Importance of Being Earnest

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‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ demonstrates aspects of farce and aspects of ‘incongruity’ (Langley:2012) which at first glance make the play seem purposeless. However the ‘trivial’ aspect to ‘serious people’ suggests that maybe to someone with little understanding would struggle to infer the play but after closely reading it, I tend to agree with the statement of Simon Bubb. As Anna Sarchet says,‘In fact, it is because of the epigrammatic exchanges and witty repartees that Wilde creates the space to be subversive’. The play is overloaded with humour, wit, paradoxical twists, and epigrams.The wit is clever, subtle. As the critic Peter Raby says ‘the play remains… a critique of the absurdity of all forms and conventions’. Wit is prevalent when Algernon makes adjustment to the well-known saying “Marriages are made in heaven” by stating that “Divorces are made in heaven.” It is apparent here that Algernon sees marriages as unruly by referring to divorces as heavenly. This is critiquing society as it was very fixated on the concept of marriage.As well as this,The saying that two is company and three is none undergoes a change and takes the following shape : “In married life three is company and two is none,” which has a naughty insinuation as Algernon is implicitly saying in a marriage you need a mistress if it is to last. One of Algernon’s wittiest statements is this : “The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain.” All these observations have an epigrammatic quality which allows them to critique society. Since the play would be generally watched by the upper classes, Wilde implicitly mocked them through the use of excellent wits and epigrams. Paradoxes are also utilised in the play in many ways. Simon Bubb believes paradoxes are ‘self-contradictory and mischievously nonsensical. but provides a
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