Dinner is
      being prepared for later. There is a sense of coolness in the air at the beginning
                                                                                                  King 10

       with the lines, “…a severe chill”, and a season for lovers. (i.e., the interrupted
       proposal by Lady Bracknell.)TIME: 2:00pm DAY: Thursday
       ACT II: Act II opens with morning time, in July. It is a clear day outside,
       summery. We assume this act probably takes place on a Thursday/Friday or
       Friday/Saturday. TIME: 9:00am DAY: Friday
ACT III - The weather has changed metaphorically. The time is the same day in July,
afternoon. TIME 3:00pm DAY: Friday

H. What is the significance to the time period, day, date, month,
   year, season, decade, century?

    It is the end of the social season in late 1890’s England – a time which becomes a
    desperate season for those who have not secured their futures through an
    advantageous marriage.

I. Why do you think the playwright chose this period of time?

    Oscar Wilde, as all good writers do, wrote about what he know his own time and
    social structure.


III. What happened before the play began?
        A. List the lines of dialogue for each character that indicate
        what happened before the play began in that character’s
        point of view?

        B. Write a short statement for each character that indicates
        what happened before the play began from that character’s
        point of view? (NOTE: HANDLED IN THE SUMMARY AT
        THE END OF EACH CHARACTER’S TABLE)
ALGERNON
Character   Line                                                                              Page
                                                                                              (Gutenberg)
Algy        (The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room)                             2
            Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?
Algy        Oh! . . . by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when     3
            Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of
            champagne are entered as having been consumed.

Algy        Bring me that cigarette case Mr. Worthing left in the smoking-room the last       5
            time he dined here.

Algy        I have introduced you to every one as Ernest.                                     6
Algy        I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I   8
            may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose.
                                                                                                      King 11

Algy        I dined there on Monday (Aunt Augusta’s home)                                     8
            Before the play begins Algy has been playing the piano. On Monday Algy
Summary     dined at Aunt Augusta’s home. On Thursday he has had drinks with Jack. He
            only knows Jack by the name of Ernest. Algy also has a made up friend that
            he visits to get out of town.




GWENDOLIN
Character     Line                                                                                Page
                                                                                                  (Gutenburg)
Gwendolyn     Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you.                            12
              The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called
              Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

Summary       Gwendolyn has been previously introduced to Jack.


JACK
Character   Line                                                                                  Page
                                                                                                  (Gutenberg)
Jack        Algy: Where have you been since last Thursday?                                        4

            Jack: In the country.

            Algernon: What on earth do you do there?

            Jack. [Pulling off his gloves] When one is in town one amuses oneself. When
            one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.

Jack        I am in love with Gwendolen.                                                          4
Jack        Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country, and the cigarette case       6
            was given to me in the country.

Jack        Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in             7
            his will guardian to his
            grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew.
Jack        I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who          8
            lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes.
Jack        Miss Fairfax, ever since I met you                                                    12
Jack        I have lost both my parents.                                                          16
Jack        The late Mr. Thomas Cardew…found me… In a hand-bag                                    16
Summary     Jack lost both of his parents. He was found in a bad at a train station by
            Thomas Cardew. Jack is now the guardian to Mr. Cardews granddaughter,
            Cecily. Jack has assumes a false identity of “Ernest” when he is in town. He
            has fallen in love with Gwendolen. Jack dined with Algy last Thursday, and left
            his cigarette case. He has recently come up from the county.



LANE
Character     Line                                                                            Page
                                                                                              (Gutenburg)
Lane          I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.                                        2
                                                                                                     King 12

Stage          Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table                                    2
Directions
Lane           Algernon: And, speaking of the science of Life, have you got the                3
               cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?

               Lane: Yes, sir. [Hands them on a salver.]
Lane           I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir.                        3
Lane           I have only been married once.                                                  3
Summary        Lane drank some of the wine on Thursday evening. He has been ignoring
               Algy while setting up for tea. He has prepared cucumber sandwiches for
               Lady Bracknell’s arrival. Lane was previously married.

LADY BRACKNELL
Character    Line                                                                                  Page
                                                                                                   (Gutenberg)
Lady B       I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury.                                           10
Lady B       I've quite a treat for you to-night, Algernon. I am going to send you                 11
             down with Mary Farquhar.
Lady B       I should be much obliged if you would ask Mr. Bunbury, from me, to be kind            11
             enough not to have a relapse on Saturday, for I rely on you to arrange my music
             for me. It is my last reception,
Summary      Lady Bracknell has come from visiting Lady Harbury. She is having a diner
             party this evening. She is planning a final reception on Saturday.

CECILY
Character      Line                                                                                Page
                                                                                                   (Gutenberg)
Stage          Cecily is at the back watering flowers.                                             22
Directions
Cecily         Miss Prism: We will repeat yesterday's lesson.                                      22

Cecily         I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life.                  23
Cecily         Well, he said at dinner on Wednesday night                                          26
               Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger        34
               brother who was very wicked and bad… but I fell in love with you, Ernest
Summary        Cecily last Jack on Wednesday when they had dinner. She take’s German
               lessons from Miss Prism and keeps a diary. When Cecily heard Jack mention
               Ernest she fell in love with him. As the play open she has been watering
               flowers in the garden,

MISS PRISM
Character    Line                                                                                  Page
                                                                                                   (Gutenberg)
Miss         We will repeat yesterday's lesson.                                                    22
Prism
Miss         Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself        23
Prism        in earlier days.
Miss         The manuscript unfortunately was abandoned. [Cecily starts.] I use the word in        23
Prism        the sense of lost or mislaid
Miss         Dr. Chasuble! This is indeed a pleasure.                                              23
Prism
Summary      Miss Prism has been working with Cecily on her German. She wrote a three-
             volume novel when she was younger, but she lost it. Miss Prism is in love with
                                                                                              King 13

            Dr. Chasuble.

DR. CHASUBLE
Character     Line                                                                          Page
                                                                                            (Gutenberg)
Dr.           Were I fortunate enough to be Miss Prism's                                    23
Chasuble      pupil, I would hang upon her lips.
Dr.           With pleasure, Miss Prism, with pleasure. We might go as far as the schools   24
Chasuble      and back.
Summary       Dr. Chasuble is in love with Miss Prism.



        C. Summarize the story before the action of the play
        begins:

Algy and Jack are friends who do not know of each other’s “made up” lives. Jack and
Gwendolen have met previously and Jack has fallen in love with her. Algy has found
Jack’s cigarette case and knows that his friend is hiding something. Lane and Algy are
preparing for Lady Bracknell’s visit. Lady Bracknell has been visiting a friend who
husband passed away. She hosts many social gatherings and is preparing for her last
gathering on Saturday. At Jack’s country home, Cecily has been taking German lessons
from Miss Prism, a once aspiring novelist. Cecily keeps a diary and has fallen in love
with “Earnest” based on the stories told by Jack. Dr. Chausable apparently has sometime
before fallen for Prism.



IV.     What happens in the play?
        A. What is the most important event in the play?
The revelation of Jack’s strange past.

        B. How is each character related to or participate in this
        event?
Character            Relation to Event
Algernon             Wants to see if Jack can succeed to be a legitimate person
Jack                 Wants to know if he “is or isn’t” legitimate
Lady Bracknell       Opposed to Jack’s happiness because of the legitimacy issues
Gwendolen            Can’t have Jack if her mother doesn’t approve
Cecily               Jack is her guardian because her grandfather adopted Jack
Miss Prism           Left Jack as a baby in the train station
Dr. Chasuable        Becomes caught up in the “supposed” scandal and wary for his
                     position
Lane                 Amused at the tribulations of his betters
Merriman             Shepherds the main players in and out of the situation.
                                                                                King 14


       C. How is the play structurally organized – is it causal,
       abstract, episodic, combination, etc?
The play is climatic structure.

       D. Based on the structure construct visual action chart for
       the play.
   1. Algernon prepares for a visit from Lady Bracknell and his cousin Gwendolen.
   2. Jack arrives unexpectedly.
   3. Algernon confronts Jack with the cigarette case with the inscription to Ernest
       from Cecily.
   4. Jack confesses his real name is Jack and pretends he has a brother named Ernest
       so he can escape his responsibilities of the manor house and his J. P position.
   5. Algernon gleefully admits he too has a secret identity so he can escape social
       obligations with grace.
   6. Algernon tries to discover Jack’s country address so he can meet Cecily.
   7. Jack talks of his love for Gwendolen.
   8. Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen arrive.
   9. Algernon steers Lady Bracknell away so Jack and Gwendolen may be alone.
   10. Jack proposes to Gwendolen, who believes his name is Ernest.
   11. Lady Bracknell interrupts the proposal.
   12. Lady Bracknell quizzes Jack on his wealth and background.
   13. Jack admits he is adopted and was found in a handbag at Victoria station.
   14. Lady Bracknell cannot accept Jack’s non-parentage and exits.
   15. Algernon commiserates with Jack about the situation.
   16. Gwendolen returns to inform Jack she will love him forever.
   17. Algernon pretends to be in the corner giving them privacy.
   18. Jack tells Gwendolen his address in the country.
   19. Algernon overhears the address and makes a note of it.
   20. Gwendolen and Jack exit.
   21. Algernon informs Lane he is going on a trip.

ACT II
  1. Cecily and Miss Prism are in the garden.
  2. Miss Prism comments on having been a writer of a three volume novel.
  3. Cecily hedges on doing her homework.
  4. Dr. Chasuble arrives.
  5. Dr. Chasuble utters comments showing his buried affections for Miss Prism.
  6. Cecily sets up Miss Prism to go walking with Dr. Chasuble and they leave.
  7. Algernon arrives as Jack’s errant brother Ernest.
  8. Cecily and Algernon flirt and go into the house
  9. Prism and Chasuble return
  10. Jack arrives in mourning, telling P and C that Ernest passed away
  11. Jack asks Chasuble if he could perform a Christening.
  12. Cecily enters and tells Jack that his brother is well and is there
  13. Cecily returns with Algernon
                                                                                  King 15

  14. Everyone retires to leave “supposed” brothers alone.
  15. Jack fumes at Algernon’s Bunburying
  16. Algernon tells Jack he has fallen for Cecily
  17. Jack forbids the love and exits to arrange for Algy’s departure.
  18. Cecily returns
  19. Cecily confesses how much she adores the name Ernest.
  20. Algernon proposes to Cecily.
  21. Algernon goes into the house to speak with C about a christening..
  22. Gwendolen arrives.
  23. Cecily and Gwendolen both believe they are in love with the same Ernest.
  24. Cecily and Gwendolen spat.
  25. Cecily and Gwendolen discover there are two different Ernests and become
      friends.
  26. Jack and Algy enter.
  27. Jack and Algy confess their real names.
  28. Gwendolen and Cecily stalk off into the house.
  29. Jack and Algernon discover they both have made arrangements to be christened
      Ernest.
ACT III
  1. Gwendolen and Cecily fret over Algy and Jack’s confessions.
  2. Algy and Jack enter to assuage their fears.
  3. Algy and Jack state they planned on changing their names.
  4. Algy and Jack are forgiven by Gwendolen and Cecily.
  5. Lady Bracknell arrives
  6. Lady Bracknell learns that Algy is engaged to Cecily.
  7. Lady Bracknell performs her inquisition of Cecily.
  8. Lady Bracknell approves of the marriage.
  9. Jack refuses his consent unless he can marry Gwendolen.
  10. LB holds firm and finds out when Cecily will be of age.
  11. Cecily confesses she won’t be of age until age 35 and can’t wait until then.
  12. Dr.C arrives to say he’s ready to perform the christenings.
  13. When he learns he won’t be doing any christenings, he states he’s going to return
      to Prism.
  14. Lady Bracknell reacts and calls for Prism.
  15. Prism enters and Lady Bracknell demands to know what happened to the baby.
  16. Prism regales the story.
  17. Jack runs off to retrieve the handbag.
  18. Prism identifies it as hers.
  19. Jack believes Prism is his mother.
  20. Lady Bracknell tells Jack that he is the son of her sister and Algy’s blood brother.
  21. Lady Bracknell reveals that Jack’s real name is Ernest.
  22. The truth told, everyone can be with their true heart’s desire.
                                                                              King 16


V. The Big Picture
         A. Idea
                1. What is the significance of the title?
                The Importance of Being Earnest is a pun regarding the overall
                sense of the play, in that earnest means honest – and no one is
                very honest, truthful or there circumstances which veil the truth.
                The pun is on the name of Ernest, which is the subterfuge which
                both Jack and Algy play and the name both girls insist the man they
                love have.

                2. What is the significance of the characters names?

Character                                  Name Significance
Algernon                                   Derived from William the Conquer –
                                           French Norman name meaning have a
                                           moustache – Algy very much likes to play
                                           games and wants to be a conquer
Jack / Ernest                              Means independent – Jack is that without
                                           knowing who he is
                                           Ernest – means serious
Lady Bracknell                             Very formal sounding and “hacking” as her
                                           character is like a battle axe.
Gwendolen                                  Means fair or blessed – much like the
                                           character
Cecily                                     Means blind – character is blind to all
                                           faults of those she lvoes
Miss Prism                                 Catches the light, but throws things off
                                           whack and splits up the real thing.
Dr. Chasuble                               Name of the vestments worn by priests –
                                           suitable for his type
Lane                                       Very straight laced, not quite as good as a
                                           street, but a nice simple lane.
Merriman                                   A pun as he is always very stiff and
                                           straight.
                                                                              King 17


       3. Are there any discussions or debates that seem
       separate from the plot but some way relate to the main
       idea of the play?
       Gwendolen and Cecily’s tiff over who is really engaged to
       Ernest adds to the confusion of knowing the truth.

       4. Are there any lengthy monologues that contain
       issues?
       No

       5. Are there any epigrams, allusions, imagery, or
       intentional symbolism?
       There are plenty of puns, but no real intentional symbolism.

       6. If there is a prologue or epilogue what is the central
       idea it contains?
       No

       7. Is there any parallelism?
       The love story of Miss Prism and Dr. Chasuble foils those of
       Jack and Gwendolen and Algy and Cecily who parallel each
       other’s stories.

       8. What are the conflicts?
       Jack cannot marry his true love unless he knows his true
       identity. The ways of society interfere with the path of true
       love and happiness.


       9. What are the options to chose from for a climax?
       The cigarette case; revelation of Jack’s adoption, Prism’s
       revelation about the handbag.

       10. What are the options to chose from for a “main”
       idea” for the play as a whole?
       The truth shall set you free – Honesty is the best policy


B. State the main idea as a super-objective or spine?
Will Jack discover the truth about his past and achieve his heart’s desire?

C. State the main idea as a theme?
Honesty is always the best policy.
                                                                                    King 18


       D. State the main idea as an action summary?
Through falsehood and innuedos, two turn-of-the-twentieth-century gentlemen vie for
their ladies hands.

       E. State the main idea as a single sentence then shorten
       the sentence to a short phrase
It’s important to be honest in order to achieve ones desires. The truth shall set you free.
                                                                              King 19


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
                        Character Analysis Outline


A. Who are the principal characters?
       1. Who is the protagonist?
            Jack Worthing
                   a) Why do you think this character is the protagonist?
                          Jack is the one who is searching for the truth in order to
                          achieve his desires.
                   b) What type of character is this?
                          Representative
       2. Who is the antagonist?
            Lady Bracknell
                   a) Why do you think this character is the antagonist?
                          Lady Bracknell, representing society, is the obstacle to
                          Jack’s desires.
                   b) What type of character is this?
                          Representative
        3. Who are the other principal characters?
            Algnernon, Gwendolen, and Cecily
                   a) Why do you think these characters are principal
                   characters?
                          They move along the plot and are integral to Jack’s finding
                          his desire or blocking his desires.
                   b) What are the functions of each of the principal characters?
                          Algernon, Gwendolen and Cecily are foils and confidants
                   c) What type of characters are these?
                          Representative
B. Who are the secondary characters?
     Miss Prism
     Dr. Chasuble
     Merriman
     Lane
            1. Why do you think they are secondary characters?
                   a) They are not obstacles to the principal’s objectives.
            2. What is the function of each?
                   Miss Prism – to reveal the truth and foil the main love story
                   Dr. Chasuble – to add respectability and foil the main love story
                   Merriman – to introduce characters and exposition
                   Lane – to introduce characters and exposition
            3. What type of characters are these?
                   Prism and Chasuble are stereotypical
                   Merriman and Lane are functional stock characters
                                                                              King 20


             4. Are there any characters not seen on stage?
                    a) Grandfather Cardew, a stereotypical English gentleman of the
                    old school who provided the monetary means of the principal’s
                    desires.
C. Are there any crowds and groups?
      No
D. How are the characters related?

                 Character                                 Relationship
Algernon                                   Jack’s friend and (undiscovered brother)
                                           Lady Bracknell’s nephew
                                           Gwendolin’s first cousin
                                           Lane’s employer
                                           Cecily’s lover
                                           Dr. Chasuble’s potential client
Jack                                       Algernon’s friend and (undiscovered
                                           brother)
                                           Cecily’s Guardian
                                           Gwendolen’s lover
                                           Merriman’s Employer
                                           Prism’s Employer
                                           Chasuble’s parishioner
                                           Lady B’s potential son-in-law
Lady Bracknell                             Algy’s Aunt
                                           Gwendolen’s Mother
                                           Cecily’s future in-law
                                           Prism’s former employer’s sister
                                           Jack’s future mother-in-law
Cecily                                     Jack’s ward
                                           Prism’s pupil
                                           Chasubles parishioner
                                           Gwendolen’s confidant
                                           Lady B’s potential in-law
                                           Algy’s fiancé
Gwendolen                                  Lady’s B’s daughter
                                           Algy’s and first cousin
                                           Jack’s fiancé and (ooh) first cousin
                                           Cecily’s confidant
Prism                                      Jack’s employee and former nanny
                                           Cecily’s Governess
                                           Chasuble’s love interest
                                           Lady B’s sister former employee
                                           Merriman’s hierarchy in the household
Chasuble                                   Jack and Cecily’s Pastor
                                           Algy’s possible Pastor
                                           Prism’s love interest
                                                                                      King 21


Lane                                           Algy’s servant – butler/man, etc
Merriman                                       Jack’s servant, butler/man, etc.

