The Crucial Dilemma

Essay by muzzy1983University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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The inportance of being ernest in the play of Wilde with the same name is the central theme at the heart of the play. As the time its author has lived and the plot of the play takes place, Victorian age was a time of duality shaping all of the society in England. The huge state that was coined with the term "the country where sun never sets down" was having an industrial revolution which gave rise to huge economic discrapancies between lower and elite (aristocratic) social classes. The lives of elite people were ruled rigid and idle structurist behaviour norms and institutions like marriage. A persn with a high social status had to obey the monoton lifestyle of aristocracy, having lot of money, having lot of spare time and doing things that did not express their free intrinsic passions. Everything was not done because it was necessary or desired but rather was performed for the sake of itself.

The characters and events in the play successfully reflects this duality and structurality in the Victorian society and also makes an astonishing reference to the fundamental dilemma under this way of living.

The play's two main characters Jack the "Ernest" and Algernon are both typical members of Victorian aristocracy. Jack is in love with Gwendolen whose mother, Lady Bracknell, sees as an unfortunate affair after she discovers that Jack did not "fit" exactly in to the ideal husband figure of elite socil status by missing the parentality option. He introduces himself to Gwendolen with the name of "Ernest" because her positive response to his love heavily borrows to the fact that she want to be involved with someone with the name "Ernest". The same situation arises for Algernon during the course of the play with his immediate...