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“Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde



 “Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde 

Choose two of the following and write 1-2 paragraphs on each. Be sure to include quotations from the play to develop and defend your answers.

  1. What attitudes toward marriage do Wilde’s characters explore?
  2. How does Wilde use the subject of cucumber sandwiches to reveal the characters of Jack and Algy?
  3. Jack speculates momentarily on the possibility that Gwendolen will become exactly like her mother: to what extent does Wilde show them to be similar? In what ways do mother and daughter differ in their tastes and attitudes? Is this related to the “world” each has grown up in?
  4. Explain why the food fights (ladies’ tea, gentlemen’s muffins) are humorous.
  5. At the end of the play, Jack says to Gwendolen, “…it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?” She replies, “I can. For I feel sure that you are sure to change.” Find other lines in the play related to honesty. How is honesty (aka a version of earnestness) viewed by the characters?

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