E. What are their roles in life?
Character                                      Role in Life
Algernon                                       Gentleman of leisure – upper class
Jack                                           Gentleman of leisure – upper class – but
                                               also a guardian
Lady Bracknell                                 Defender of societal rules, Gwen’s mother,
                                               and Algy’s Aunt
Cecily                                         Young upper class lady with a promising
                                               future
Gwendolen                                      Young upper class lady with a promising
                                               future
Prism                                          Governess and aspiring writer
Chasuble                                       Rector/Pastor/Spiritual leader
Lane                                           Servant
Merriman                                       Servant


                    Character Analysis
              The Importance of Being Ernest
F. What they think of each other
G. What they think of themselves
Note: These are combined in the charts.
What Jack says about Algy:

Text                                                                 Pg in     Pg in text
                                                                     book      Guttenburg
                                                                     Prestwick
ACT I
Eating as usual…                                                     14           3
Why such reckless extravagance in one so young?                      15           3
How utterly unromantic you are!                                      15           4
…you have been eating them all the time                              15           4
…you have no right whatsoever to read what is written inside.        16           5
It is a very ungentlemanly thing to read a private cigarette case.
…you talk exactly as if you were a dentist                           18           6
You are not going to be invited…                                     18           6
My dear Algy, I don't know whether you will be able to               18           7
understand my real motives. You are hardly serious enough.
I haven't asked you to dine with me anywhere to-night.               19           7
…don't try to be cynical.                                            20           8
                                                                                  King 22


How idiotic you are!                                            28    16
You always want to argue about things.                          29    16
What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a 29     17
woman!
I will take very good care you never do. [To see Cecily]        30    17
I never knew you when you weren't . . .[hungry]                 30    18
What on earth are you so amused at?                             32    20
If you don't take care, your friend Bunbury will get you into a 32    20
serious scrape some day.
Oh, that's nonsense, Algy. You never talk anything but          32    20
nonsense.
SD Jack looks indignantly at him…                               32    20
Summary of Act I- Jack think Algy eats way to much. Jack finds him amusing but
untrustworthy and playboyish.

ACT II
Nothing will induce me to take his hand. I think his coming          42      28
down here disgraceful. He knows perfectly well why.
I won't have him talk to you about Bunbury or                        42      29
about anything else. It is enough to drive one perfectly frantic.
Well, this is the last time I shall ever do it. [Shakes with         42      29
Algernon and glares.]

You young scoundrel, Algy, you must get out of this place as         42      29
soon as possible. I don't allow any Bunburying here.

Your duty as a gentleman calls you back.                             43      30
You are not to talk of Miss Cardew like that. I don't like it. [On   43      30
Algy’s opnion of Cecily]
You are certainly not staying with me for a whole week as a          43      30
guest or anything else. You have got to leave
Well, at any rate, that is better than being always over-dressed     43      31
as you are.
Your vanity is ridiculous, your conduct an outrage, and your         43-44   31
presence in my garden utterly absurd.
Well, you've no right whatsoever to Bunbury here.                    55      43
Serious Bunburyist! Good heavens!                                    55      43
As for your conduct towards Miss Cardew, I must say that your        55      43
taking in a sweet, simple, innocent girl like that is quite
inexcusable.
There is certainly no chance of your marrying Miss Cardew.           55      43
Well, that is no business of yours. [Jack and Gwendolen being        55      43
married]
How can you sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in          55      44
this horrible trouble, I can't make out. You seem to me to be
                                                                                  King 23


perfectly heartless.
I say it's perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under   55  44
the circumstances.
Well, that is no reason why you should eat them all in             56  44
that greedy way.
I said it was perfectly heartless of you, under the circumstances. 56  44
I wish to goodness you would go.                                   56  44
You have been christened already.                                  56  45
Oh, that is nonsense; you are always talking nonsense.             57  45
Algernon! I have already told you to go. I don't want you here. 57     45
Why don't you go!
Summary Act II- Jack finds out how truly conniving and annoyingly persistent Algy
really is.

ACT III
…I do not approve at all of his moral character. I suspect him       65      52
of being untruthful.
…he obtained admission to my house by means of the false             65      52
pretence of being my brother. Under an assumed name he
drank…Continuing his disgraceful deception, he succeeded in
the course of the afternoon in alienating the affections of my
only ward. He subsequently stayed to tea, and devoured every
single muffin. And what makes his conduct all the more
heartless is, that he was perfectly well aware from the first
that I have no brother, that I never had a brother, and that I don't
intend to have a brother, not even of any kind. I distinctly told
him so myself yesterday afternoon.
I will most gladly allow your nephew to form an alliance with        66      53
my ward. [Only to get what he wants, so Algy can’t be that
bad.]

Algy, you young scoundrel, you will have to treat me with more 70            57
respect in the future. You have never behaved to me like a
brother in all your life.

Summary ACT III- Jack accepts Algy as a worthy adversary and wants to challenge
him…as long as he gets what he wants.
Summary of the play- At the beginning of the play Jack finds Algy to be less than
him and below him in many ways. As the play progresses Jack finds that Algy is
really just as smart and conniving as he is and together they can get what they want.
They are truly kindred spirits and brothers always.

What Jack says about Lady Bracknell:
Text                                                               Pg in     Pg in text
                                                                   book      Guttenburg
                                                                   Prestwick
                                                                                 King 24


ACT I
And I would like to be allowed to take advantage of Lady        23         11
Bracknell's temporary absence . . .
I really think that should satisfy you, Lady Bracknell.         28         16
Her mother is perfectly unbearable. Never met such a Gorgon 28             16
. . . I don't really know what a Gorgon is like, but I am quite
sure that Lady Bracknell is one. In any case, she is a monster,
without being a myth, which is rather unfair…
You don't think there is any chance of Gwendolen becoming       29         16
like her mother in about a hundred and fifty years…
Summary Act I- Jack finds LB very overbearing and unreasonable.

ACT II
Jack says nothing about LB in Act II.

ACTIII
[Very irritably.] How extremely kind of you, Lady Bracknell! 63            50
So pleased to have seen you.                                  63           50
It pains me very much to have to speak frankly to you, Lady   65           52
Bracknell,
That is very generous of you, Lady Bracknell.                 65           52
Summary Act III- Still sees her as overbearing but he feels on her level and can
manipulate her some way.
Summary of play- Jack sees her as an overbearing woman who stands in the way of
what he wants.

What Jack says about Gwendolen:
Text                                                             Pg in book Pg in text
                                                                 Prestwick Guttenburg
ACT I
I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town              15         4
expressly to propose to her.
If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen, and she is the only   20         8
girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry…
You're quite perfect, Miss Fairfax.                              21         9
Miss Fairfax, ever since I met you I have admired you more       23         11
than any girl . . . I have ever met since . . . I met you.
You really love me, Gwendolen?                                   23         11
Darling! You don't know how happy you've made me.                23         11
But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if    23         11
my name wasn't Ernest?
… darling…                                                       23         11
You know that I love you, and you led me to believe, Miss        24         12
Fairfax, that you were not absolutely indifferent to me.
My own one, I have never loved any one in the world but you.     24         12
                                                                                King 25


I need hardly say I would do anything in the world to ensure      28  15
Gwendolen's happiness.
Oh, Gwendolen is as right as a trivet.                            28  16
You don't think there is any chance of Gwendolen becoming         29  16
like her mother in about a hundred and fifty years…
My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing one tells 29  17
to a nice, sweet, refined girl.
Cecily and Gwendolen are perfectly certain to be extremely        30  17
great friends. I'll bet you anything you like that half an hour
after they have met, they will be calling each other sister.
My own darling!                                                   31  18
Dear Gwendolen!                                                   31  19
My own one!                                                       31  19
…my own darling                                                   31  19
There's a sensible, intellectual girl! the only girl I ever cared 32  20
for in my life.
Summary Act I- Jack is extremely fond of Gwedolen and puts her above all other
women. She is the ideal girl whom he wishes to marry.

ACT II
Darling!                                                        53          40
I wanted to be engaged to Gwendolen, that is all. I love her.   55          43
Gwendolen would wish it. [Being christened]                     56          45
Summary Act II- Jack is still in love with her and he will go to any length to secure
her mutual feelings.

ACT III
I am engaged to be married to Gwendolen                        61          48
The moment you consent to my marriage with Gwendolen…          66          53
Your decision on the subject of my name is irrevocable, I      70          57
suppose?
Can you forgive me?

Summary Act III- Jack still wants to marry Gwendolen and he fights very hard to
win her favor. In the end he has received her love.
Summary of play- Jack is completely enamored with Gwendolen. He sees her as the
perfect wife for someone like him.

What Jack says about Cecily:
Text                                                          Pg in book Pg in text
                                                              Prestwick Guttenburg
ACT I
I don't know any one of the name of Cecily.                   16           5
Cecily happens to be my aunt.                                 17           5
Charming old lady she is, too. Lives at Tunbridge Wells       17           5
                                                                                King 26


…made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss  18         7
Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from
motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate,
lives at my place in the country under the charge of her
admirable governess, Miss Prism.
Cecily is a little too much interested in him. [Ernest]    20         8
Summary Act I- Cecily is Jack’s ward. Jack doesn’t want anyone in town to know
about Cecily, especially Algernon.

ACT II
You are not to talk of Miss Cardew like that.                      43      30
To dear little Cecily!                                             53      41
…your pretty little head                                           53      41
As for your conduct towards Miss Cardew, I must say that           55      43
your taking in a sweet, simple, innocent girl like that is quite
inexcusable. To say nothing of the fact that she is my ward.

There is certainly no chance of your marrying Miss Cardew. 55          43
Summary Act II- Jack believes his ward to be young, innocent and naïve and cannot
be corrupted by the likes of Algernon.

ACT III
That lady is Miss Cecily Cardew, my ward.                          62      49
Miss Cardew is the grand-daughter of the late Mr. Thomas           62-63   49
Cardew of 149 Belgrave Square, S.W.; Gervase Park,
Dorking, Surrey; and the Sporran, Fifeshire, N.B.

Miss Cardew's family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby,        63      50
and Markby.
I have also in my possession, you will be pleased to hear,         63      50
certificates of Miss Cardew's birth, baptism, whooping cough,
registration, vaccination, confirmation, and the measles; both
the German and the English variety.
I am Miss Cardew's guardian, and she cannot marry without          64      52
my consent until she comes of age. That consent I absolutely
decline to give.
I decline to give my consent. [To marry Algy]                      65      52
…according to the terms of her grandfather's                       65      52
will Miss Cardew does not come legally of age till she is
thirty-five.
…I will most gladly allow your nephew to form an alliance          66      53
with my ward.

Miss Prism, Lady Bracknell, has been for the last three years      67      54
Miss Cardew's esteemed governess and valued companion.
Cecily,--how could you have ever doubted that I had a              70      57
                                                                                 King 27


brother?
Summary Act III- We find out all about Cecily’s situation and the details of her life.
Jack has no problem using her to reach his own ends.
Summary- Jack sees Cecily as a father sees a child, precious, fragile and expendable
to get what he wants. He also believes her to be silly, naïve, and innocent.

What Jack says about Miss Prism:
Text                                                           Pg in book Pg in text
                                                               Prestwick Guttenburg
ACT I
…under the charge of her admirable governess, Miss Prism.            6
Summary Act I- Jack regards Miss Prism as adequate as a governess and doesn’t
give her must thought otherwise.

ACT II
Jack makes no mention of Miss Prism in Act II

ACT III
Miss Prism, Lady Bracknell, has been for the last three years               54
Miss Cardew's esteemed governess and valued companion.
…mother!                                                                    56
Summary Act III- Jack still regards Miss Prism as a valued member of the
household and for a brief moment thinks she could be his mother. When he realizes
she isn’t she is returned to a member of the household.
Summary of the play- Jack simply thinks of Miss Prism as a servant, nothing more,
until he realizes she holds the key to his identity. For a brief moment he believes her
to be his mother but quickly realizes to the contrary and she is returned to status as
servant.

What Jack says about Dr. Chausble:
Text                                                           Pg in book Pg in text
                                                               Prestwick Guttenburg
ACT I
Jack makes no mention of Dr. Chausble in Act I.


ACT II
Dr. Chasuble, I hope you are well?                                          26
I suppose you know how to christen all right? I mean, of                    27
course, you are continually christening, aren't you?

dear Doctor                                                                 27
Of course I don't know if the thing would bother you in any                 27
way, or if you think I am a little too old now.
                                                                                    King 28


I made arrangements this morning with Dr. Chasuble to be                   44
christened myself at 5.30
Summary Act II- Jack sees DC as a means to an end, nothing more. He is polite out
of society fashion but really DC is just a way for he to be Ernest and win
Gwendolen.

ACT III
Jack has nothing to say about DC in Act III
Summary of the play- Jack sees DC as a means to an end, nothing more. He is polite
out of society fashion but really DC is just a way for he to be Ernest and win
Gwendolen.

What Jack says about himself:
Text                                                                Pg in book Pg in text
                                                                    Prestwick Guttenburg
ACT I
I am in love with Gwendolen.                                                   4
I don't know any one of the name of Cecily.                                    5
I wish to goodness you had let me know. I have been writing                    5
frantic letters to Scotland Yard about it. I was very nearly
offering a large reward.
I don't propose to discuss modern culture.                                     5
It isn't Ernest; it's Jack. [His name]                                         6
my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country                              6
Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little                      6
boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss
Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from
motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate
…in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a                  7
younger brother of the name of Ernest…
I'm not a Bunburyist at all.                                                   7
[Gwendolen]she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I                   8
would marry, I certainly won't want to know Bunbury.
I don't much care about the name of Ernest . . . I don't think                 11
the name suits me at all.
I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.                                   11
I must admit I smoke.                                                          13
Twenty-nine. [age]                                                             13
I know nothing,                                                                13
Between seven and eight thousand a year. [money]                               14
In investments…[how he makes money]                                            14
I have a country house with some land, of course, attached to                  14
it, about fifteen hundred acres, I believe; but I don't depend on
that for my real income.
I own a house in Belgrave Square                                               14
                                                                            King 29


I am afraid I really have none. [politics] I am a Liberal                  14
Unionist.
I have lost both my parents.                                               15
I don't actually know who I am by birth. I was . . . well, I was           15
found.
The late Mr. Thomas Cardew… found me, and gave me the                      15
name of Worthing, because he happened to have a first-class
ticket for Worthing in his pocket at the time.
In a hand-bag. [where he was found]                                        15
In the cloak-room at Victoria Station. [where he was found]                15
I would do anything in the world to ensure Gwendolen's                     15
happiness.
I can produce the hand-bag at any moment.                                  16
I am sick to death of cleverness. I wish to goodness we had a              16
few fools left.
I loathe listening.                                                        18
I hate talking.                                                            18
I can't bear looking at things.                                            18
The Manor House, Woolton, Hertfordshire. [where the                        19
country house is]
Summary Act I- We find out in act I all the details about Jack including his
questionable parentage. Jack thinks highly of himself and is in love with
Gwendolen. We find out where he lives in town and in the country, the fact that he
has a ward and he was found in a handbag and has no idea who his parents are. We
also see that Jack tells lies about who he is and who Cecily is. We never know when
he is being truthful about information.

ACT II
I would like to be christened myself…                                    27
I don't remember anything about it. [the christening]                    27
I don't see much fun in being christened along with other                27
babies
I haven't got a brother.                                                 27
You are not to talk of Miss Cardew like that. I don't like it.           30
But my name certainly is John. It has been John for years.               42
I will tell you quite frankly that I have no brother Ernest. I           42
have no brother at all. I never had a brother in my life, and I
certainly have not the smallest intention of ever having one in
the future.
I wanted to be engaged to Gwendolen, that is all. I love her.            43
I naturally will take the name of Ernest.                                44
There is no evidence at all that I have ever been christened by          44
anybody.
Summary Act II- We find out that Jack is not afraid to go to any length to get what
he wants. We find out his real name and that he really has no brother.
                                                                                  King 30



ACT III
I am engaged to be married to Gwendolen…                                      48
I was the baby you placed in it. [handbag]                                    56
Algy's elder brother! Then I have a brother after all. I knew I               57
had a brother! I always said I had a brother!
Then I was christened!                                                        57
Well, it is Ernest after all. [his name]                                      58
I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital                     59
Importance of Being Earnest.
Summary of Act III- We find out who Jack really is and his real name.
Summary of the play- Jack hides who he is because he doesn’t know who he really
is. We find out about his situation as it stands at the time of the play in the first act.
As the play progresses we see how far he is willing to go to get what he wants. In the
last act we finally find out who he it.


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
         Character Analysis
Algernon
Guttenberg Plain Text Version (SD refers to stage direction. Kim, Karen, & Steve
did Act I, Steve compiled Act II, and Karen compiled Act III.


