Comparison of Merriman, Lane and Miss Prism of the Importance of Being Earnest

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Compare Lane, Merriman and Miss Prism as employees and as comic characters. What do they bring to the play that would otherwise be missing? Lane, Merriam and Miss Prism are the minor characters of Importance of Being Earnest. Although at first they don't appear to bring a lot to the play, in the end they have a big impact on how it is viewed as a comedy. They bring in a lot of content which fits into to comedy criteria as well as enable the plot to develop fully. Firstly, the aspect of comedy ' servants and masters' is one where The Importance of Being Earnest fits perfectly as Lane and Merriman are both butlers of Jack and Algernon-the main characters of the play. They show the contrast between the lower and upper class in the Victorian Era which is a theme often found in comedic plays. Additionally, the relationship between Lane and Algernon could possibly represent the theme of youth and age-the generation gap. This is shown when Algernon asks Lane, " Is marriage so demoralising as that?" this clearly shows that Algernon is less experienced that Lane in terms of relationships, and could represent the ignorance of his generation. Similarly, Merriman and Jack have a servant-master relationship. However, Lane appears to be more of a stereotypical butler as he does only what he is told to do and only speaks when it is expected of him " Yes, sir.", this shows the audience contrast between Lane and Merriman. Lane appears to bring more to the plot as he includes his opinions on subjects " I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand." This also suggests that Lane and Algernon have more of an informal relationship as Lane is at the start also the only one who knows about Algernon's "Bunburying". Whereas Merriman and Jack have a purely stereotypical employer-employee relationship. Miss Prism is also a minor
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