The Importance of Being Earnest
“The Importance of Being Earnest” is a play written by Oscar Wilde in the late 1800s. The story takes place in late Victorian England, where two young gentlemen take on the same pseudonym “Earnest” in order to escape reality when needed and to satisfy their lovers. It is a humorous story about how the fake personalities clash with each other and cause complications. A central theme and topic in the play is love and marriage. It is a primary force motivation the plot and a reoccurring subject up for debate. Love and marriage is presented in different ways through different characters, which I will be taking a closer look at.
Lady Bracknell represents the “proper” Victorian ways of society and her view on marriage is that it is a duty, not love or passion. It seems as if she does not believe that love and marriage go together. It is something you are expected to do with someone who has the correct social background economy and heritage. When Algernon and Cecily decide to get married she says “I think some preliminary enquiry on my part would not be out of place” meaning it is up to her to see if Algernon is sufficient enough for Cecily. It is her duty to make sure Algy comes from the right background and his fortune is appropriate. Lady Bracknell pays more attention to the technical part of the marriage then if they actually love each other.
Algernon has somewhat the same idea as Lady Bracknell. He doesn’t look at marriage as being romantic. On the other hand he sees being in love as being romantic. What he is saying is that marriage and love is not the same thing. You do not need love for marriage, or marriage for love for that matter. In his opinion marriage ruins the love. When he finds out Jack has come to town to propose to Gwendolen he simply replies “I thought you had come up for pleasure? ...I call that business.” When he refers to marriage as business it makes it seem like work and not very enjoyable. But love being...
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