The Importance of Being Earnest Short Sample Answers

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Table of Contents

In The Importance of Being Earnest, characters often use words such as bad and wicked and make pronouncements about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Do true virtue or wickedness appear in the play? 4

Gwendolen’s father, Lord Bracknell, never appears in the play, yet Lady Bracknell mentions him often. What picture of his life and marriage do we get from the things she and Gwendolen say about him? 5

A play differs from a novel or film in that it requires a performance by live actors pretending to be characters they are not before a live audience that allows itself to be fooled. What is gained by the fact that The Importance of Being Earnest was written as a play? 6

In The Importance of Being Earnest, characters often use words such as bad and wicked and make pronouncements about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Do true virtue or wickedness appear in the play?

One of the most interesting aspects of this play is the total absence of either virtue or evil. In earlier Wilde plays, like Lady Windermere’s Fan and An Ideal Husband, he includes acts of kindness—usually on the part of the dandy, who steps in and saves the hero and heroine from some looming crisis. However, no one in The Importance of Being Earnest shows any real sympathy or concern for anyone else, and vice and wickedness are remarkably tame. Algernon’s voracious eating, which at its worst is a spectacle of low-grade rudeness, is as close as anyone comes to actually misbehaving, except fo...

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