Penny Gay Defines Comedy as a Genre Where Words Are More Important Than Actions, How Far Does Wilde’s the Importance of Being Earnest Support This View.

Topics: Victorian era, Character, The Importance of Being Earnest Pages: 3 (1216 words) Published: January 16, 2013
The comedy of the Importance of Being Earnest uses spoken language to convey comical actions rather than physical actions. The Importance of Being Ernest is a drama because of its origins as a play, but also a contextual comedy as the characters follow the general format of falling in love with each other and ending with the idea of marriage. However, the play is also very satirical, making light of the aristocratic classes, exaggerating the upper-class morals and the frivolity of the characters. The satire that is portrayed in the play is very obvious, however today requires to match with the context of the times, Wilde’s satire is centered in the aristocratic lives of the Victorian social system, this is first recognised when Algernon first introduced, immediately posed as a hypocrite, eating cucumber sandwiches that he told Jack not to eat, Algernon is also narcissistic , when at the piano he states that “I don’t play accurately - any one can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression.” This shows how The Importance of Being Earnest supports Penny Gay’s view by instantly portraying the character as a self-centered aristocrat, by this point in the play there has been one stage direction, showing that Wilde was more interested in what the character said rather than how the character acted, this can be further seen when Algernon says to Lane “I don’t know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.” Further showing Algernon’s self centered attitudes, however this is quickly changed when he meets Cecily, calling her “the visible personification of absolute perfection.” Showing the hypocritical nature of the characters. Wilde uses this as a way of creating comedy by showing the corrupt morals of Algernon and infact Cecily, who will only marry a man named Ernest. The satire is more comedic in comparison to most comedies that involved shrouding the narcissism of the main character, such as in Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray where the Dorian,...
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