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Flashcards in The Importance of Being Earnest Deck (31):
1

When did Oscar Wilde die?

1900

2

What year was The Importance of Being Earnest staged? What other notable event occurred this year?

1895; Wilde was jailed for homosexuality

3

What is Oscar Wilde's nationality?

Irish

4

Of what movement is Wilde considered a part? What was this movement about?

Aestheticist - they believed in "art for art's sake," rather than art that tried to impart morals (like a lot of Victorian literature).

5

When was the peak of the Aestheticist movement?

1870s-1880s

6

What is the name of the young man with whom Wilde was involved at the time of his trial?

Lord Alfred Douglas "Boise"

7

What work did Wilde write in Prison?

De Profundis

8

Who is the main character in The Importance of Being Earnest?

Jack Worthing

9

Where was Jack found as a baby?

In a woman's handbag in a Victoria station (Brighton line)

10

What is Jack's double life?

In the country, he is the respectable Jack Worthing, and in the city he takes on the persona of Earnest Worthing, his own good-for-nothing brother.

11

Who is Jack's ward?

Cecily Cardew

12

Who is Jack in love with?

Gwendolen Fairfax

13

Who is "Ernest's" best friend?

Algernon Montcrieff

14

What tactic does Algernon use to get out of social obligations?

"Bunburying." He claims he has a very ill friend, Bunbury, that he must go and visit.

15

What is the relationship between Gwendolen and Algernon?

They are cousins

16

Who is Gwendolen's mother?

Lady Bracknell

17

Who is Cecily's maid? What is her religion?

Miss Prism; Puritan

18

Who is the name of the clergyman on the Worthing estate?

Dr. Chasuable

19

Why does "Ernest" confess that he is really Jack?

Algernon discovers an inscription on his cigarette case, and Jack is forced to confess.

20

What are epigrams, and how are they used in this play?

They are short, witty sayings that almost every character speaks in. A notable exception is Cecily.

This is significant because it is not the way people talk - this play is not realistic.

21

What makes Ernest fail Lady Bracknell's interview?

When she learns that he was found in a train station - he has no relations. Everything else is satisfactory, but this is a sticking point, which is notable because it is the one thing he cannot control.

This reflects a fairly widespread belief in Victorian life - that misfortune was some indication of moral unworthiness.

22

What lie do Jack and Algernon concoct for getting rid of Ernest?

They decide he'll die in a Paris hotel of an extreme chill

23

What is discovered about Miss Prism?

She used to work for Lady Bracknell, and once lost a baby she was meant to care for (accidentally switching the baby with a long book she was writing.

24

Who is Jack's mother?

Mrs. Montcrieff (which means Algernon is his brother)

25

What was Jack's name at birth?

Nobody remembers at first, but remember that he is named after his father. When they look up his father's name, they learn that his name really was "Ernest" all along.

26

What does Cecily think would be hypocrisy?

If Ernest has only been pretending to be wicked and was really good all the time.

27

What is it about the name Ernest that appeals to both Gwendolyn and Cecily?

They both believe it inspires "absolute confidence."

28

How are Algernon and Jack's deceptions revealed?

Gwendolyn comes to the house to visit "Ernest." She and Cecily fight about who is engaged to him, and when the men appear, they reveal what they know.

29

How does Bunbury die?

By exploding

30

What offer does Jack make in exchange for giving his consent for Algernon to marry Cecily?

He'll only give it if Lady Bracknell allows him to marry Gwendolyn

31

When will Cecily come of age?

When she's 35