Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest (Webster's Thesaurus Edition) (2006).pdf - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST WEBSTER\u2019S THESAURUS EDITION

Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest (Webster's Thesaurus Edition) (2006).pdf

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Unformatted text preview: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST WEBSTER’S THESAURUS EDITION FOR PSAT®, SAT®, GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT®, AND AP® ENGLISH TEST PREPARATION Oscar Wilde PSAT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE, AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. The Importance of Being Earnest Webster’s Thesaurus Edition for PSAT®, SAT®, GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT®, and AP® English Test Preparation Oscar Wilde PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. ICON CLASSICS Published by ICON Group International, Inc. 7404 Trade Street San Diego, CA 92121 USA The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People: Webster's Edition for PSAT®, SAT®, GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT®, and AP® English Test Preparation This edition published by ICON Classics in 2005 Printed in the United States of America. Copyright ©2005 by ICON Group International, Inc. Edited by Philip M. Parker, Ph.D. (INSEAD); Copyright ©2005, all rights reserved. All rights reserved. This book is protected by copyright. No part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. Copying our publications in whole or in part, for whatever reason, is a violation of copyright laws and can lead to penalties and fines. Should you want to copy tables, graphs, or other materials, please contact us to request permission (E-mail: [email protected]). ICON Group often grants permission for very limited reproduction of our publications for internal use, press releases, and academic research. Such reproduction requires confirmed permission from ICON Group International, Inc. PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. Webster’s Rosetta Edition®, the Rosetta Edition®, and Webster’s Online Dictionary. All rights reserved. ISBN 0-497-25309-7 iii Contents PREFACE FROM THE EDITOR .......................................................................................... 1 THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY ............................................................................................. 3 THE SCENES OF THE PLAY .............................................................................................. 5 FIRST ACT ........................................................................................................................ 7 SECOND ACT ................................................................................................................. 41 THIRD ACT ..................................................................................................................... 85 GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................... 107 Oscar Wilde 1 PREFACE FROM THE EDITOR Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on standardized tests, Webster’s paperbacks take advantage of the fact that classics are frequently assigned readings in English courses. By using a running thesaurus at the bottom of each page, this edition of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde was edited for students who are actively building their vocabularies in anticipation of taking PSAT®, SAT®, AP® (Advanced Placement®), GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT® or similar examinations.1 Webster’s edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of synonyms and antonyms for difficult and often ambiguous English words that are encountered in other works of literature, conversation, or academic examinations. Extremely rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority in the notes compared to words which are “difficult, and often encountered” in examinations. Rather than supply a single synonym, many are provided for a variety of meanings, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of the English language, and avoid using the notes as a pure crutch. Having the reader decipher a word’s meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not noted on a page, chances are that it has been highlighted on a previous page. A more complete thesaurus is supplied at the end of the book; Synonyms and antonyms are extracted from Webster’s Online Dictionary. Definitions of remaining terms as well as translations can be found at . Please send suggestions to [email protected] The Editor Webster’s Online Dictionary – the Rosetta Edition® PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. 