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Written in 1895 A play in three* acts Genre: comedy of manners Immediate hit when first performed Satirizes Victorian moral and social values Bridges.

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Presentation on theme: "Written in 1895 A play in three* acts Genre: comedy of manners Immediate hit when first performed Satirizes Victorian moral and social values Bridges."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Written in 1895 A play in three* acts Genre: comedy of manners Immediate hit when first performed Satirizes Victorian moral and social values Bridges Victorian period with Modern Uses wit, puns, exaggeration, and wordplay to create humor

3 Manners and Sincerity Idleness of the Leisure Class Dual Identities Critique of Marriage as a Social Tool Love Foolishness and Folly Manners and Sincerity Idleness of the Leisure Class Dual Identities Critique of Marriage as a Social Tool Love Foolishness and Folly Themes Manners and Sincerity IdlenessLove Critique of Marriage Dual Identities

4 Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement, which professed a belief in art for arts sake. Art shouldnt merely look to life or nature for inspiration, for art that too closely imitates life is a failure, according to Wilde. Plays with characters who spoke and acted just like they would in real life were utterly boring to followers of Wildes philosophy. Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement, which professed a belief in art for arts sake. Art shouldnt merely look to life or nature for inspiration, for art that too closely imitates life is a failure, according to Wilde. Plays with characters who spoke and acted just like they would in real life were utterly boring to followers of Wildes philosophy.

5 Characters in the play can be divided into two categories: aesthetes and non-aesthetes.

6 John Worthing, aka Jack, aka Ernest Algernon Moncrieff, aka Ernest, Jacks friend Lane, Algernons butler Rev. Canon Chasuble, the preacher in the country Lady Bracknell, mother of Gwendolyn Gwendolyn Fairfax, wants to marry a man named Ernest Cecily Cardew, Jacks ward Miss Prism, Cecilys governess

7 Time: Present, around 1890 Place(s): London (the City), Jacks estate in the country, the village church

8 Named for Queen Victoria of England Queen from Followed the reign of Mad King George The culture was very moral and serious Women were expected to be the angel in the house - to take care of their husband and family

9 Became Queen as a young girl Married Albert, Prince Consort and adored him After he died, she wore black for the rest of her life Had nine children Created a culture that valued family and stability

10 Manners were supremely important; people called on one another for formal visits The upper class was well-educated, rich and respected families (old money); however, no amount of money can overcome poor manners Modesty was keywomen wore clothing that covered; young women were chaperoned until married, and it was considered bad manners to flaunt wealth

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12 LITERARY VOCABULARY Comedy – light-hearted literature with humor and a happy ending (often a wedding or engagement) Satire – literary writing that uses humor to expose something or someone to ridicule Comedy of Manners – a popular form of satirical drama often directed at peculiar social behavior featuring witty and polished dialogue and plots that frequently involved illicit lovers and cases of mistaken identity Comedy – light-hearted literature with humor and a happy ending (often a wedding or engagement) Satire – literary writing that uses humor to expose something or someone to ridicule Comedy of Manners – a popular form of satirical drama often directed at peculiar social behavior featuring witty and polished dialogue and plots that frequently involved illicit lovers and cases of mistaken identity

13 LITERARY VOCABULARY Wit – using words to be clever and funny with language Farce – a broad comedy, dependent on overblown speech, unbelievable situations, exaggerated characters, and, frequently, sexual innuendoes Epigram – a short statement or poem with a witty turn of thought or a wittily condensed expression Pun – an expression that achieves emphasis or humor by utilizing two distinctly different meanings for the same word or two similar sounding words Wit – using words to be clever and funny with language Farce – a broad comedy, dependent on overblown speech, unbelievable situations, exaggerated characters, and, frequently, sexual innuendoes Epigram – a short statement or poem with a witty turn of thought or a wittily condensed expression Pun – an expression that achieves emphasis or humor by utilizing two distinctly different meanings for the same word or two similar sounding words

14 Meet Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing. Both characters are a type of character Wilde created called the Dandy. Like Wilde, Algernon and Jack are witty, educated, effeminate, avid followers of the latest fashion and represent the Victorian upper class. They both adopt a fictional identity named Ernest to shirk their responsibilities and escape to go on vacation in the city or the country. Meet Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing. Both characters are a type of character Wilde created called the Dandy. Like Wilde, Algernon and Jack are witty, educated, effeminate, avid followers of the latest fashion and represent the Victorian upper class. They both adopt a fictional identity named Ernest to shirk their responsibilities and escape to go on vacation in the city or the country. Neither the audience, nor the other fictional characters of the play can compliment either character as being honest, serious or sincere. Ironically, it just so happens that the word earnest means "serious" and "sincere." Earnest is used as a pun for one of the lessons of the play.

15 LITERARY VOCABULARY Protagonist – the main character Foil – the character who contrasts the main character (the foil reflects the traits of the main character) Blocking figure – A character, often old and cranky, who interferes with the romantic desires or the other main characters and provides comic action Protagonist – the main character Foil – the character who contrasts the main character (the foil reflects the traits of the main character) Blocking figure – A character, often old and cranky, who interferes with the romantic desires or the other main characters and provides comic action

16 Dramatic Irony – the audience knows something a character does not Situational Irony – the opposite happens of what is expected Dramatic Irony – the audience knows something a character does not Situational Irony – the opposite happens of what is expected


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