The importance of being Earnest

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 115
  • Published : September 28, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
How does Oscar Wilde use dramatic irony, humour and characterization in this scene to comment on the morality of Victorian society as reflected in the play?

In this extract of “The importance of being Ernest” Oscar Wilde uses dramatic irony, humour and characterization to demonstrate the morality of Victorian Society. He makes use of things to criticize, while making fun of the triviality of society. This explicit passage is significant because the main plot of dramatic irony is discovered since the two girls find out the real identity of Ernest.

Oscar Wilde bases most of the comedy in this play on dramatic irony, this comedic element is shown particularly in the double life being lived by Jack and Algernon, Wilde let the audience posses the knowledge of the real identities of the characters and how they are both pretending to be Ernest. The author tends to omit various important elements of the characters, this creates a bigger entanglement between what each characters is actually referring to in the dialogue. This is seen when Cecily tells Gwendolen “Oh, but it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is my guardian. It is his brother” by omitting the fact that actually it’s Mr. Jack Worthing her ward, Wilde prolongs the confusion between the girls. Wilde demonstrates how one person might appear to be something they are really not, by acting in a pretend manner “Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception” Gwendolen is describing Jack to be an honest person who would never be able to deceive anyone, when in reality everything she knows about him is a lie. Here Oscar Wilde displays how in Victorian society most people show and act in certain way to make a false impression in people, making them have a false perception of their persona.

Puns are found throughout the play, the most obvious one is found in the title itself “The importance of being Earnest” the audience expectation is for the word earnest to be used as a description of honest, moral...
tracking img