What Algernon thinks about Algernon?
Act I – Scene 1
   SD                                       Dialogue                                   PG
            Did you hear what I was playing, Lane                                     1
            I don't play accurately... any one can play accurately--but I play with   1
            wonderful expression.
            Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were                  1
            dining with me
            Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants invariably      2
            drink the champagne?
            I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.         2
            I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight             2
            refreshment at five o'clock
            I thought you had come up for pleasure? . . . I call that business.       4
                                                                                      4
                                                                                  King 31


    SD                                    Dialogue                                     PG
         I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic       4
         to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite
         proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe.
         Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is
         uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.
         Divorces are made in heaven                                                  4
         [Takes one and eats it.]                                                     4
         Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with.          4
         Girls don't think it right.
         . It accounts for the extraordinary number of bachelors that one             4
         sees all over the place. In the second place, I don't give my consent
         before I allow you to marry her, you will have to clear up the whole         5
         question of Cecily.
         I happen to be more than usually hard up.                                    5
         I have Bunburyed all over Shropshire on two separate occasions.              7
         I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in           7
         order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I
         choose
         I wouldn't be able to dine with you at Willis's to- night, for I have        8
         been really engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week.
         I haven't the smallest intention of doing anything of the kind. To           8
         begin with, I dined there on Monday, and once a week is quite
         enough to dine with one's own relations. In the second place,
         whenever I do dine there I am always treated as a member of the
         family, and sent down with either no woman at all, or two. In the
         third place, I know perfectly well whom she will place me next to,
         to-night. She will place me next Mary Farquhar, who always flirts
         with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very
         pleasant.
         will induce me to part with Bunbury                                          9
         if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic,            9
         you will be very glad to know Bunbury.
         A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious                 9
         time of it.
         Yes, but you must be serious about it. I hate people who are not             9
         serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.
         I'm feeling very well, Aunt Augusta                                          9
X        . [Picking up empty plate in horror.]                                        10
         Good heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I                  10
         ordered them specially.
         I am greatly distressed, Aunt Augusta, about there being no                  10
         cucumbers, not even for ready money
         . I am afraid, Aunt Augusta, I shall have to give up the pleasure of         10
         dining with you to-night after all.
                                                                                King 32


    SD                                    Dialogue                                   PG
         It is a great bore, and, I need hardly say, a terrible disappointment to   10
         me, but the fact is I have just had a telegram to say that my poor
         friend Bunbury is very ill again.
         [Exchanges glances with Jack.]                                             10
         I'll speak to Bunbury, Aunt Augusta, if he is still conscious, and I       11
         think I can promise you he'll be all right by Saturday.
         . But I'll run over the programme I've drawn out, if you will kindly       11
         come into the next room for a moment.
X        Algernon, from the other room, strikes up the Wedding March.               17
         My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only            17
         thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a
         tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of
         how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
         That is exactly what things were originally made for                       17
         All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No             18
         man does. That's his.
         It is perfectly phrased                                                    18
         The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is        18
         pretty, and to some one else, if she is plain.
         I would rather like to see Ceily                                           19
         Now, my dear boy, if we want to get a good table at Willis's, we           19
         really must go and dress
         Well, I'm hungry.                                                          20
         Go to a theatre?....to the club?...to the Empire                           20
         . It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don't mind             20
         hard work where there is no definite object of any kind.
         Really, Gwendolen, I don't think I can allow this at all.                  21
X        [Algernon, who has been carefully listening, smiles to himself, and        21
         writes the address on his shirt-cuff. Then picks up the Railway
         Guide.]
         [Lane presents several letters on a salver to Algernon. It is to be        21
         surmised that they are bills, as Algernon, after looking at the
         envelopes, tears them up.]
         I shall probably not be back till Monday. You can put up my dress          21
         clothes, my smoking jacket, and all the Bunbury suits . .
         I hope to-morrow will be a fine day, Lane.                                 21
         I'm a little anxious about poor Bunbury, that is all                       22
         I love scrapes. They are the only things that are never serious.           22
         Nobody ever does                                                           22
X        Algernon lights a cigarette, reads his shirt-cuff, and smiles.]            22
                                                                                     King 33


    SD                                        Dialogue                                     PG
Act I – Summary - Algernon believes himself to be a witty, clever gentleman in need of
secure funds to continue his extravagant bachelor womanizing lifestyle. He is intrigued
though with the idea of Cecily. He caters to his relatives, while still selfishly inventing
devices to appear proper for polite society, while still enjoying himself. He is a game
player.
ACT II – Scene 1
SD                                           Dialogue                                           PG
x     Enter Algernon, very gay and debonair                                                     23
x     [Raising his hat.] You are my little cousin Cecily, I’m sure                              23
      Oh! I am not really wicked at all, cousin Cecily. You mustn’t think that I am             24
      wicked.
X     [Looks at her in amazement.]                                                              24
      Oh! Of course I have been rather reckless                                                 24
      In fact, now you mention the subject, I have been very bad in my own small way.           24
      I am obliged to go up by the first train on Monday morning. I have a business             24
      appointment that I am anxious . . . to miss
      : the appointment is in London                                                            24
      Australia! I’d sooner die                                                                 24
      . This world is good enough for me, cousin Cecily                                         24
      I’m afraid I’m not that. That is why I want you to reform me. You might make              24
      that your mission, if you don’t mind, cousin Cecily
      will. I feel better already                                                               25
      is because I am hungry                                                                    25
      . Might I have a buttonhole first? I never have any appetite unless I have a              25
      buttonhole first.
      No, I’d rather have a pink one                                                            25
      Brother John, I have come down from town to tell you that I am very sorry for all         33
      the trouble I have given you, and that I intend to lead a better life in the future.
      Of course I admit that the faults were all on my side. But I must say that I think        33
      that Brother John's coldness to me is peculiarly painful. I expected a more
      enthusiastic welcome, especially Considering it is the irst time I have come here.
      I am afraid I can't stay more than a week this time.                                      34
      I have not been called back to town at all.                                               34
      I haven't heard any one call me                                                           34
      My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest             34
      degree
      I certainly won't leave you so long as you are in mourning. It would be most              35
      unfriendly. If I were in mourning you would stay with me, I suppose. I should
      think it very unkind if you didn't.
      Yes, if you are not too long. I never saw anybody take solong to dress, and with          35
      such little result.
      If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always              35
      immensely over-educated.
      I think it has been a great success. I'm in love with Cecily, and that is everything.     35
                                                                                 King 34


SD                                          Dialogue                                       PG
     I am afraid so. It's a very painful parting.                                          36
     [Somewhat taken aback.] Ahem! Ahem!                                                   36
     [Speaking very rapidly.] Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful        36
     and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately,
     devotedly, hopelessly.
     Did I give you this?                                                                  37
     My letters! But, my own sweet Cecily, I have never written you any letters.           38
     What had I done? I had done nothing at all. Cecily, I am very much hurt indeed to     38
     hear you broke it off. Particularly when the weather was so charming.
X    [Rises]                                                                               38
     I shan't be away more than half an hour.                                              39
     I'll be back in no time.                                                              39
     The most wonderful Bunbury I have ever had in my life.                                47
     I happen to be serious about Bunburying.                                              47
     ...What on earth you are serious about I haven't got the remotest idea. About         47
     everything, I should fancy
     I can see no possible defence at all for your deceiving a brilliant, clever,          48
     thoroughly experienced young lady like Miss Fairfax. To say nothing of the fact
     that she is my cousin.
     If it was my business, I wouldn't talk about it. [Begins to eat muffins.]             48
     Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on     48
     my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat
     the
     When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I       48
     am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I
     refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment I am eating
     muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.
     I don't like tea-cake                                                                 49
X    [He seizes the muffin-dish from Jack.]                                                49
     I never go without my dinner...Besides I have just made arrangements with Dr.         49
     Chasuble to be christened at a quarter to six under the name of Ernest. A
     Yes, but I have not been christened for years.                                        49
     ...[Takes them.] I told you I was particularly fond of muffins.                       50

      I haven't quite finished my tea yet! and there is still one muffin left.             50
X     [Algernon still continues eating.]                                                   50
Algernon is quite pleased with how the situation is turning out and cares not for anyone’s
feelings, but Cecily’s.
ACT III – Scene 1
SD Dialogue                                                                                 PG
X Enter Jack followed by Algernon. They whistle some dreadful popular air from a 44
      British Opera.]
      In order that I might have an opportunity of meeting you.                             44
      Jack and Algernon [Speaking together.] Our Christian names! Is that all? But we 44
                                                                                  King 35


     are going to be christened this afternoon.
     I am!                                                                                  44
     Algernon. [To Cecily.] Darling! [They fall into each other’s arms.]                    44
X    The couples separate in alarm.                                                         44
     . [Stammering.] Oh! No! Bunbury doesn’t live here. Bunbury is somewhere else           45
     at present. In fact, Bunbury is dead.

     [Airily.] Oh! I killed Bunbury this afternoon. I mean poor Bunbury died this           45
     afternoon.
     . Bunbury? Oh, he was quite exploded.                                                  45
     My dear Aunt Augusta, I mean he was found out! The doctors found out that              45
     Bunbury could not live, that is what I mean—so Bunbury died
     I am engaged to be married to Cecily, Aunt Augusta                                     45
     And I don’t care twopence about social possibilities                                   46
     [Algernon and Cecily look at him in indignant amazement.]                              46
     Of course I could, Cecily.                                                             48
     Well, not till to-day, old boy, I admit. I did my best, however, though I was out of   53
     practice
     Cecily! [Embraces her.] At last!                                                       54

Algernon is pleased with himself.


What Algernon thinks about Cecily?
ACT I – Scene 1
SD                                         Dialogue                                       PG
      before I allow you to marry her, you will have to clear up the whole question of    5
      Cecily.
      Your aunt!                                                                          6
      But why does she call herself little Cecily if she is your aunt and lives at        6
      Tunbridge Wells? [Reading.] ‘From little Cecily with her fondest love.’
      But why does your aunt call you her uncle? ‘From little Cecily, with her fondest 6
      love to her dear Uncle Jack.’ There is no objection, I admit, to an aunt being a
      small aunt, but why an aunt, no matter what her size may be, should call her own
      nephew her uncle, I can’t quite make out
      Miss Cardew was a little too much interested in your poor brother Ernest?           19
      Have you told Gwendolen yet that you have an excessively pretty ward who is         19
      only just eighteen?
Algernon is curious about Cecily and builds a utopian image of her beauty
ACT II – Scene 1
SD                                        Dialogue                                      PG
      It is much pleasanter being here with you.                                       24
      You might make that your mission, if you don’t mind, cousin Cecily               24
                                                                                King 36


SD                                         Dialogue                                     PG
     Well, would you mind my reforming myself this afternoon                           24
     are like a pink rose, Cousin Cecily                                               25
     You are the prettiest girl I ever saw                                             25
     They are a snare that every sensible man would like to be caught in               25
     I certainly won't leave you so long as you are in mourning. It would be most      35
     unfriendly. If I were in mourning you would stay with me, I suppose. I should
     think it very unkind if you didn't.
     Yes, if you are not too long. I never saw anybody take solong to dress, and       35
     with such little result.
     If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always      35
     immensely over-educated.
     I think it has been a great success. I'm in love with Cecily, and that is         35
     everything.
     I am afraid so. It's a very painful parting.                                      36
     [Somewhat taken aback.] Ahem! Ahem!                                               36
     [Speaking very rapidly.] Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful    36
     and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately,
     devotedly, hopelessly.
     Did I give you this?                                                              37
     I’d give anything to look at it. May I?                                           36
X    [Nervously.]                                                                      38
     I cannot deny it .                                                                46
     I’m in love with Cecily, and that is everything.                                  35
     I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that   36
     you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute
     perfection.
     Do you really keep a diary?                                                       36
     Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable            36
     beauty,
     I don’t care for anybody in the whole world but you. I love you, Cecily. You      37
     will marry me, won’t you? A
     Darling!                                                                          37
     ...But, my own sweet Cecily...                                                    38
     But was our engagement ever broken off?                                           38
     But why on earth did you break it off?                                            38
     [Crossing to her, and kneeling.] What a perfect angel you are, Cecily.            38
     Yes, darling,...                                                                  38
     You’ll never break off our engagement again, Cecily?                              38
     But, my dear child, do you mean to say you could not love me if I had some        39
     other name?
     Well, my own dear, sweet, loving little darling, I really can’t see why you       39
     should object to the name of Algernon... But seriously, Cecily . . . [Moving to
     her]... if my name was Algy, couldn’t you love me?
X    [Kisses her and rushes down the garden.]                                          39
                                                                                   King 37


SD                                          Dialogue                                        PG
      [Goes straight over to Cecily without noticing any one else.] My own love!           45
      [Offers to kiss her.]
      [Laughing.] Of course not! What could have put such an idea intoyour pretty          46
      little head?
X     [Algernon kisses her.]                                                               46
      Well, I simply wanted to be engaged to Cecily. I adore her.                          48
Algernon becomes totally smitten with Cecily even going so far as to tell her the truth.
ACT III – Scene 1
SD                                          Dialogue                                            PG
     In order that I might have an opportunity of meeting you.                                  44
     Algernon. [To Cecily.] Darling! [They fall into each other’s arms.]                        44
     Cecily is the sweetest, dearest, prettiest girl in the whole world                         46
     You know I could                                                                           48
     [General consternation. … Algernon and Jack pretend to be anxious to shield                51
     Cecily and Gwendolen from hearing the details of a terrible public scandal.]
     Cecily! [Embraces her.] At last!                                                           54
Algernon is in love with Cecily and admires and desires both her charms, beauty, and
monetary benefits.


What Algernon thinks about Gwendolen?
ACT I – Scene 1
SD Dialogue                                                                                PG
      Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen.
      It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.                            4
      The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and             4
      butter
      My dear fellow, Gwendolen is my first cousin.                                        5
      Ah! that must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that       9
      Wagnerian manner. Now, if I get her out of the way for ten minutes, so that
      you can have an opportunity for proposing to Gwendolen, may I dine with
      you to-night at Willis's?
      Dear me, you are smart!                                                              9
      ? You don't mean to say Gwendolen refused you? I know it is a way she                17
      has. She is always refusing people. I think it is most ill-natured of her
      My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that           17
      makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of
      people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the
      smallest instinct about when to die.
      Have you told Gwendolen yet that you have an excessively pretty ward who             19
      is only just eighteen?
      Really, Gwendolen, I don't think I can allow this at all.                            21
Algernon is protective towards his first cousin Gwendolen, but has a snobbish opinion
                                                                                 King 38


SD Dialogue                                                                          PG
about relatives and female worth
ACT II – Scene 2
SD                                         Dialogue                                    PG
     I can see no possible defence at all for your deceiving a brilliant, clever,      50
     thoroughly experienced young lady like Miss Fairfax. To say nothing of the fact
     that she is my cousin.

ACT III – Scene 3
SD Dialogue                                                                                 PG
     [General consternation. … Algernon and Jack pretend to be anxious to shield            51
     Cecily and Gwendolen from hearing the details of a terrible public scandal.]
Algernon is protective of Gwen.


What Algernon thinks about Jack?
 SD                                        Dialogue                                      PG
      How are you, my dear Ernest?                                                      2
      How immensely you must amuse them!                                                2
      but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won’t quite approve of your being here.              4
      My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful.        4
X     --[Jack puts out his hand to take a sandwich. Algernon at once interferes.]       4
      Please don’t touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for        4
      Aunt Augusta.
      Well, my dear fellow, you need not eat as if you were going to eat it all. You    4
      behave as if you were married to her already. You are not married to her
      already, and I don’t think you ever will be.
      before I allow you to marry her, you will have to clear up the whole question     5
      of Cecily.
      Bring me that cigarette case Mr. Worthing left in the smoking- room the last      5
      time he dined here.
      Well, I wish you would offer one.                                                 5
      I think that is rather mean of you, Ernest                                        5
      Yes; but this isn’t your cigarette case. This cigarette case is a present from    6
      some one of the name of Cecily, and you said you didn’t know any one of
      that name.
      Besides, your name isn’t Jack at all; it is Ernest.                               6
      You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one         6
      as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was
      Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is
      perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn’t Ernest. It’s on your cards.
      Here is one of them. [Taking it from case.] ‘Mr. Ernest Worthing, B. 4, The
      Albany.’ I’ll keep this as a proof that your name is Ernest if ever you attempt
      to deny it to me, or to Gwendolen, or to any one else. [Puts the card in his
      pocket.]
                                                                                 King 39


 SD                                           Dialogue                                     PG
        Yes, but that does not account for the fact that your small Aunt Cecily, who      6
        lives at Tunbridge Wells, calls you her dear uncle.
        I may mention that I have always suspected you of being a confirmed and           7
        secret Bunburyist; and I am quite sure of it now.
        you are kind enough to inform me why you are Ernest in town and Jack in the 7
        country
        why you are Ernest in town and Jack in the country                                7
        Literary criticism is not your forte, my dear fellow. Don’t try it. You should 7
        leave that to people who haven’t been at a University. They do it so well in
        the daily papers. What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in
        saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced
        Bunburyists I know.
        You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that      7
        you may be able to come up to town as often as you like.
        I wouldn’t be able to dine with you at Willis’s to- night, for I have been really 8
        engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week.
        You are absurdly careless about sending out invitations. It is very foolish of    8
        you
        Besides, now that I know you to be a confirmed Bunburyist I naturally want        8
        to talk to you about Bunburying. I want to tell you the rules.
        if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will        9
        be very glad to know Bunbury.
        Ah! That must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in         9
        that Wagnerian manner. Now, if I get her out of the way for ten minutes, so
        that you can have an opportunity for proposing to Gwendolen, may I dine
        with you to-night at Willis’s?
        Yes, but you must be serious about it. I hate people who are not serious          9
        about meals. It is so shallow of them.
        [Exchanges glances with Jack.]                                                    10
        By the way, did you tell Gwendolen the truth about your being Ernest in           18
        town, and Jack in the country?
        What about your brother? What about the profligate Ernest? (extravagant)          19
        Have you told Gwendolen yet that you have an excessively pretty ward who          19
        is only just eighteen?
        Now, my dear boy, if we want to get a good table at Willis’s, we really must 19
        go and dress
        Go to a theatre?....to the club?...to the Empire                                  20
Algernon enjoys game-planning with Jack, who he believes is better off financially than he is
– and takes advantage of Jack’s position to enjoy his own pleasures. Algy is delighted to
learn they are on the same page as far as appearances in society being upheld, while still
indulging in their own mischievous antics. Algernon appears to be sympathetic to his plight
with Gwen but has his own ulterior motives always in mind and motion.
ACT II – Scene 1
SD                                           Dialogue                                     PG
      I certainly wouldn’t let Jack buy my outfit. He has no taste in neckties at all     24
                                                                                  King 40


