The Importance of Being Earnest was nearly a Victorian example of an episode of “Seinfeld.” The characters contained within often find themselves in the most peculiar of situations, so strange that we can find them humorous. They even, at times, seem to represent situations in which we may find ourselves involved. One such example is in Act One, where Jack realizes that Gwendolyn loves the name Ernest. He tries through several ways to talk to her and find out if she could love him if his name was Jack. She considers the entire question to be hypothetical and unimportant, since she’s always known him to be Ernest. The entire dialogue that occurs during the discussion has humorous pieces that add to the colorful nature of the play. One piece of the dialogue is spoken by Jack, where he says, “Gwendolyn, I must get christened at once—I mean, we must get married at once.” Wilde shows how society would tend to care about what was on the outside of a person, such as their name or wealth, rather than their character.
Another such example of this situation is when Algernon is speaking to Cecily in regards to their engagement. Cecily knows Algernon to be Jack’s brother, Ernest, and is in love with the name the same as Gwendolyn. Algernon tries to inquire, in a similar manner whether Cecily could love him if he bore another name, such as Algernon. Cecily responds in a similar manner. Wilde found one piece to be humorous, and as a result included it into the first Act. He then decided to repeat a similar situation in the second Act of the play.
Another example of Wilde’s use of humor is in his... [continues]
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