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The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde (7)

Oscar Wilde’s fantastic final comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, simply sparkles with the wit and wisdom of England’s favorite imported bon vivant. The very essence of this play is romance, and as Wilde writes, “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” Jack Worthing, in the guise of his alter ego and alibi, his fictitious brother Earnest, loves Gwendolyn, but Gwendolyn’s mother Lady Bracknell does not approve. For, though rich and agreeable, Jack is unsure of his biological parentage, and only knows that his adopted father found him in a handbag at Victoria Station. When Jack is being Jack, and not Earnest, he is guardian to Cecily. Cecily attracts the amorous attentions of Jack’s best friend, Gwendolyn’s cousin Algernon, who is also masquerading as Jack’s wicked brother Earnest. Thus, Gwen and Cecily each end up engaged to ‘Earnest’. As the couples negotiate false identities and true intentions, Lady Bracknell asks to see Cecily’s governess Miss Prism. It seems she may know a thing or two about a handbag left in a cloakroom at Victoria Station. The Importance of Being Earnest cloaks biting social satire in a clever, light as air comedy.

AP Teaching Unit: Importance of Being Earnest (eBook) cover

AP Teaching Unit: Importanc...Prestwick HousePWH30310173 Pages, Grades 10 - 12

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The Importance of Being Ear...Center for LearningCFL7905673 Pages, Grades 9 - 12

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