     But I must say that I think that Brother John's coldness tome is peculiarly          33
     painful.
     Well, I don’t like your clothes... I call it grotesque. A                            34
     What a fearful liar you are, Jack.                                                   34
     You look perfectly ridiculous in them. Why on earth don't you go up and              34
     change? It is perfectly childish to be in deep mourning for a man who is
     actually staying for a whole week with you in your house as a guest.
     If I were in mourning you would stay with me, I suppose. I should think it very      35
     unkind if you didn't.
     Yes, if you are not too long. I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with    35
     such little result.
     He's gone to order the dog-cart for me                                               35
     He's going to send me away.                                                          35
     Oh, I don't care about Jack                                                          37
     You have such an absolutely trivial nature.                                          48
     I don't think there is much likelihood, Jack, of you and Miss Fairfax being          48
     United
     I wish you would have tea-cake instead                                               49
     But you have just said it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins.                    49
     You can't possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. It's absurd.             49
     Why on earth then do you allow tea-cake to be served up for your guests? What        50
     ideas you have of hospitality! J
     Jack, you are at the muffins again!                                                  50
Algernon smirks at Jack as he bunburies.
ACT III – Scene 1
SD                                          Dialogue                                         Pg
     [Algernon and Cecily look at him in indignant amazement.]                              46
     Well, not till to-day, old boy, I admit. I did my best, however, though I was out      53
     of practice
Algernon wittily accepts Jack as his brother


What Algernon thinks about Lady Bracknell?
ACT I – Scene 1
 SD                                        Dialogue                                        PG
      , have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?                      1
      Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen.                                              3
      but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being here.                4
      Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for          4
      Aunt Augusta.
      [Takes one and eats it.]                                                            4
      She is my aunt.                                                                     4
      I wouldn't be able to dine with you at Willis's to- night, for I have been really   8
      engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week.
      I haven't the smallest intention of doing anything of the kind. To begin with, I    8
                                                                                 King 41


 SD                                        Dialogue                                        PG
       dined there on Monday, and once a week is quite enough to dine with one's
       own relations. In the second place, whenever I do dine there I am always
       treated as a member of the family, and sent down with either no woman at all,
       or two. In the third place, I know perfectly well whom she will place me next
       to, to-night. She will place me next Mary Farquhar, who always flirts with her
       own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant.
       Ah! that must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that    9
       Wagnerian manner. Now, if I get her out of the way for ten minutes, so that
       you can have an opportunity for proposing to Gwendolen, may I dine with you
       to-night at Willis's?
       . I am afraid, Aunt Augusta, I shall have to give up the pleasure of dining       10
       with you to-night after all.
       . But I'll run over the programme I've drawn out, if you will kindly come into 11
       the next room for a moment.
       My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that        17
       makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of
       people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the
       smallest instinct about when to die.
Algernon is mockingly respectful of his aunt and tolerates her because of finances as well as
the required societal procedures. He enjoys winking at Lady Bracknell behind her back as he
manipulates her in his games

ACT II – Lady Bracknell does not appear.

ACT III - Scene 1
SD                                        Dialogue                                    PG
     .[Stammering.] Oh! No! Bunbury doesn’t live here. Bunbury is somewhere           45
     else at present. In fact, Bunbury is dead.
     My dear Aunt Augusta, I mean he was found out! The doctors found out that        45
     Bunbury could not live, that is what I mean—so Bunbury died
     I am engaged to be married to Cecily, Aunt Augusta                               45
Algernon, again, plays games, but still seeks Lady Bracknell’s approval.


What Algernon thinks of Dr. Chausble

Dr. Chausble does not appear in Act I

ACT II – Scene 1
  SD                                         Dialogue                                 PG
            Your Rector here is, I suppose, thoroughly experienced in the practice    39
            of all the rites and ceremonials of the Church?
            I must see him at once on a most important christening--I mean on         39
            most important Business
                                                                                                     King 42


          Algernon is respectful of Dr. Chausble

          Algernon does not speak or infer to Dr. C in Act III

          What Algernon thinks of Ms. Prism

          Ms.Prisim does not appear in Act I

          ACT II – Scene 1
          SD                                      Dialogue                                                 PG
               Then Miss Prism is a short-sighted old lady                                                 25
          Algernon doesn’t think too highly of Ms. Prism and only forms his opinion based on
          another’s comment

          ACT III – Scene 3
          SD Dialogue                                                                                            PG
               [General consternation. … Algernon and Jack pretend to be anxious to shield                       51
               Cecily and Gwendolen from hearing the details of a terrible public scandal.]
          Algernon believes Ms. Prism to have committed an indiscretion.

                                  What Lady Bracknell says about Lady Bracknell…
Act   Line                                                                                                       GT   SF
 I    obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury…                                                                      10   17
      …death of husband… woman so altered, looks 20 years younger (Is this a good thing or bad?)                 10   17
      nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.                                                                  10   17
      Won’t you come sit here, Gwendolyn?                                                                        10   17
      I had some crumpets with Lady Harbury, who seems to me to be living entirely for pleasure now.             10   17
      It's delightful to watch them [Mary and husband]. (Is it really?)                                          10   18
      It would put my table completely out. Your uncle would have to dine upstairs. Fortunately he is            11   18
      accustomed to that.
      …that I think it is high time that Mr. Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or to         11   18
      die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd. Nor do I in any way approve of the modern
      sympathy with invalids. I consider it morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged
      in others. Health is the primary duty of life. I am always telling that to your poor uncle, but he never
      seems to take much notice . . . as far as any improvement in his ailment goes.
      French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either       11   19
      look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse.
      But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so.                          11   19
      semi-recumbent posture… most indecorous.                                                                   13   23
      If you are engaged, I or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An        14   23
      engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case maybe. It
      is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself . . .
      I am quite ready to enter your name, should your answers be what a really affectionate mother              14   24
      requires.
      I’m glad to hear it… occupation… far too many idle men in London.                                          14   24
      …a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.                                14   24
                                                                                                  King 43


      I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic     15 24
      fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound…
      produces no effect what so ever.
      That is satisfactory… that’s all that can be said about land.                                             15 25
      Or come at the evening, in any rate…                                                                      16 25
      Now to minor matters. Are your parents living?                                                            16 26
      Purple commerce vs. aristocracy… ???????                                                                  16 26
      found/handbag/victoria station/etc. (short lines, repeating what she hears almost word for word)          16 27
      Contempt for ordinary decencies of family life… worst excesses of French revolution…                      16 27
      You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter--a girl        17 28
      brought up with the utmost care--to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel?
      Sweeps out in majestic indignation. (stage direction)                                                     17 28
I     Summary: Lady Bracknell is very obedient to the rules of society and keeping a proper outward appearance.
      She cannot control Algy, but she maintains regular visits and events to keep an eye on him. She governs
      Gwendolen and all of her activities. She is quite intrigued with the idea of life as a widow and the freedom
      it seems to afford. Only Jack and his absurd history can throw her off balance. She is very opinionated and
      expressive character – almost larger than life.
III   … by her trusty maid, whose confidence I purchased by means of a small coin, I followed her at once       50 75
      by a luggage train.
      Her unhappy father is, I am glad to say, under the impression that she is attending a more than           50 75
      usually lengthy lecture by the University Extension Scheme on the Influence of a permanent income
      on Thought.
      I do not propose to undeceive him. Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question. I would            50 75
      consider it wrong.
      If so, he is well punished for his morbidity.                                                             50 76
      …the number of engagements that go on seems to me considerably above the proper average that              51 77
      statistics have laid down for our guidance.
      Mr. Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London? I        51 77
      merely desire information. Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons
      whose origin was a Terminus.
      I have known strange errors in that [court guides] publication.                                           51 77
      [seen markby at dinner parties] So far I am pleased.                                                      51 78
      I am not myself in favour of premature experiences.                                                       52 78
      …if Miss Cardew has any little fortune? (Is she worthy for Algy.)                                         52 78
      Few girls of the present day have any really solid qualities, any of the qualities that last, and improve 52 78
      with time. We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces.
      The two weak points in our age are its want of principle and its want of profile.                         52 79
      Style largely depends on the way the chin is worn. They are worn very high, just at present.              52 79
      Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.              52 79
      But I do not approve of mercenary marriages. When I married Lord Bracknell I had no fortune of any 52 80
      kind. But I never dreamed for a moment of allowing that to stand in my way.
      To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of             53 80
      finding out each other's character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
      He has nothing, but he looks everything. What more can one desire?                                        53 80
      You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration. Indeed, no woman should ever be quite           54 81
      accurate about her age. It looks so calculating . . .
                                                                                                 King 44


      Thirty-five is a very attractive age.                                                                    54 82
      To miss any more might expose us to comment on the platform                                              55 83
      At their age? The idea is grotesque and irreligious! Algernon, I forbid you to be baptized. I will not   55 83
      hear of such excesses. Lord Bracknell would be highly displeased if he learned that that was the
      way in which you wasted your time and money.
      This matter may prove to be one of vital importance to Lord Bracknell and myself.                        55 84
      I need hardly tell you that in families of high position strange coincidences are not supposed to occur. 57 86
      They are hardly considered the thing.
      This noise is extremely unpleasant. It sounds as if he was having an argument. I dislike arguments       57 87
      of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing.
      I wish he would arrive at some conclusion.                                                               57 87
      I cannot at the present moment recall what the General's Christian name was. But I have no doubt he      59 89
      had one.
      Yes, I remember now that the General was called Ernest, I knew I had some particular reason for          59 90
      disliking the name.
III   Summary: Lady Bracknell is not a fan of indecision, but she does not bother with a steady sense of self or a
      sense of truth. She cares most about what is common now and what looks best and knowing only what fits
      her needs. Though she is not a fan of the engagements, when she is instructed of their business and fashion
      sense, she approves.

                                     What Lady Bracknell says about Algernon…
Act   Line                                                                                                   GT SF
 I    I hope you are behaving very well.                                                                      9   16
      [Feeling well and behaving well] not quite the same thing. In fact, the two rarely go together…         9   16
      I have such a treat for you… Mary Farquhar… It’s delightful to watch them.                              9   18
      I hope not, Algy. It would put my table out completely…                                                10 18
      I rely on you to arrange my music for me.                                                              11 19
      I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations.                                   11 19
 I    Summary: Lady Bracknell knows Algernon does not behave. She uses him to even table numbers and
      entertain her guests. (There could be several reasons why he is always seated next to Mary – think on this.)
      She asks for favors of him with the music, but she does not trust his judgment.
III   …whose hand my nephew Algernon is now holding in what seems to me a peculiarly unnecessary             51 76
      manner?
      Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.           52 79
      Dear child, of course you know that Algernon has nothing but his debts to depend upon.                 52 80
      Well, I suppose I must give my consent.                                                                53 80
      The marriage, I think, had better take place quite soon.                                               53 80
      Algernon is an extremely, I may almost say an ostentatiously, eligible young man. He has nothing,      53 80
      but he looks everything. What more can one desire?
      Untruthful! My nephew Algernon? Impossible! He is an Oxonian.                                          53 80
      Algernon, of course, can choose for himself.                                                           55 83
      At their age? The idea is grotesque and irreligious! Algernon, I forbid you to be baptized. I will not 55
      hear of such excesses. Lord Bracknell would be highly displeased if he learned that that was the
      way in which you wasted your time and money.
      You are the son of my poor sister, Mrs. Moncrieff, and consequently Algernon's elder brother.          58 88
III   Summary: Lady Bracknell believes taking care of your place in society is important, especially since your
                                                                                                King 45


      family suffers your fate. She stands up for Algy when he is attacked, but she knows he is not really worthy
      of her praise of him. Of course, to LB, true worthiness does not matter – lucky for Algy. She and Lord B had
      some hand in his upbringing and serve as his surrogate parents now… though he is a man now.

                                         What Lady Bracknell says about Jack…
Act   Line                                                                                                   GT SF
 I    I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men…                       14  23
      I’m please to hear it… touch it and the bloom is gone. (Jack, knowing nothing – as discussion at the   14  24
      table went - means that he is a virgin or non-womanizer. That’s why it is a good answer for him to be
      ignorant.)
      The unfashionable side. I thought there was something.                                                 15  25
      Found in a cloak-room - might serve to conceal a social indiscretion…                                  17  27
      I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and 17   27
      to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite
      over.
 I    Summary: Lady Bracknell does not address Jack at all until he is kneeling before Gwendolen. He is not a
      ready candidate for Gwendolen, but she is willing to consider him until she finds out he is a bastard. His
      history is completely baffling and totally inappropriate in society. He has no chance with Gwendolen.
III   You can hardly imagine… we would allow our daughter…to marry into a cloak-room, and form an            17  28
      alliance with a parcel?
      all communication between yourself and my daughter must cease immediately from this moment.            50  75
      You are nothing of the kind, sir. (not engaged)                                                        50  75
      …families or persons whose origin was a Terminus.                                                      51  77
      But what proof have I of their authenticity?                                                           51  77
      …after careful consideration I have decided entirely to overlook my nephew's conduct to you.           53  81
      Twenty-eight years ago… baby of the male sex.                                                          56  85
      I am afraid that the news I have to give you will not altogether please you. You are the son of my     58  88
      poor sister, Mrs. Moncrieff, and consequently Algernon's elder brother.
      Every luxury that money could buy, including christening, had been lavished on you by your fond        58  89
      and doting parents.
      Being the eldest son you were naturally christened after your father.                                  59  89
      Yes, I remember now that the General was called Ernest, I knew I had some particular reason for        59  90
      disliking the name.
      My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality.                                              60  91
III   Summary: Lady Bracknell does not like dealing with Jack as an equal (with Cecily’s engagement) or as
      anything to her daughter. She removes Gwendolen from his side – again, ignores his judgments, and tries to
      negotiate with Cecily directly. By the end, she is calling him nephew and treating him like Algy.

                                  What Lady Bracknell says about Gwendolyn…
Act   Line                                                                                                GT    SF
 I    Won’t you come and sit with me                                                                      10    18
      Gwendolyn, you will accompany me.                                                                   11    19
      In the carriage, Gwendolen!                                                                         14    23
      (Turns on hearing the noise of blowing kisses) Gwendolen, the carriage!                             14    23
      Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone. When you do become engaged to someone, I, or your         14    23
      father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact.
                                                                                                 King 46


      A girl with a simple, unspoiled nature, like Gwendolen, could hardly be expected to reside in the    15     25
      country.
      …our only daughter -- a girl brought up with the utmost care…                                        17     28
 I    Summary: Lady Bracknell wants Gwendolen at her side always, away from Jack. She sees her as a pure,
      inexperienced girl. She wants a proper, respectable, profitable husband for her, and she and Lord Bracknell
      will make that match for her.
III   Come here. Sit down. Sit down immediately. Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the   50     75
      young, of physical weakness in the old.
      of my daughter's sudden flight…                                                                      50     75
      [Passionate celibacy] That is not the destiny I propose for Gwendolen.                               55     83
III   Summary: Lady Bracknell refuses to let Gwendolen choose her mate, but she wants a “productive” marriage
      for her. She has a huge web of control over Gwendolen, with spies and all, and she is not prepared to let her
      go.

                                     What Lady Bracknell says about Cecily…
           Act    Line                                                                               GT SF
           III    who is that young person whose hand my nephew Algernon is now holding in 51 76
                  what seems to me a peculiarly unnecessary manner?
                  That sounds not unsatisfactory. Three addresses always inspire confidence…         51 77
                  A firm of the very highest position in their profession. Indeed I am told that     51 78
                  one of the Mr. Markby's is occasionally to be seen at dinner parties.
                  Ah! A life crowded with incident, I see; though perhaps somewhat too exciting 52 78
                  for a young girl.
                  A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew                52 78
                  seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her.
                  Pretty child! your dress is sadly simple, and your hair seems almost as Nature     52 78
                  might have left it.
                  There are distinct social possibilities in your profile.                           52 79
                  Cecily, you may kiss me!                                                           53 80
                  You may also address me as Aunt Augusta for the future.                            53 80
                  Come here, sweet child.                                                            54 81
                  You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration [in her age].             54 81
                  Eighteen, but admitting to twenty at evening parties. Well, it will not be very    54 81
                  long before you are of age and free from the restraints of tutelage. So I don't
                  think your guardian's consent is, after all, a matter of any importance.
                  I see no reason why our dear Cecily should not be even still more attractive at    54 81
                  the age you mention than she is at present. There will be a large accumulation
                  of property.
                  - as Miss Cardew states positively that she cannot wait till she is thirty-five--a 54 81
                  remark which I am bound to say seems to me to show a somewhat impatient
                  nature--
           III    Summary: From the looks of her, Lady Bracknell does not think much of Cecily. But
                  her fortune and facility with following and bending social rules in a fashionable
                  matter, make LB fall in love with her. She tries to coach her out of Jack’s control, but
                  she is only willing to work so hard for this stranger.

                                   What Lady Bracknell says about Miss Prism…
                                                                                       King 47


 Act    Line                                                                            GT      SF
 III    Is this Miss Prism a female of repellent aspect, remotely connected with        55      84
        education?
        It is obviously the same person.                                                56      84
        In spite of what I hear of her, I must see her at once. Let her be sent for.    56      84
        Prism! [Miss Prism bows her head in shame.] Come here, Prism! [Miss Prism       56      85
        approaches in a humble manner.] Prism! Where is that baby?
        Twenty-eight years ago, Prism, you left Lord Bracknell's house, Number 104,     56      85
        Upper Grosvenor Street, in charge of a perambulator that contained a baby of
        the male sex. You never returned.
        It contained the manuscript of a three-volume novel of more than usually        56      85
        revolting sentimentality.
 III    Summary: Lady Bracknell has been looking for Prism for years. She detests her
        fashion – lack thereof – and profession. Her reading material is almost as bad as her
        ineptitude at childcare. She gets over it fast though.



