Read Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”,finish 2 discussion
Wilde’s play is full of amusing and profound lines.
Choose 1 funny line and 1 deep line and explain why you like those lines of dialogue.
What makes that line humourous? How thoughtful is that second line?
Discussion 2: pick any 1
Earnest 2nd Posting:
There are several topics to consider posting a comment on:
1. In some ways Cecily and Gwendolen see interchangeable–both are sweet, vain, witty and spoiled women. It might be difficult for an audience to separate the characters on stage. Think like a director, actor, or costume designer and make a posting that explains how you might go about individualizing these two characters so as to lessen the confusion for spectators and readers. Explain the rationale behind your choice.
2. Pretend that you are the stage manager for a production of the play. Make an inventory of all the props/furniture needed for either Act I, II, or III. Would this be a difficult and expensive play to produce based upon the number and types of props needed?
3. Is there any one character who is wittier and funnier than the others? If so, then explain who it is and give a few examples of their lines to prove your point.
4. After reading about the dandy in the notes, design a suitable costume for either Algy or Jack or Lady Bracknell. How would they be dressed?
5. Find an example of a paradox or epigram in the play. Explain its use.
6. Throughout the play the characters make rather confident statements about what is morally right and wrong. Find one of these comments and explain whether or not they approve or disapprove of it, and if it is a serious or trivial topic.
7. The play is first and foremost a comedy. But a number of serious topics are dealt with the play. Give an example from the play, then choose a recent TV of film comedy and compare how it mixes comedic elements with more serious issues.
8. How rich of a resource is Wilde’s play for finding out about late 19th century life in England? Choose a quotation from the play under one of these headings that tells us something about how affluent people lived in the 1890s:
education/marriage/religion/food and drink/ servants/clothes/transport/entertainment/politics/money/romance/death/class.
Choose 1 word from the list to answer. Provide analysis and examples.
9. What moments of farce can you see in the play? Give an example.
10. Provide a detailed character sketch of Lady Bracknell. What kind of personality does she have? Give an example from the play.
12. Provide a profile of Canon Chasuble or Miss Prism. What kind of character are they? What is the play satirizing through that character? Explain.
13. Explore the interview scene between Lady Bracknell and Jack in Act I. What makes the scene amusing, tense, and what do we learn about late 19th century British society?
14. Explore the tea party scene between Gwendolen and Cecily. What makes it so humourous and an example of comedy of manners?
15. Miss Prism’s name is a pun on misprision. What are the links between that word and the play? Explain and give examples.
16. Is there a line in the play that best illustrates the concept of aestheticism, decadence, or fin de siecle? Explain.