Aspects of comedy present in pages 1-10 of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Topics: Piano, Victorian era, The Importance of Being Earnest Pages: 2 (673 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Aspects of comedy, present in pages 1-10 of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Numerous aspects of comedy can be found in pages one to ten of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.
The aspect of servants and masters is one that presents itself immediately in the play, through the relationship that exists between Algernon, the ‘master’, and Lane, the servant. The first thing that is spoken about between these two characters, is Algernon’s piano playing. Upon being asked “Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?” Lane replies, “I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir.” This is comic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it could be interpreted that Lane is, subtly, scolding Algernon for even thinking that a servant would listen to his master playing the piano, which is funny as it should be Algernon doing the scolding, as master. Secondly, Lane could simply be poking fun at the Victorian social system; ridiculing it at the fact that Lane should not even be allowed to listen to Algernon play, which may seem ridiculous to his character, and perhaps the audience also, especially in the present day.

Another aspect of comedy presented in the first ten pages of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is Bathos. Bathos is when a topic falls from something sublime and important, to something mundane and trivial. This occurs when Algernon is talking to Lane about afternoon tea, “Speaking of the science of Life, have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?”. This is comic as ‘cucumber sandwiches’ are , obviously, totally unrelated to ‘the science of Life’, and in normal society would not be considered as neither important nor particularly interesting, something which either Algernon or Lady Bracknell would clearly be inclined to disagree with. This reference to cucumber sandwiches, and there importance, also pokes fun at Victorian high society; the things important in their lives would seem trivial and insignificant to the rest of society, and not at all ‘high’ in...
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