                                 Character Analysis
                      The Importance of Being Ernest
What Gwendolyn says about Jack?
Act 1

Character      Dialogue                                                                    Gut.
                                                                                           Pg.
               . [Gwendolyn and Jack sit down together in the
G              corner.]                                                                    10

G              I'm quite comfortable where I am                                            10
               My ideal has always been To love some one of the
G              name of Ernest.                                                             12
               I knew I was destined to love You.
G                                                                                          12

G              My own Ernest!                                                              12
               It suits you perfectly. It is a divine name.                   It has a
G              music Of its own. It produces vibrations                                    13
               Very little music in the name Jack,
G              If any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no        13
               Vibrations . . . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without
               exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a
               notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is
                                                                                King 48


          married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed
          to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The
          only really safe name is Ernest
          . I adore you. But you haven't proposed to me yet. Nothing
G         has been said at all about marriage. The subject has not even been       13
          touched on.


          I think it would be an admirable opportunity. And to spare
G         you any possible disappointment, Mr. Worthing, I think it only fair      13
          to tell you quite frankly before-hand that I am fully
          determined to accept you
          What wonderfully blue eyes you have, Ernest! They are quite,
G         quite, blue. I hope you will always look at me just like that,           14
          especially when there are other people present.

G         I am engaged to Mr. Worthing                                             14

G         Ernest, we may never be married                                          21
          Your Christian name has an irresistible fascination. The
G         simplicity of your character makes you exquisitely                       21
          incomprehensible to me.

Summary   In the first act we find that Gwendolyn is ready to have Jack
          propose marriage. They are both in love with each other but
          have found that Lady Bracknell is going to stand in the way. In
          the end Gwendolyn tells Jack they are not to be married but
          continues on that his name is irresistible.

Act 2

G         How secretive of him                                                     41
          Ernest has a strong upright nature. He is the very soul of truth and
G         honour. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception. But       41
          even men of the noblest possible moral character are
          extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical
          charms of others.
          Ernest never mentioned to me that he
G         had a brother.                                                           41

G         Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian?                                41

G         Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me.                                    42
                                                                             King 49

          , for he asked me to be his wife yesterday afternoon at
G         5.30.                                                                 42
          If the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish promise I
G         shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once, and with a firm      42
          hand.

G         My own Ernest!                                                        44
          May I ask if you are engaged to be married to this
G         young lady                                                            44
          We are both engaged to be married to your brother Ernest, so it
G         is a matter of some importance to us to know where your               46
          brother Ernest is at present.

Summary   In the begingin you see Gwendolen show off her upper class
          attitutde toward Cecily. Gwendolen seems to be jealious of the
          young and prettier girl. As the scene goes on the two become
          more and more disjointed as they try to one up each other. In
          the end the marriage questions push both over the edge so they
          leave while allowing Algy and Jack to stay behind.

Act 3
          , seems to me to show that they have some
G         sense of shame left.                                                  49
          They don't seem to notice us at all.
G         Couldn't you cough?                                                   49

G         They're looking at us. What effrontery!                               49
          How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes! Where
G         questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are                    51
          infinitely beyond us.
          Darling!
G                                                                               51
          If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all
G         my Life                                                               59
          My own!       But what own are you?            What is your
G         Christian name, now that you have become some one else?               61

G         For I feel that you are sure to change.                               61

Summary   In the final act Gwen has come to be with Jack. She is lead
          through a world of lies but comes out with Jack her true love
          and the obsticle of Lady Bracknell is overcome.
                                                                                  King 50


            Overall Sumarry of the Play For Gwen

            She starts off the love of Jack’s life in an upper class that he is
            not a full part of. Through the play she continues her feelings
            for Jack until the end when she is to be married to him. She
            does not seem to be an over complicated character, she has a
            need/want and in the end she gets it.



What Gwendolen says about Algy?
Act 1

Character   Dialogue                                                  Gut. Pg.
            The moment Algernon first mentioned
G           to me that he had a friend called Ernest                  12
            Algy, you always adopt a strictly immoral
G           attitude towards life. You are not quite                  21
            old enough to do that

Summary     Gwen doesn’t have a lot to say in regards to Algy.
            She seems to show Algy has a young playboy side
Act 1       that has been reinforced from other characters. She
            also is able to talk to him in a condescending
            manner when Lady Bracknell is not around.
            The gentleman who is now embracing you is my
G           cousin, Mr. Algernon Moncrieff                            45

G           Is your name really John?                                 45

Summary     Gwen seems to confirm her thought of Algy. She is
            not happy from the lies that Algy has come up with.
Act 2
            . The fact that they did not follow us at once into the
G           house,                                                    49
            as any one else would have done, seems to me to show
            that they have some
            sense of shame left.

G           They don't seem to notice us at all.                      49

G           They're looking at us. What effrontery                    49
                                                                                King 51


            Your Christian names are still
G           an insuperable barrier.          That is all!            51
            How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes! Where
G                                                                    51
            questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are
            infinitely beyond

Summary     Gwen again does not talk about Algy much. It
            Seems that it is just something that she has come to
Act 3       deal with.

Overall     Gwen does not react too much to the childish
Summary     behavior of Algy. It seems again that she is either
            used to it or just does not want anything to do with
            him unless she has to.




What Gwendolen says about Lady Bracknell?
Act 1

Character   Dialogue                                                 Gut. Pg.
            Thanks, mamma, I'm quite comfortable where I
G           am.                                                      10
            Certainly, mamma.
G                                                                    11
            Gwendolen remains behind.
G                                                                    12
            Mamma has a way of coming back suddenly into a
G           room that I have often had to speak to her about.        12
            I must beg you to retire. This is no place for you.
G           Besides, Mr. Worthing has not. I am engaged to Mr.       14
            Worthing, mamma
            quite finished yet.

G           [Reproachfully.] Mamma!                                  14
            From the expression on
G           mamma's face I fear we never shall. Few parents          21
            nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to
            them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is
            fast dying out.      Whatever influence I ever
                                                                             King 52

            had over mamma, I lost at the age of three.
            The story of your romantic origin, as related to me by
G           mamma,                                                    21
            with unpleasing comments, has naturally
            stirred the deeper fibres of my nature.

Summary     We see that Gwen is young and under the control of
            Lady Bracknell. Gwen feels that Lady Bracknell is
Act 1       being hard on her. She knows that Lady Braknell is
            a tough mom, she is there to teach Gwen to be a
            lady and she will make this happen no matter what.

Act 2
            mamma, whose views on education are remarkably
G           strict, has                                               40
            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?

Summary     She tells of how her mother is short sighted and she
            is following suit. It explains the system that they are
Act 2       in.

Summary     Gwen does not talk about Lady Bracknell in the
Act 3       Act.

Overall     Gwen is placed under Lady Bracknell thumb at all
Summary     chances in the play. She know when she can get
            away with things, but for the most part Lady
            Bracknell is always watching. Gwen talks in short
            about the system that they live in makes Lady
            Bracknell the way she is. Overall, it seems as Lady
            Bracknell is treating Gwen as any parent might
            treat a teenage girl in her position.



What Gwendolen says about Cecily?

Text                                                            Pg in text
                                                                Guttenburg
ACT I
None

ACT II
Cecily Cardew? What avery sweet name! Something tells me        39
                                                                             King 53


that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more
than I can say.
 [Moving to her and shaking hands.]                                39 (sd)
I may call you Cecily, may I not?                                  39
So do you mind my looking at you through my glasses?               39

You are here on a short visit, I suppose.                          39

It is strange he never mentioned to me that he had a ward.         40
I am very fond of you, Cecily; I have liked you ever since I met   40
you! But I am bound to state that now that I know that you are
Mr. Worthing's ward, I cannot help expressing a wish you
were--well, just a little older than you seem to be--and not
quite so very alluring in appearance.
I wish that you were fully forty-two, and more than usually        40
plain for your age.
Cecily, you have lifted a load from my mind.                       40
It would have been terrible if any cloud had come across a         40-41
friendship like ours, would it not?
I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you,    41
but I am afraid I have the prior claim.

 Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? You         41
are presumptuous.
I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious     41
that our social spheres have been widely different.

[Cecily and Gwendolen glare at each other.]                        42 (sd)

Quite a well-kept garden this is, Miss Cardew.                     42

Personally I cannot understand how anybody manages to exist        42
in the country, if anybody who is anybody does.
Detestable girl!                                                   42
Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays.                   43

… but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.                 43
From the moment I saw you I distrusted you. I felt that you        43
were false and deceitful.
May I ask if you are engaged to be married to this young lady?     43
I felt there was some slight error, Miss Cardew.                   44
My poor wounded Cecily!                                            44
You will call me sister, will you not?                             45
[They embrace.]                                                    45 (sd)
Summary ACT II-
                                                                                King 54


Gwendolen is very proper, then becomes friendly with
Cecliy, then the “cat” comes out when she thinks Cecily has
stolen her Ernest, then all is back to sweetness and kindness
and she becomes her bosom friend.
Act III
But we will not be the first to speak.                             49
Yes, dear, if you can believe him.                                 49
Then you think we should forgive them?                             50
Summary ACT III-
She looks upon Cecily as a sister and dear friend.

Summary for entire play: She and Cecily are very much alike and they foil each
other well with their quips and commiseration about their situations.

What Gwendolen says about Miss Prism?

Text                                                               Pg in text
                                                                   Gutenburg
Act I
None

Act II
Your guardian?                                               40
Summary of Act II She is belittling Cecily by ascerning Prism is her
guardian. She thinks she is a class below.

Act III
None

Summary for entire play: Not much is said, but she does believe Prism is of a
different social strata.

What Gwendolen says about Dr. Chasuble?
Never speaks of Dr. Chasuble.

What Gwendloen says about herself?


Text                                                          Pg in text
                                                              Guttenburg
ACT I
I am always smart!                                            10
Oh! I hope I am not that [quite perfect]. It would leave no   10
room for developments, and I intend to develop in many
directions.
…I'm quite comfortable where I am.                            10
                                                                  King 55


Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always       12
feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that
makes me so nervous.

… I am never wrong.                                          12
Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you.     12
I have known several Jacks… And I pity any woman who         13
is married to a man called John.
I think it only fair to tell you quite frankly before-hand   13
that I am fully determined to accept you.

I am engaged to Mr. Worthing, mamma.                        14
Whatever influence I ever had over mamma, I lost at the     20
age of three. But although she may prevent us from
becoming man and wife, and I may marry some one else,
and marry often, nothing that she can possibly do can alter
my eternal devotion to you.

The story of your romantic origin, as related to me by       21
mamma,
with unpleasing comments, has naturally stirred the
deeper fibres of my nature. Your Christian name has an
irresistible fascination. The simplicity of your character
makes you exquisitely incomprehensible to me.
It may be necessary to do something desperate. That of       21
course will require serious consideration. I will
communicate with you daily.

Summary Act I- Very self-assured young lady who
knows she is pretty and wanted.

Act II
 I like you already more than I can say. My first            39
impressions
of people are never wrong.
And you will always call me Gwendolen, won't you?            39
Perhaps this might be a favourable opportunity for my        39
mentioning who I am. My father is Lord Bracknell. You
have never heard of papa, I suppose?

And I don't like that. [about men being effeminate]          39
 mamma, whose views on education are remarkably strict,      39
has
brought me up to be extremely short-sighted
I am not sure, however, that the news inspires me with       40
feelings of unmixed delight.
                                                                        King 56


I was growing almost anxious. It would have been                40-41
terrible if any cloud had come across a friendship like
ours, would it not?
Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me.                           41
I never travel without my diary. One should always have         41
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.

the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish             41
promise I shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once,
and with a firm hand.

I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade.                41
Five counties! I don't think I should like that; I hate         42
crowds.

I had no idea there were any flowers in the country.            42
Personally I cannot understand how anybody manages to           42
exist in the country, if anybody who is anybody does.
The country always bores me to death.

But I require tea!                                              42

I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the        43
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. I felt that         43
you were false and deceitful. I am never deceived in such
matters. My first impressions of people are invariably
right.

Summary Act II- Gwendolen is self important and
believes herself to be in the right and won’t take being
wronged, but will be your best friend if the wind is
blowing her way.

Act III
They don't seem to notice us at all.                            48
Let us preserve a dignified silence.                            49
But we will not be the first to speak.                          49
I have something very particular to ask you.                    49
I have the gravest doubts upon the subject. But I intend to     49
crush them.
True! I had forgotten. There are principles at stake that       50
                                                                               King 57


one cannot surrender. Which of us should tell them? The
task is not a pleasant one.

I nearly always speak at the same time as other people.    50
For my sake you are prepared to do this terrible thing?    50

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.            58
I never change, except in my affections.                   60
Ernest! My own Ernest! I felt from the first that you      61
could have no other name!


Summary Act III-. She believes she is hopelessly lost
without her Ernest, is committed to her friendship
with Cecily and quite perturbed at her mother.

Summary for entire play: She believes she is a proper young lady who is beset with
an overbearing mother, but she must put up with as that is her duty. She is self-
centered, but joyous


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
         Character Analysis
Cecily
Please note that Cecily doesn’t appear until Act II. Guttenberg Plain Text
Versision (SD refers to stage direction. Kim, Karen, & Steve did Act I, Steve
compiled Act II, and Karen compiled Act III.

What Cecily thinks about Algernon?
ACT II – Scene 1
SD   Dialogue                                                                  PG
     I wish Uncle Jack would allow that unfortunate young man, his             24
     brother, to come down here sometimes
     We might have a good influence over him, Miss Prism.                      24
     'Mr. Ernest Worthing, B. 4, The Albany, W.' Uncle Jack's brother!         26
     You, I see from your card, you are Uncle Jack's brother, my cousin        27
     Ernest, my wicked cousin Ernest.
     If you are not, then you have certainly been deceiving us all in a very   27
     inexcusable manner. I hope you have not been leading a double life,
     pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would
     be hypocrisy.
     I don't think you should be so proud of that, though I am Sure it must    27
     have been very pleasant.
                                                                                King 58


SD      Dialogue                                                                PG
        Your emigrating.                                                        28
        I don't think you will require neckties.                                28
        It is rather Quixotic of you. But I think you should try                28
        You are looking a little worse.                                         28
        I don't think it can be right for you to talk to me like that.          28
        He has gone up to buy your outfit.                                      28
        Yes, but are you good enough for it?                                    28
        You can see the entry if you like.                                      38
        You dear romantic boy. [He kisses her, she puts her fingers through his 38
        hair.] I hope your hair curls naturally, does it?
        Besides, of course, there is the question of your name.                 38
        You must not laugh at me, darling, but it had always been a girlish     38
        dream of mine to love some one whose name was Ernest.
        Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married.                    42
        Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago.                          42
        It would distress me more than I can tell you, dear Gwendolen,          42
        ...but I feel bound to point out that since Ernest proposed to you he   43
        clearly has changed his mind
        [Thoughtfully and sadly.] Whatever unfortunate entanglement my dear 43
        boy may have got into...
        Here is Ernest.                                                         45
        [Drawing back.] A moment, Ernest! May I ask you--are you engaged        45
        to be married to this young lady?
        [Presenting her cheek to be kissed.] You may.                           46
        [Breaking away from Algernon.] Algernon Moncrieff! Oh! [The two         46
        girls move towards each other and put their arms round each other's
        waists as if for protection.]
        Are you called Algernon?                                                46
        In fact, I am going to be his.                                          42
Cecily is utterly enamored with Algy and swept away by his charms, but she is very
insistent on her own way and knows she can get him to bend to her will.
ACT III – SCENE 1
         They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance                43
         They’re approaching. That’s very forward of them                         44
         A most distasteful one                                                   44
         I don’t.                                                                 44
         But that does not affect the wonderful beauty of his answer.             44
         I am more than content with what Mr. Moncrieff said. His voice alone     44
         inspires one with absolute credulity.
         Yes. I mean no                                                           44
         To please me you are ready to face this fearful ordeal?                  44
         They have moments of physical courage of which we women know             44
         absolutely nothing.
X        [They fall into each other’s arms]                                       44
                                                                                  King 59


X       [They fall into each other’s arms]                                         44
        Mr. Moncrieff and I are engaged to be married, Lady Bracknell.             46
Cecily love Algy and easily forgives him and immediately follows the ethics and
etiquette of the times by her abeyance to his aunt.


What Cecily thinks about Cecily?
ACT II – Scene 1
SD                                     Dialogue                                    PG
     But I don't like German. It isn't at all a becoming language. I know         24
     perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.
     I wish Uncle Jack would allow that unfortunate young man, his                24
     brother, to come down here sometimes
     We might have a good influence over him, Miss Prism.                         24
     I am sure you certainly would. You know German, and geology, and             24
     things of that kind influence a man very much.
     I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I      24
     didn't write them down, I should probably forget all about them.
     I believe that Memory is responsible for Nearly all the three-volume         24
     novels that Mudie sends us.
     I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily.         25
     They depress me so much.
     No, dear Miss Prism, I know that, but I felt instinctively that you had      25
     a headache. Indeed I was thinking about that, and not about my
     German lesson, when the Rector came in.
     Oh, I am afraid I am.                                                        25
     [Picks up books and throws them back on table.                               26
     Horrid Political Economy! Horrid Geography! Horrid, horrid German!           26
     I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather              26
     frightened. I am so afraid he will look just like every one else. [Enter
     Algernon, very gay and debonnair.] He does!
     I am glad to hear it                                                         27
     You are under some strange mistake.                                          27
     I am not little. In fact, I believe I am more than usually tall for my       27
     age…But I am your cousin Cecily.
     I can't understand how you are here at all.                                  27
     Couldn't you miss it anywhere but in London?                                 27
     Well, I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a business          27
     engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life,
     but still I think you had better wait till Uncle Jack arrives. I know he     27
     wants to speak to you about your emigrating.
     I know he wants to speak to you about your emigrating.                       27
     I'm afraid I've no time, this afternoon                                      28
     How thoughtless of me. I should have remembered that when one is             28
     going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome
                                                                                  King 60


SD                                    Dialogue                                    PG
       meals. Won't you come in?
       Miss Prism never says such things to me.                                    29
       Miss Prism says that all good looks area snare.                             29
       Oh, I don't think I would care to catch a sensible man. I shouldn't         29
       know what to talk to him about.
       Uncle Jack! Oh, I am pleased to see you back.                               32
       But what horrid clothes you have got on! Do go and change them.             32
       I think it is rather hard that you should leave me for so long a period as 39
       half an hour
       What an impetuous boy he is! I like his hair so much. I must enter his      40
       proposal in my diary.
       I don’t quite like women who are interested in philanthropic work. I        40
       think it is so forward of them.
       [Advancing to meet her.] Pray let me introduce myself to you. My            40
       name is Cecily Cardew
       Oh! Not at all, Gwendolen. I am very fond of being looked at.               41
       Oh no! I live here.                                                         41
       Oh no! I have no mother, nor, in fact, any relations.                       41
       My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous        41
       task of looking after me.
       Yes, I am Mr. Worthing’s ward                                               41
X      [Puts her hand over it.(HER DIARY)]                                         42
X      [Rather shy and confidingly.]                                               42
       I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should        42
       always be quite candid.
       I will never reproach him with it after we are married.                     43
       When I see a spade I call it a spade.                                       43
       I believe the aristocracy are suffering very much from it just at present. 44
       It is almost an epidemic amongst them, I have been told.
       To save my poor, innocent, trusting boy from the machinations of any 45
       other girl there are no lengths to which I would not go.
       It seems to me, Miss Fairfax, that I am trespassing on your valuable        45
       time
       [Very sweetly.] I knew there must be some misunderstanding, Miss            45
       Fairfax.
       A gross deception has been racticed on both of us.C 46 G                    46
       [Rather brightly.] There is just one question I would like to be allowed 46
       to ask my guardian.
       It is not a very pleasant position for a young girl suddenly to find        47
       herself in. Is it?
Cecily is a charming, sheltered – and a little muddle-headed young lady of her times
who wishes most strongly not to be sheltered. She doesn’t want to study and yearns
for romance. She is headstrong and wants her own way and is slightly spoiled. She
can be quite petulant to others when she feels she’s being crossed or isn’t getting
                                                                                       King 61


 SD                                       Dialogue                                     PG
what she wants.
ACT III – SCENE 1
SD                                        Dialogue                                     Pg
X [Gwendolen and Cecily are at the window, looking out into the garden.]               43
      That looks like repentance                                                       43
     But I haven’t got a cough                                                         43
     They’re approaching. That’s very forward of them                                  44
     Certainly. It’s the only thing to do now.                                         44
     A most distasteful one                                                            44
     That certainly seems a satisfactory explanation, does it not                      44
     But that does not affect the wonderful beauty of his answer                       44
     I am more than content with what Mr. Moncrieff said. His voice alone              44
     inspires one with absolute credulity.
     Yes. I mean no                                                                    44
     Could we not both speak at the same time?                                         44
     Gwendolen and Cecily [Speaking together.] Your Christian names are                44
     still an insuperable barrier. That is all!
     To please me you are ready to face this fearful ordeal?                           44
X The couples separate in alarm.                                                       44
     Mr. Moncrieff and I are engaged to be married, Lady Bracknell.                    45
     [Cecily goes across.] [Cecily turns completely round.] [Cecily presents           46
     her profile.]
     [Kisses her.] Thank you, Lady Bracknell                                           46
     [Algernon and Cecily look at him in indignant amazement.]                         46
     Well, I am really only eighteen, but I always admit to twenty when I go           47
     to evening parties
     Algy, could you wait for me till I was thirty-five?                               48
     Yes, I felt it instinctively, but I couldn’t wait all that time. I hate waiting   48
     even five minutes for anybody. It always makes me rather cross. I am
     not punctual myself, I know, but I do like punctuality in others, and
     waiting, even to be married, is quite out of the question.
     I don’t know, Mr. Moncrieff                                                       48
Cecily is a well-brought up young lady who conforms to the laws of the society.


What Cecily thinks about Dr. Chasuble?
ACT II – SCENE 1
SD   Dialogue                                                                          PG
     But I see dear Dr. Chasuble coming up through the garden.                         25
     Dr. Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single                 39
                                                                                  King 62


       book, so you can imagine how much he knows.
Cecily is respectful of Dr. Chasuble and automatically gives him his due.


What Cecily thinks about Gwendolen?
SD     Dialogue                                                                   PG
       Miss Fairfax! I suppose one of the many good elderly women who are 40
       associated with Uncle Jack in some of his philanthropic work in
       London.
       How nice of you to like me so much after we have known each other          40
       such a comparatively short time.
       [Very politely, rising.] I am afraid you must be under some                42
       misconception
X      [...Cecily is about to retort. The presence of the servants exercises a    43
       restraining influence, under which both girls chafe.]
X      [Cecily and Gwendolen glare at each other.]                                43
       Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an              43
       engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow
       mask of manners.
       [Sweetly.] I suppose that is why you live in town?                         44
       So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax                                          44
       No doubt you have many other calls of a similar character to make in       45
       the neighbourhood.
       A gross deception has been practised on both of us.                        46
       My sweet wronged Gwendolen!                                                46
Cecily is very polite, but varies of her opinion and believes Gwen to be a hussy after
him man until the misunderstanding is cleared up, then embraces her as one after her
own heart.
ACT III – SCENE 1
  Gwendolen, your common sense is invaluable                                         44
  Could we not both speak at the same time?                                          44
  They have moments of physical courage of which we women know absolutely 44
  nothing.
Cecily considers Gwen a confidant.


What Cecily thinks about Jack?
ACT II – SCENE 1
SD   Dialogue                                                                    Pg
     Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so serious that I       24
     think he cannot be quite well.
     I suppose that is why he often looks a little bored when we three are       24
     together
     Uncle Jack won't be back till Monday afternoon.                             27
     Uncle Jack is sending you to Australia.                                     28
                                                                                 King 63


SD     Dialogue                                                                   Pg
       Well, he said at dinner on Wednesday night, that you would Have to         28
       choose between this world, the next world, and Australia.
       Uncle Jack, if you don’t shake hands with Ernest I will never forgive      33
       you.
       Oh, is he going to take you for a nice drive?                              35
       Uncle Jack would be very much annoyed if he knew you were staying 37
       on till next week, at the same hour.
       Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a       37
       younger brother who was very wicked and bad
       Isn’t Mr. Worthing in his library?                                         40
       Mr. Worthing is sure to be back soon.                                      40
       Miss Fairfax! I suppose one of the many good elderly women who are 40
       associated with Uncle Jack in some of his philanthropic work in
       London.
       My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous       41
       task of looking after me.
       Oh, but it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is my guardian. It is his        42
       brother—his elder brother.
       I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time.        42
       The gentleman whose arm is at present round your waist is my               45
       guardian, Mr. John Worthing.
       This is Uncle Jack.                                                        45
       [Surprised.] No brother at all?                                            47
       Your brother is a little off colour, isn’t he, dear Jack? You won’t be     48
       able to disappear to London quite so frequently as your wicked custom
       was. And not a bad thing either.
Cecily believes in her Uncle Jack’s authority, but is concerned over his well being
and moral compass and even forgives him when the lie is revealed.
ACT III – SCENE 1
SD DIALOGUE                                                                       PG
     They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance                    43
     They’re approaching. That’s very forward of them                             44
     A most distasteful one                                                       44
     I don’t.                                                                     44
     Yes. I mean no                                                               44
     They have moments of physical courage of which we women know                 44
     absolutely nothing.
     Uncle Jack seems strangely agitated.                                         52
Cecily bows to the superiority of the male figure.
                                                                                       King 64



What Cecily thinks of Lady Bracknell?
ACT III – Scene 1
Sd                                    Dialogue                                         Re
     Mr. Moncrieff and I are engaged to be married, Lady Bracknell.                    45
     [Cecily goes across.] [Cecily turns completely round.] [Cecily presents           46
     her profile.]
     [Kisses her.] Thank you, Lady Bracknell                                           48
Cecily adheres to all the manners of polite society and understands that Lady
Bracknell is woman of means and power.


What Cecily thinks about Prism?
ACT II-SCENE 1
 Sd                                   Dialogue                                  Re
       How wonderfully clever you are!                                         25
       And was your novel ever published?                                      25
       Miss Prism has just been complaining of a slight headache. I think it   25
       would do her so much good to have a short stroll with you in the Park,
       Dr. Chasuble.
       ...you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between    37
       myself and Miss Prism
Cecily believes Ms. Prism to be easily distracted and manipulated for her own whims,
but feels affection for her as well.


                                The Importance of Being Earnest

                                   Character Analysis - Ms. Prism
                                          Act II - Manor House Garden

PRISM ON CECILY

Gut. Copy Page#       Lines or dialogue

Dialogue                                                                                    PG

... Moulton’s duty than yours... intellectual pleasures... repeat yesterday’s lesson        26

Cecily I am surprised at you... remember his constant anxiety about ... his brother         26

I don’t see why you should keep a diary at all.                                             27

To your work child these speculations are profitless                                        27

Cecily you will come with us                                                                37
                                                                                                        King 65


                              Summary - Prism on Cecily - Act II

    Ms. Prism feels a great duty towards and her education. She wants Cecily
                          to achieve her place in society
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PRISM ON JACK

Dialogue                                                                                                         PG

... how anxious your guardian is that you should improve yourself...always lays stress on your German           26
when he is leaving town.

Your guardian enjoys the best of health... especially to be commended in one so                                 26

comparatively young as he....has a higher sense of duty and responsibility.

Idle merriment and triviality would be out of place in his conversation                                         26

We do not expect him until Monday afternoon                                                                     28

What lesson for him! I trust he will profit                                                                     33


This seems to be a blessing of an extremely obvious kind.                                                       35

After we had all been resigned to his loss, his sudden return seems to me peculiarly distressing                36

.

                              Summary- Prism on Jack Act II

    Ms. Prism is concerned about Jack’s happiness. She finds him a desirable
     bachelor for someone. She also thinks he a focused, responsible and
                     serious man with a great sense of duty.
______________________________________________________________________________________
_____

26     I am not in favor of this modern mania for turning bad people into good people at a moments notice.

27     Memory my dear Cecily is the diary that we all carry about with us

27     I wrote one my self in earlier days

28     I have not mentioned anything about a headache Chastising Cecily

28     Egeria? My name is Laetitia, Doctor. Egeria was a nymph who advised a Roman King /means
       companion also

28     I think, dear Doctor I will have a stroll with you. I find I have a headache after all, and a walk might do
       it good. Prism Goes down the walk with Chasuble
                                                                                                   King 66

29   Prism goes down the walk with Dr. Chasuble STAGE DIRECTION

32   You are too much alone, dear Dr. Chasuble. You should get married

32   That depends on the intellectual sympathies of a woman. Maturity can always be   depended on.
     Ripeness can be trusted. Young women can be green. I spoke horticulturally. My metaphor was
     drawn from fruits.

34   I ...I have often spoken to the poorer classes on the subject. But, they don’t seem to know what thrift
     is.




                          Summary - Prism on Prism - Act II

  She thinks herself an intellectual and strives for perfection. She holds
 women superior to men and she is seeking companionship in the form of
       marriage. She also believes that all men should be married.


______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PG   Dialogue

27     This is indeed a pleasure

32     ... you do not realise dear Doctor that by ...remaining single.. a man converts   himself.. to
     permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful: This very         celibacy lends weaker
     vessels astray.

32   A Misanthrope --I can understand. A Womanthrope, Never! - She is saying you can be untrusting of
     the human race but, woman you can surely trust.

33   As a man sows, so shall he reap

34   People who live entirely for pleasure usually are. but, could also be directed towards Jack

37   We must not be premature in our judgments




                         Summary - Prism on Chasuable - Act II

Ms. Prism thinks Mr. Chasuble should be married. She believes that by him
remaining single he will go astray. For him to remain single is a danger to
his place in society. She also thinks that people who remain unmarried are
            selfish and believes that is what Chasuable is doing.

Act III - The Country Manor House
66     I was told you were waiting for me in the vestry, dear Canon. I have been waiting     for you there
                                                                                                   King 67

     for an hour and three-quarters. Note: Canon means story of truth and the text of the New testament

71   Frederick at last!

                          Summary- Prism on Chasuble - Act III

She is in love with Chasuable and was quite concerned that he could have
possibly left her there waiting in the vestry. She has waited to be with him
forever
______________________________________________________________________________________
______

67      Lady Bracknell, I admit with shame that I do not know. I only wish I did. The plain    facts of the
     case are these. On the morning of the day you mention, a day that is        forever branded in my
     memory, I prepared as usual to take the baby out in it’s     perambulator. (Stroller) I had also with me
     a somewhat old, but capacious hand        bag in which I intended to place my manuscript of a work of
     fiction that I had   written during my few unoccupied hours. In a moment of mental distraction, for
     which I can never forgive myself, I deposited the manuscript in the bassinette,      and placed the
     baby in the handbag. how she lost the baby

67     ...Yes, here is the injury it received through the upsetting of Gower Street omnibus...Here is the
     stain on the lining...And look here are my initials.... The bag is undoubtedly mine. It has been a
     great inconvenience being without it all these      years.

69   Mr. Worthing I am unmarried!

                            Summery - Prism on Prism - Act III

     Ms. Prism is very concerned about her reputation. She is also very
     embarrassed about losing the baby. *Losing the baby could also an
          inference that literature is more important than people.
______________________________________________________________________________________
                          _______Prism on Lady Bracknell

PG                                                  Dialogue

69   This is the lady who can tell you who you really are!


                  Summary - Ms. Prism on Lady Bracknell - Act III

        Ms. Prism is certain that Lady Bracknell will confirm the truth.


                             The Importance of Being Earnest

                               Character Analysis - Chasuble

Act II - Manor House Garden
                                                                                                 King 68

PG                                                 Dialogue

27   How are we this morning? Ms. Prism you are I trust well?

28    Were I fortunate to be Ms. Prism’s pupil I would hang upon her lips. I spoke     metaphorically--My
     metaphor was drawn from bees. He is flirting with her!

28     But, I must not disturb Egeria and her pupil any longer

28     A classical illusion merely, drawn from the pagan authors.

28    With pleasure, Ms. Prism, with pleasure. We might go as far as the schools and     back.

28

                       Summary - Chasuble on Ms. Prism - Act II

     He is obviously attracted to Ms. Prism. He wants others to show her
                respect. He is also willing to overlook nativity.
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______




PG                                                Dialogue

28   I hope Cecily, you are not inattentive.

32   Perhaps, she followed us to the schools

35   My child! My Child!

37   You have done a beautiful action today, dear child.
                                                                                                  King 69


                           Summary - Chasuble on Cecily - Act II

 He is concerned for Cecily’s welfare and often treats as if she is younger
                            than she really is.
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PG                                                 Dialogue

32     Believe me, I do not deserve so a neologistic phrase. The precept as well as the   practice of the
     primitive church was distinctly against matrimony. Note: Neologism means to apply a new word or
     synthesize a      pre-existing concepts - He is referring to Ms. Prism invention of the word
     WOMANTHROPE!

32   But, is a man not equally attractive when married?

33   Charity, Dear Ms. Prism, Charity! None of us are perfect I myself am peculiarly susceptible to
     draughts.

34    I fear that hardly points to any very serious state of mind...My sermon on the    meaning of the
     manna... distressing. I have preached it...on behalf for the society for the prevention of discontent
     among the upper orders.

35   Perfectly, Perfectly! In fact I have two similar ceremonies to perform at that time.

                        Summary - Chasuble on Chasuble - Act II

  He thinks very highly of himself and sees himself as attractive. He also
believes he is a good catch. He uses his position in the church to justify his
                                 behaviors
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PG                                                  Dialogue

28          Ah, yes, he usually likes to spend his Sunday in London. ... one of those who’s    sole aim is
          enjoyment...his brother seems to be.

33        Dear, Mr. Worthing, I trust this garb of woe does not betoken some terrible calamity?

33        Still leading his life of pleasure.

33          Mr. Worthing, I offer you my sincere condolences. You have at least the consolation of
          knowing that you were always the most generous and forgiving of brothers.

34        Your brother was, I believe, unmarried, was he not?

34        But surely, Mr. Worthing, you have been christened already.

34        But have you any grave doubts on the subject?

35          You need have know apprehensions. Sprinkling is all that is necessary or indeed       I think
          advisable.
                                                                                                      King 70

35          I would nearly beg you not to be too much bowed down by grief. What seem to            us bitter
          trials are often blessings in disguise

36        These are very joyful tidings

37          It’s pleasant, is it not, to see so perfect a reconciliation? I think we might leave   the two
          brothers together.

                     Summary - Chasuble on Jack/Earnest - Act II

                 He admires Jack and wants things to go well for him



                               he Importance of Being Earnest

                                 Character Analysis - Chasuble
                                     Act III - The Country Manor House



PG                                                  Dialogue

65   Everything is quite ready for the christenings

65   Am I to understand then that there are to be no christenings at all this afternoon?

66     I am grieved to hear such sentiments from you, Mr. Worthing They savour of the    heretical views
     of the Anabaptist views, that I have completely refuted in four of my unpublished sermons...Ms.
     Prism has been waiting for me in the vestry.

68   What do you think this means, Lady Bracknell?

68   Your guardian has a very emotional nature

                           Summary - Chasuble on Jack - Act III

 He is disappointed regarding Jack’s decision concerning the christenings
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PG                                                    Dialogue

66   Yes, Lady Bracknell. I am on my way to join her .

66   She is the most cultivated of ladies and a very picture of respectability

66   She approaches; She is Nigh

71   Laeticia!

                          Summary - Chasuble on Prism - Act III
                                                                              King 71


                    He is in Love and infatuated with Ms. Prism!
______________________________________________________________________________________
_______

PG                                        Dialogue

66   I am a celibate, madam!




                     Summary - Chasuble on Chasuble - Act III

                   Chasuble is very concerned about his image
                                                                       King 72



                    Questions H through M
                        H. 1. Government
                                       Algernon
Top Char Text                                                                P
G      A     Half the chaps who get into the Bankruptcy Court are called     56
             Algernon.
Summary: Algy doesn’t seem to have much respect for government or the
court system or even himself as “Algy’s” can’t seem to manage money.
                                         Jack
G      J     I am a liberal Unionist.                                        15
             I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was 8
             specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously
             constituted
             I have been writing frantic letters to Scotland Yard about it.  9
             When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to      13
             adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects.
             Why should there be one law for men, and another for            88
             women?
Summary: Jack is the most liberal of all the characters. Perhaps,
underneath not such a rake as he would have people believe. He has
respect for the government but can recognize it’s shortcomings.
                                        Cecily
Top Char Text                                                                PG
G      C     (Picks up books and throws them back on table) Horrid           39
             Political Economy! Horrid Geography! Horrid, horrid German
             This is what the newspapers call agricultural depression, is it 63
             not? I believe the aristocracy are suffering very much form it
             just at present. It is almost an epidemic amongst them
Summary: Cecily obviously, doesn’t like anything to do with government
as it equals spending time studying. She puts down the aristocracy and
obliquely, Gwendolyn as well since she is a part of the ruling class.
                                      Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                P
G      P     The chapter on the Fall of the Rupee you may omit., It is       38
             somewhat too sensational.
Summary: Clearly, Miss Prism, feels that worrying about government is
something refined young ladies shouldn’t be bothered with.
                                      Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                                P
G      G     We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals. 12
             she may prevent us from becoming man and wife                   20
             This is not the moment for German skepticism.                   73
                                                                           King 73


Summary: Gwendolyn has a certain respect for the government and
conventions of the time. She knows and accepts that Lady Bracknell can
stop her marriage. She views the German influence on the court with some
suspicion.
                                  Lady Bracknell
Top Char Text                                                              P
G    LB     But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language            11
            The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound.     15
            Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no
            effect whatsoever.
            hey count as Tories. They dine with us. Or come in the         15
            evening, at any rate. Now to minor matters
            Was he born in what the Radical papers call the purple of      16
            commerce, or did he rise from the ranks of the aristocracy?
            I was not aware that Mr. Bunbury was interested in social      76
            legislation. If so, he is well punished for his morbidity.
            …through the elaborate investigations of the Metropolitan      85
            Police…
Summary: Lady Bracknell looks at government as a necessary evil as it
allows her to keep her place in society and is a part of it. She doesn’t seem
to have much respect for it.
                   H. 2. Social Governance
                                    Algernon
Top Char Text                                                                   P
SG A        I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight       4
            refreshment at five o'clock.
            Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with. 5
            Girls don't think it right.
            I don't give my consent                                             5
            More than half of modern culture depends on what one                6
            shouldn't read.
            and once a week is quite enough to dine with one's own              8
            relations.
Summary: Although Algy may give the impression that he doesn’t care
how polite society works, in fact, he is quite aware of what is proper and
improper. He knows the rules and observes them, at least to the minimal
acceptable standard.
                                        Cecily
Top Char Text                                                                   P
SG C        Well, I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a          41
            business engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the
            beauty of life…
            I don’t quite like women who are interested in philanthropic        57
            work, I think it is so forward of them.
            This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners.            62
                                                                          King 74


Summary: Cecily does not have the same reverence for society and its
constraints as the other characters do. She is much more easy going and
has a more common sense approach to life.
                                    Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                                  P
SG G        We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals. 12
            Algy, kindly turn your back. I have something very particular to 19
            say to Mr. Worthing.
            And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties 59
            he becomes painfully effeminate, does he not?
            …I do have the prior claim                                         61
            In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital 73
            thing.
Summary: Gwendolyn lives by the rules of society and they are very
important to her and her sense of all being right with the world.
                                     Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                  P
SG P        ...such a utilitarian occupation as the watering of flowers is     35
            rather Moulton’s duty than yours?
            I know no one who has a higher sense of duty and                   36
            responsibility
Summary: Miss Prism has a very strict sense of what is proper behavior to
maintain one’s position in society. One always behaves properly.
                                   Lady Bracknell
Top Char Text                                                                  P
SG LB       I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn't been there 10
            since her poor husband's death.
            It would put my table completely out. Your uncle would have        11
            to dine upstairs.
            French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to 11
            think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is
            vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a
            thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so
            Gwendolen, you will accompany me.                                  11
            When you do become engaged to some one, I, or your father,         14
            should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact.
            duties exacted from one after one's death, land has ceased to      15
            be either a profit or a pleasure. It gives one position, and
            prevents one from keeping it up
            To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had     16
            handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the
            ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst
            excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know
            what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular
            locality in which the hand-bag was found, a cloak-room at a
            railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion--has
                                                                         King 75


             probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now--but
             it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a
             recognised position in good society.
             There are distinct social possibilities in your profile. The two 79
             weak points in our age are its want of principle and its want of
             profile.
             Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon, Only people    79
             who can’t get into it do that,
Summary: Lady Bracknell’s position in society is protected by proper
behavior. Deviation from that minimizes others respect. Everyone has
their place and there is a place for everyone and there you must stay and
behave accordingly.
                                        Jack
Top Char Text                                                                 P
SG J         When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the       4
             country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring
             I don't propose to discuss modern culture. It isn't the sort of  6
             thing one should talk of in private
Summary: Jack has an acute sense of what is right and proper behavior.
He make be a bit of rake but it is important to him to be accepted by
society.


                               I. Religion
                                   Algernon
Top Char     Text                                                           P
R   A        Divorces are made in Heaven                                    5
             I must see him at once on a most important christening – I     56
             mean on most important business
Summary: As religion confers respectability it is important, i.e., the
christening, otherwise it’s fairly forgettable.
                                         Cecily
Top Char Text                                                               P
R     C      Dr. Chausable is a most learned man. He has never written a    56
             single book, so you can imagine how much he knows.
             To please me are you ready to face this fearful ordeal?        74
Summary: Cecily has a naïve respect for religion. She assumes Dr.
Chausuble is smart because he is a reverend.
                                      Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                               P
R     G      Your Christian name                                            20
             That is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most      21
             metaphysical speculations has very little reference to all the
             actual facts of real life, as we know them.
             For my sake are you prepared to do this terrible thing?        74
Summary: The appearance of religious propriety is what is important as it
                                                                         King 76


has very little reference to real life.
                                          Jack
Top Char     Text                                                              P
R   J        I must get christened at once                                     13
             Dr. Chausuble --My sermon on the meaning of the manna in          45
             the wilderness can be adapted to almost any occasion, joyful.
             Or. As in the present cast, distressing. Jack-(sigh)
             I suppose you know how to christen all right? I mean of course 45
             your are continually christening, aren’t you.
             I certainly intend to have.                                       46
             I don’t see much fun in being christened along with other         46
             babies. It would be childish.
             …the sooner you give up that nonsense the better.                 70
             …you have been christened. That is the important thing.           70
             But after all, who has the right to cast a stone against one who 88
             has suffered? Cannot repentance wipe out an act of folly?
Summary: Religion is important to Jack as it gives him legitimacy. Proper
religious practice and the appearance of it are what good society demands.
                                      Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                  P
R      P     As a man sows so let him reap                                     36
             Dr. Chausuble                                                     37
             (Sententiously)That is obviously the reason why the Primitive     43
             Church has not lasted up to the present day.
             Chausuble--My sermon on the meaning of the manna in the           45
             wilderness can be adapted to almost any occasion, joyful. Or.
             As in the present cast, distressing. Miss Prism-(Sigh)
Summary: Miss Prism considers herself an upright and good woman,
regardless of her past indiscretion with the handbag. She is somewhat
prone to moralizing and passing judgment. She obviously has a great
regard for the church and the man who is responsible for it’s maintenance
both physical and spiritual.
                                  Rev. Chausuble
Top Char Text                                                                  P
R      Ch    A classical allusion merely, drawn from the Pagan authors. I      38
             shall see you both no doubt at Evensong
             The precept as well as the practice of the Primitive Church was 43
             distinctly against matrimony.
             My sermon on the meaning of the manna in the wilderness can 45
             be adapted to almost any occasion, joyful. Or. As in the
             present cast, distressing. (sigh)
             (Dr. Chausable looks astounded)                                   45
             But surely, Mr. Worthing, you have been christened already?       46
             But have you any grave doubts on the subject?                     46
             Sprinkling is all that is necessary, or indeed I think advisable. 46
                                                                           King 77


             Our weather is so changeable.
             They savor the heretical views of the Anabaptists, views that I  84
             have completely refuted in four of my unpublished sermons.
Summary: Rev. Chausuble takes pleasure and comfort in his beliefs. He is
not afraid of other religious practices but has confidence in his own beliefs
and how they support his community.
                                  Lady Bracknell
Top Char Text                                                                 P
R     LB     The idea is grotesque and irreligious! Algernon, I forbid you to
             be baptized. I will not hear of such excesses. Lord Bracknell
             would be highly displeased if he learned that htat was the way
             in which you wasted your time and money
Summary: Religion, as all things, must be practiced moderately and don’t
make any spectacle of yourself doing it.



                                    J. Sex
                                  Lady Bracknell
To Ch     Text                                                                 Pg
p  ar                                                                          .
S LB      who seems to me to be living entirely for pleasure now.              (1
                                                                               0)
S    LB   She is such a nice woman, and so attentive to her husband.           (1
                                                                               1)
Summary:

                                        Jack
To   Ch   Text                                                                 Pg
p    ar                                                                        .
S    J    And very good bread and butter it is too.                            (5)
S    J    Oh, that is nonsense!                                                (5)
S    J    Sententiously.] That, my dear young friend, is the theory that the   (9)
          corrupt French Drama has been propounding for the last fifty
          years.
S    J    I do mean something else                                             (1
                                                                               2)
S    J    I know nothing, Lady Bracknell                                       (1
                                                                               4)
S    J    Oh, that is nonsense.                                                (1
                                                                               8)
S    J    You are not to talk of Miss Cardew like that. I don’t like it.       (3
                                                                               5)
S    J    As for your conduct towards Miss Cardew, I must say that your        (4
          taking in a sweet, simple, innocent girl like that is quite          8)
                                                                             King 78


       inexcusable.
S   J  Then a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward         (5
       to.                                                                       9)
Summary:

                                   Gwendolyn
To Ch     Text                                                                   Pg
p  ar                                                                            .
S G       I intend to develop in many directions                                 (1
                                                                                 0)/
                                                                                 17
S   G  No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all,           (1
       indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations . .      3)/
       . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception,            21
       were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious
       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 moment’s solitude.
S G    men often propose for practice. I know my brother Gerald does.            (1
       All my girl-friends tell me so. I hope you will always look at me         3)/
       just like that, especially when there are other people present.           22
S G    Well, to speak with perfect candour, Cecily, I wish that you were         (4
       fully forty-two, and more than usually plain for your age.                3)
S G    Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception. But even           (4
       men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely                 3)
       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.
Summary:

                                 Lady Bracknell
To Ch     Text                                                                   Pg
p  ar                                                                            .
S LB      I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get            (1
          married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you         4)/
          know?                                                                  25
S   LB    Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is   (1
          gone.                                                                  5)/
                                                                                 25
S   LB My dear Mr. Worthing, as Miss Cardew states positively that she           (5
       cannot wait till she is thirty-five—a remark which I am bound to          9)
       say seems to me to show a somewhat impatient nature—
Summary:
                                                                          King 79


                                    Algernon
To Ch     Text                                                                 Pg
p  ar                                                                          .
S A    the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is        (4)
       almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.                     /7
S A    The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she (1
       is pretty, and to some one else, if she is plain.                       8)/
                                                                               30
S A    way Gwendolen flirts with you                                           (4)
                                                                               /7
S A    Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with.     (5)
       Girls don’t think it right.                                             /9
S A    It isn’t. It is a great truth. It accounts for the extraordinary number (5)
       of bachelors that one sees all over the place.                          /9
S A    Then your wife will. You don’t seem to ealize, that in married          (9)
       life three is company and two is none.                                  /1
                                                                               5
S A    Oh! I am not really wicked at all, cousin Cecily. You mustn’t think (2
       that I am wicked.                                                       8)
S A    In fact, now you mention the subject, I have been very bad in my        (2
       own small way.                                                          8)
S A    That is why I want you to reform me. You might make that your           (2
       mission, if you don’t mind, cousin Cecily.                              9)
S A    Because you are like a pink rose, Cousin Cecily.                        (2
                                                                               9)
S A    They are a snare that every sensible man would like to be caught (3
       in.                                                                     0)
S A    My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in (3
       the smallest degree.                                                    5)
S A    Well, Cecily is a darling.                                              (3
                                                                               5)
S A    I’d give anything to look at it. May I?                                 (3
                                                                               7)
S A    Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and               (3
       incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly,                   7)
       passionately, devotedly, hopelessly.
S A    Yes, darling, with a little help from others.                           (3
                                                                               9)
S A    I can see no possible defence at all for your deceiving a brilliant,    (4
       clever, thoroughly experienced young lady like Miss Fairfax.            9)
S A    Darling! [They fall into each other’s arms.]                            (5
                                                                               3)
Summary:

                                     Cecily
                                                                            King 80


Top Char Text                                                                   Pg.
S   C    No, dear Miss Prism, I know that, but I felt instinctively that        (26)
         you had a headache. Indeed I was thinking about that, and
         not about my German lesson, when the Rector came
S   C    I don’t think it can be right for you to talk to me like that. Miss    (29)
         Prism never says such things to me.
S   C    Miss Prism says that all good looks are a snare.                       (30)
S   C    I don’t think that you should tell me that you love me wildly,         (37)
         passionately, devotedly, hopelessly. Hopelessly doesn’t
         seem to make much sense, does it?
S   C    a younger brother who was very wicked and bad                          (38)
S   C    of course a man who is much talked about is always very                (38)
         attractive.
S   C    You dear romantic boy. [He kisses her, she puts her fingers            (39)
         through his hair.] I hope your hair curls naturally, does it?
S   C    Algy, could you wait for me till I was thirty-five?                    (58)
S   C    Yes, I felt it instinctively, but I couldn’t wait all that time.       (59)
Summary:

                                 Rev. Chausuble
Top Char Text                                                                   Pg.
S   Ch   Were I fortunate enough to be Miss Prism’s pupil, I would              (26)
         hang upon her lips. [Miss Prism glares.] I spoke
         metaphorically.—My metaphor was drawn from bees. Ahem!
         Mr. Worthing, I suppose, has not returned from town yet?
S   Ch   With pleasure, Miss Prism, with pleasure. We might go as far           (27)
         as the schools and back.
S   Ch   But is a man not equally attractive when married?                      (30)
S   Ch   And often, I’ve been told, not even to her.                            (30)
S   Ch   I am a celibate, madam.                                                (60)
Summary:

                                   Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                   Pg.
S   P    I think, dear Doctor, I will have a stroll with you. I find I have a   (27)
         headache after all, and a walk might do it good.
S   P    a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.             (30)
         Men should be more careful; this very celibacy leads weaker
         vessels astray.
S   P    People who live entirely for pleasure usually are.                     (31)
S   P    Mr. Worthing! I am unmarried!                                          (62)
S   M    Ahem! Ahem! Lady Bracknell!                                            (53)
Summary:
                                                                         King 81


                               K. Family
                                  Algernon
Top Char Text                                                                 P
F   A    Miss Cardew is the grand-daughter of the late Mr. Thomas
         Cardew of 149
         My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only      17
         thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are
         simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest
         knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when
         to die.
         All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No       18
         man does. That's his.
         I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being           4
         here.
         Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are                 5
         ordered specially for Aunt Augusta.
         The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted          5
         to bread and butter.
         I don't give my consent                                              5
         Gwendolen is my first cousin. And before I allow you to marry        5
         her, you will have to clear up the whole question of Cecily.
         To say nothing of the fact that she is my cousin.                    49
         Yes, Aunt Augusta.                                                   54
         If it wasn't for Bunbury's extraordinary bad health, for instance,   8
         I wouldn't be able to dine with you at Willis's to- night, for I
         have been really engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a
         week.
         and once a week is quite enough to dine with one's own               8
         relations.
         the happy English home                                               9
         Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian            9
         manner.
         I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.    3
         Very natural, I am sure.                                             3
         Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't       4
         quite approve of your being here.
Summary:
                                Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                                 Pg.
F   G    Mamma has a way of coming back suddenly into a room that I           12
         have often had to speak to her about.
         Perhaps this might be a favourable opportunity for my                41
         mentioning who I am. My father is Lord Bracknell. You have
         never heard of papa, I suppose?
                                                                       King 82


            Outside the family circle, papa, I am glad to say…….at you     42
            through my glasses?
            Really? Your mother, no doubt, or some female relative of      42
            advanced years, resides here also?
            Indeed?                                                        42
            cannot help expressing a wish you were—well, just a little     42
            older than you seem to be—and not quite so very alluring in
            appearance. In fact, if I may speak candidly—
            Ernest never mentioned to me that he had a brother.            43
            You will call me sister, will you not?                         47
            But what own are you? What is your Christian name, now that    63
            you have become some one else?
Summary:
                                   Cecily
Top Char Text                                                              Pg.
F   C    Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so            18
         serious that I think he cannot be quite well.
         However badly he may have behaved to you in the past he is        33
         still your brother. You couldn’t be so heartless as to disown
         him.
         Uncle Jack, you are not going to refuse your own brother’s        34
         hand?
         There is just one question I would like to be allowed to ask my   47
         guardian.
Summary:
                                 Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                              Pg
F   P    Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that you should      25
         improve yourself in every way. He laid particular stress on
         your German, as he was leaving for town yesterday. Indeed,
         he always lays stress on your German when he is leaving for
         town.
         I know no one who has a higher sense of duty and                  18
         responsibility.
         You must remember his constant anxiety about that                 18
         unfortunate young man his brother.
Summary:
                               Lady Bracknell
Top Char Text                                                              Pg.
F   LB   To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a            16
         misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. W
         To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had    16
         handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the
         ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst
         excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know
                                                              King 83


what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular
locality in which the hand-bag was found, a cloak-room at a
railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion--
has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now--
but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a
recognised position in good society
I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire      17
some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite
effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before
the season is quite over.
Her unhappy father is, I am glad to say, under the impression      54
that she is attending a more than usually lengthy lecture by the
University Extension Scheme on the Influence of a permanent
income on Thought. I do not propose to undeceive him.
Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question.
On this point, as indeed on all points, I am firm.                 54
Mr. Worthing, who is that young person whose hand my               54
nephew Algernon is now holding in what seems to me a
peculiarly unnecessary manner?
You are nothing of the kind, sir. And now, as regards              55
Algernon! . . . Algernon!
Mr. Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the      55
larger railway stations in London? I merely desire information.
Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or
persons whose origin was a Terminus. [Jack looks perfectly
furious, but restrains himself.]
A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! ….. A thoroughly             56
experienced French maid produces a really marvellous result
in a very brief space of time.
But I do not approve of mercenary marriages. When I married        57
Lord Bracknell I had no fortune of any kind. But I never
dreamed for a moment of allowing that to stand in my way.
Well, I suppose I must give my consent.
You may also address me as Aunt Augusta for the future.            57
Mr. Worthing, after careful consideration I have decided           58
entirely to overlook my nephew’s conduct to you.
Lord Bracknell would be highly displeased if he learned that       59
that was the way in which you wasted your time and money.
This matter may prove to be one of vital importance to Lord        60
Bracknell and myself.
I need hardly tell you that in families of high position strange   62
coincidences are not supposed to occur. They are hardly
considered the thing.
Being the eldest son you were naturally christened after your      64
father.
                                                                      King 84


Summary:
                                    Jack
Top Char Text                                                              Pg
F   J    The fact is, Lady Bracknell, I said I had lost my parents. It     16
         would be nearer the truth to say that my parents seem to have
         lost me . . .
         Oh, that is nonsense                                              17
         You don't think there is any chance of Gwendolen becoming         17
         like her mother in about a hundred and fifty years, do you,
         Algy?
         Belgrave Square, S.W.; Gervase Park, Dorking, Surrey; and         55
         the Sporran, Fifeshire, N.B.
         Miss Cardew’s family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby,       55
         and Markby.
         I have also in my possession, you will be pleased to hear,        55
         certificates of Miss Cardew’s birth, baptism, whooping cough,
         registration, vaccination, confirmation, and the measles; both
         the German and the English variety.
         Oh! about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds in the Funds.      56
         That is all.
         about your nephew, but the fact is that I do not approve at all   58
         of his moral character.
         however, is unalterable. I decline to give my consent.            58
         The moment you consent to my marriage with Gwendolen, I           59
         will most gladly allow your nephew to form an alliance with my
         ward.
         Miss Prism, this is a matter of no small importance to me. I      61
         insist on knowing where you deposited the hand-bag that
         contained that infant.
         Why should there be one law for men, and another for              63
         women? Mother, I forgive you.
         You are the son of my poor sister, Mrs. Moncrieff, and            63
         consequently Algernon’s elder brother.
         Algy’s elder brother! Then I have a brother after all. I knew I   63
         had a brother! I always said I had a brother! Cecily,—how
         could you have ever doubted that I had a brother? [Seizes
         hold of Algernon.] Dr. Chasuble, my unfortunate brother.
         Miss Prism, my unfortunate brother. Gwendolen, my
         unfortunate brother. Algy, you young scoundrel, you will have
         to treat me with more respect in the future. You have never
         behaved to me like a brother in all your life.
         On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I’ve now realised for the first    64
         time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
         Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little         7
         boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss
                                                                          King 85


            Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from
            motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives
            at my place in the country under the charge of her admirable
            governess, Miss Prism.
            My dear Algy, I don't know whether you will be able to              8
            understand my real motives. You are hardly serious enough.
            When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to
            adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It's one's duty to
            do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to
            conduce very much to either one's health or one's happiness,
            in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a
            younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the
            Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes. That, my
            dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
            When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to          8
            adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects.
            To say nothing of the fact that she is my ward.                     48
            It is entirely different in your case. You have been christened     50
            already.
Summary:


                              L. Marriage
                                   Algernon
Top Char Text                                                                   P
M   A    Is marriage so demoralizing as that? Lane's views on marriage          3
         seem somewhat lax (inference)
         I thought you had come up for pleasure? . . . I call that              4
         business.
         You behave as if you were married to her already. You are not          5
         married to her already, and I don't think you ever will be.
         I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very          5
         romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a
         definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I
         believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of
         romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to
         forget the fact.
         Divorces are made in Heaven                                            5
         Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with.    5
         Girls don't think it right.
         The amount of women in London who flirt with their own                 9
         husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply
         washing one's clean linen in public.
         if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely                   9
         problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury. A man who
         marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
                                                                        King 86


            Then your wife will. You don't seem to realize, that in married   9
            life three is company and two is none.
            Oh, I don't care about Jack. I don't care for anybody in the      53
            whole world but you. I love you, Cecily. You will marry me,
            won't you?
            Well, I simply wanted to be engaged to Cecily. I adore her        68
Summary: Before meeting Cecily, Algernon clearly separates the ideas of
romance and marriage. He sees marriage as a boring social contract. After
meeting Cecily he combines the notions of romance and marriage.
                                       Cecily
Top Char Text                                                                 P
M    C      It would hardly have been a really serious engagement if it       55
            hadn't been broken off at least once
            You must not laugh at me, darling, but it had always been a       56
            girlish dream of mine to love some one whose name was
            Ernest. [Algernon rises, Cecily also.] There is something in that
            name that seems to inspire absolute confidence. I pity any poor
            married woman whose husband is not called Ernest.
            Whatever unfortunate entanglement my dear boy may have got 61
            into, I will never reproach him with it after we are married.
            To save my poor, innocent, trusting boy from the machinations     64
            of any other girl there are no lengths to which I would not go.
            waiting, even to be married, is quite out of the question         82
Summary: Cecily has romanticized notions of short, passionate
engagements. However, she shows utter devotion to the idea of
“husband”, and would go to any lengths to keep him.
                                    Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                                 P
M    G      But you haven't proposed to me yet. Nothing has been said at      13
            all about marriage. The subject has not even been touched on.
            But although she may prevent us from becoming man and wife, 20
            and I may marry some one else, and marry often, nothing that
            she can possibly do can alter my eternal devotion to you.
            If the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish promise I 61
            shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once, and with a firm
            hand.
Summary: Gwendolen views marriage as something that will gain her
social status and attention, and separates the idea of romance from
marriage.
                                  Rev. Chausuble
Top Char Text                                                                 P
M    Ch     With a scholar's shudder.] Believe me, I do not deserve so        42
            neologistic a phrase. The precept as well as the practice of the
            Primitive Church was distinctly against matrimony.
Summary: Dr. Chausuble is embarrassed by talk of marriage and feels the
notion of a marriage for him would be silly.
                                                                           King 87


                                   Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                    P
M     P     You are too much alone, dear Dr. Chasuble. You should get            42
            married. A misanthrope I can understand—a womanthrope,
            never!
            Sententiously.] That is obviously the reason why the Primitive       43
            Church has not lasted up to the present day. And you do not
            seem to ealize, dear Doctor, that by persistently remaining
            single, a man converts himself into a permanent public
            temptation. Men should be more careful; this very celibacy
            leads weaker vessels astray.
            That depends on the intellectual sympathies of the woman.            43
            Maturity can always be depended on. Ripeness can be trusted.
            Young women are green.
Summary: Miss Prism believes that marital companionship will relive
loneliness and prevent physical temptation. She also believes that older
women make trustworthy wives.
                                        Jack
Top Char Text                                                                    P
M     J     I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly 4
            to propose to her.
            I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was         5
            specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously
            constituted
            Oh, that is nonsense!                                                5
            That is nonsense. If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen,         9
            and she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry, I
            certainly won't want to know Bunbury.
            I wanted to be engaged to Gwendolen, that is all. I love her.        68
            I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Lady Bracknell, but this     80
            engagement is quite out of the question. I am Miss Cardew's
            guardian, and she cannot marry without my consent until she
            comes of age. That consent I absolutely decline to give.
            But my dear Lady Bracknell, the matter is entirely in your own       83
            hands. The moment you consent to my marriage with
            Gwendolen, I will most gladly allow your nephew to form an
            alliance with my ward.
            Unmarried! I do not deny that is a serious blow. But after all,      88
            who has the right to cast a stone against one who has
            suffered? Cannot repentance wipe out an act of folly? Why
            should there be one law for men, and another for women?
            Mother, I forgive you. [Tries to embrace her again.]
Summary: Jack can not separate love from his desire to be married. He is
devoted and does not want distractions or separations from the woman he
will marry. He also holds in high regard the societal norms of marriage.
                                 Lady Bracknell
                                                                         King 88


Top Char Text                                                                  P
M    LB      who seems to me to be living entirely for pleasure now.           10
             She is such a nice woman, and so attentive to her husband.        11
             A very good age to be married at. I have always been of           14
             opinion that a man who desires to get married should know
             either everything or nothing.
             Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter--a       17
             girl brought up with the utmost care--to marry into a cloak-
             room, and form an alliance with a parcel?
             To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They 80
             give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character
             before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
             Meditatively.] I cannot at the present moment recall what the     89
             General's Christian name was. But I have no doubt he had one.
             He was eccentric, I admit. But only in later years. And that was
             the result of the Indian climate, and marriage, and indigestion,
             and other things of that kind.
Summary: Lady Bracknell is most concerned with the social status a
proper marriage could provide her daughter. She also acknowledges that
marriages can bring some stress and chaos into a life. She is very
opinionated about what is proper for the marriage related procedures, and
is materialistic in her views of what would make a good candidate for her
daughter’s husband.


                                M. Ethics
                                       Algernon

Top Char Text                                                                  P
E   A    Divorces are made in heaven                                           5
         Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with.   5
         Girls don’t think it right
         it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should       6
         read and what one shouldn't
         More than half of modern culture depends on what one                  6
         shouldn't read.
         and you said you didn't know any one of that name. (Lying             6
         inference)
         you will have to clear up the whole question of Cecily.               6
         he truth is rarely pure and never simple                              8
         if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely                  9
         problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury. A man who
         marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
         They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral           3
         responsibility.
         Algernon. That is a great disappointment. I am obliged to go up       40
                                                                           King 89


             by the first train on Monday morning. I have a business
             appointment that I am anxious . . . to miss?
             I am very sorry for all the trouble I have given you, and that I    48
             intend to lead a better life in the future.
             My duty as a gentleman has never interferred with my                50
             pleasures to the smallest degree
             That is absurd. One has a right to Bunbury anywhere one             67
             chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that.
Summary: Algernon clearly feels that the upper classes are morally
superior to the lower ones. He does not want his family members being
swindled, but has no problem swindling other people as it suits him. He
will put his own pleasure first.
                                     Miss Prism
Top Char Text                                                                    P
E     P      Calling.] Cecily, Cecily! Surely such a utilitarian occupation as   35
             the watering of flowers is rather Moulton's duty than yours?
             [Shaking her head.] I do not think that even I could produce any 36
             effect on a character that according to his own brother's
             admission is irretrievably weak and vacillating. Indeed I am not
             sure that I would desire to reclaim him. I am not in favour of this
             modern mania for turning bad people into good people at a
             moment's notice. As a man sows so let him reap. You must put
             away your diary, Cecily. I really don't see why you should keep
             a diary at all.
             That depends on the intellectual sympathies of the woman.           43
             Maturity can always be depended on. Ripeness can be trusted.
             Young women are green.
Summary: Miss Prism feels that ones class reflects ones duties. She
believes that whichever ethics one puts forward will be what one gets in
return. She also supports the idea that older people are more trustworthy.
                                     Gwendolyn
Top Char Text                                                                    P
E     G      Algy, you always adopt a strictly immoral attitude towards life.    20
             He is the very soul of truth and honour. Disloyalty would be as     60
             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.
             If the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish promise I 60
             shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once,and with a firm
             hand.
             If the poor fellow has been entrapped into any foolish promise I 61
             shall consider it my duty to rescue him at once,and with a firm
             hand.
                                                                             King 90


            Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? You              62
            are presumptuous. On an occasion of this kind it becomes
            more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a
            pleasure.
Summary: Gwendolen receives pleasure in speaking blunt truth. She also
feels that men are subject to a weak constitution concerning the
temptations brought forth by other women.
                                          Cecily
Top Char Text                                                                      P
E     C     Well, I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a             40
            business engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the
            beauty of life, but still I think you had better wait till Uncle Jack
            arrives. I know he wants to speak to you about your emigrating.
            I don't think it can be right for you to talk to me like that. Miss    42
            Prism never says such things to me.
            Uncle Jack, do be nice. There is some good in every one.               48
            Ernest has just been telling me about his poor invalid friend Mr.
            Bunbury whom he goes to visit so often. And surely there must
            be much good in one who is kind to an invalid, and leaves the
            pleasures of London to sit by a bed of pain.
            Pray do! I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to          60
            say, one should always be quite candid.
            Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an          62
            engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the
            shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade.
            To save my poor, innocent, trusting boy from the machinations          64
            of any other girl there are no lengths to which I would not go.
Summary: To save my poor, innocent, trusting boy from the machinations
of any other girl there are no lengths to which I would not go.
                                           Jack
Top Char Text                                                                      P
E     J     My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing one tells to a 18
            nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have
            about the way to behave to a woman.
            you have no right whatsoever to read what is written inside. It        6
            is a very ungentlemanly thing to read a private cigarette case.
            Do you mean to say you have had my cigarette case all this             6
            time?
            It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It  7
            produces a false impression.
            That is nothing to you, dear boy. You are not going to be              8
            invited
            My dear Algy, I don't know whether you will be able to                 8
            understand my real motives. You are hardly serious enough.
            When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to
            adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It's one's duty to
                                                                         King 91


             do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce
             very much to either one's health or one's happiness, in order to
             get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger
             brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets
             into the most dreadful scrapes. That, my dear Algy, is the
             whole truth pure and simple.
             Your duty as a gentleman calls you back                           50
             Gwendolen--Cecily--it is very painful for me to be forced to      66
             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
             you quite frankly that I have no brother Ernest. I have no
             brother at all. I never had a brother in my life, and I certainly
             have not the smallest intention of ever having one in the future.
             It pains me very much to have to speak frankly to you, Lady       80
             Bracknell, about your nephew, but the fact is that I do not
             approve at all of his moral character. I suspect him of being
             untruthful. [Algernon and Cecily look at him in indignant
             amazement.]
             It pains me very much to have to speak frankly to you, Lady       81
             Bracknell, about your nephew, but the fact is that I do not
             approve at all of his moral character. I suspect him of being
             untruthful. [Algernon and Cecily look at him in indignant
             amazement.]
             Unmarried! I do not deny that is a serious blow. But after all,   88
             who has the right to cast a stone against one who has
             suffered? Cannot repentance wipe out an act of folly? Why
             should there be one law for men, and another for women?
             Mother, I forgive you. [Tries to embrace her again.]
             Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly  90
             that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can
             you forgive me?
             On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I've now realised for the first    91
             time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
Summary: Summary: Jack is extremely concerned with fulfilling moral
duties and obligations, but does not find it important to speak the truth,
especially to girls. He is surprised to know what it feels like to be forthright
with his identity.
                                    Lady Bracknell
Top Char Text                                                                  P
E     LB     I do not propose to undeceive him. Indeed I have never            75
             undeceived him on any question. I would consider it wrong.
             To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They 80
             give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character
             before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
             after careful consideration I have decided entirely to overlook   81
                                                                               King 92


             my nephew's conduct to you.
             It sounds as if he were having an argument. I dislike arguments 87
             of any kind.
             I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn't been there 10
             since her poor husband's death.
             Well, I must say, Algernon, that I think it is high time that Mr.   11
             Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or to
             die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd. Nor do I in
             any way approve of the modern sympathy with invalids. I
             consider it morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be
             encouraged in others. Health is the primary duty of life. I am
             always telling that to your poor uncle, but he never seems to
             take much notice . . . as far as any improvement in his ailment
             goes. I should be much obliged if you would ask Mr. Bunbury,
             from me, to be kind enough not to have a relapse on Saturday,
             for I rely on you to arrange my music for me. It is my last
             reception, and one wants something that will encourage
             conversation, particularly at the end of the season when every
             one has practically said whatever they had to say, which, in
             most cases, was probably not much.
Summary: Lady Bracknell does not have a problem with people
misrepresenting themselves for personal gain. She does not approve of
quarrelling, and has little regard for the right to life of invalids.


N. What is the prevailing attitude of the community regarding I –
   M above?
      The rules of society are tightly guarded and one must always obey and adhere to
      their prejudices.
O. Does each character live within or rebel against the prevailing
   attitudes of their community.
   Both Jack and Algernon rebel by creating alter egos so they can do get away from the
   social obligations and duites. Gwendolen rebels against Lady Bracknell by pursing
   Jack and Cecily rebels against Jack by pursuing Algernon.

				
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