1 Oscar Wilde THE PERSONS IN THE PLAY John Worthing, J.P. Algernon Moncrieff Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. Merriman, Butler Lane, Manservant Lady Bracknell Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax Cecily Cardew Miss Prism, Governess 3 Oscar Wilde THE SCENES OF THE PLAY ACT I. Algernon Moncrieff's Flat in Half-Moon Street, W. ACT II. The Garden at the Manor House, Woolton. ACT III. Drawing-Room at the Manor House, Woolton. TIME: The Present. 5 Oscar Wilde 7 FIRST ACT SCENE—Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room. [LANE is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, ALGERNON enters.] ALGERNON. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane? LANE. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.% ALGERNON. I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play accurately - any one can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life. LANE. Yes, sir. ALGERNON. And, speaking of the science of Life, have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell? Thesaurus adjoining: (adj) contiguous, neighbor, near, abutting, touching, conterminous, neighboring, immediate, next, vicinal; (adj, v) close. ANTONYMS: (adj) separate, divided, detached, apart, far. artistically: (adv) ingeniously, pleasingly, inventively, imaginatively, creatively, elegantly, originally, resourcefully, productively, innovatively, harmoniously. ceased: (adj) finished. privileged, instruct, carrying cucumber: (n) cuke, gherkin, weapons, equipt, enlightened; (v) vegetable, veggie, melon, cucumber provide, furnish, begone, beset. heard: (n) hearing. vine, cucumbers, dollar. don't: (adv) not; (n) taboo, prohibition. luxuriously: (adv) richly, forte: (adj, n) faculty, ability, sumptuously, extravagantly, endowment; (n) strong point, opulently, magnificently, strength, specialty, strong suit, voluptuously, lushly, lavishly, metier; (adj) loud, strong; (adv) palatially, sensually, gorgeously. loudly. ANTONYMS: (n) weakness, ANTONYMS: (adv) meagerly, failing. cheaply, simply. furnished: (adj) fitted, arranged, 8 The Importance of Being Earnest LANE. Yes, sir. [Hands them on a salver.] ALGERNON. [Inspects them, takes two, and sits down on the sofa.] Oh!... by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been consumed.% LANE. Yes, sir; eight bottles and a pint. ALGERNON. Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne? I ask merely for information. LANE. I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir. I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand. ALGERNON. Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that? LANE. I believe it IS a very pleasant state, sir. I have had very little experience of it myself up to the present. I have only been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person. ALGERNON. [Languidly.] I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane. LANE. No, sir; it is not a very interesting subject. I never think of it myself. ALGERNON. Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you. LANE. Thank you, sir. [LANE goes out.] Thesaurus attribute: (adj, n) quality, property; (n, v) assign; (n) feature, emblem, characteristic, peculiarity, mark; (v) credit, impute, accredit. brand: (n, v) mark, class; (adj, n, v) stigma; (adj, n) blot, stain; (n) type, blade, brand name, badge, kind, sort. ANTONYMS: (v) praise; (n) honor, glory. demoralising: (adj) dark, causing dejection, discouraging, disheartening, dispiriting, blue. dining: (n) feeding, eating; (v) eat. first-rate: (adj) excellent, stunning, capital, posh, tiptop, dandy, ace, superior, classic, fine, clinking. heavens: (n) firmament, heaven, sky, welkin, sphere, atmosphere, celestial sphere, space, skies, area, vault of heaven. invariably: (adv) constantly, ever, forever, permanently, continually, incessantly; (adj) never otherwise, unfailingly, without exception, without fail; (adj, adv) uniformly. misunderstanding: (n) misapprehension, disagreement, misconception, misinterpretation, error, misconstruction, dispute, quarrel, mistaking; (n, v) dissension, difference. ANTONYMS: (n) harmony, fact, agreement, understanding. pint: (n) dry pint. servants: (n) staff, suite. sits: (n) sat. Oscar Wilde 9 ALGERNON. Lanes views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.% [Enter LANE.] LANE. Mr. Ernest Worthing. [Enter JACK.] [LANE goes out.] ALGERNON. How are you, my dear Ernest? What brings you up to town? JACK. Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy! ALGERNON. [Stiffly.] I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight refreshment at five o'clock. Where have you been since last Thursday? JACK. [Sitting down on the sofa.] In the country. ALGERNON. What on earth do you do there? JACK. [Pulling off his gloves.] When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring. ALGERNON. And who are the people you amuse? JACK. [Airily.] Oh, neighbours, neighbours. Thesaurus amuse: (v) please, beguile, absorb, unconventional, offbeat, irregular, entertain, enjoy, disport, distract, innovative, different, unfamiliar, delight, occupy, recreate, rejoice. extraordinary, rare. ANTONYMS: (v) bore, dull, tire, eating: (n) ingestion, intake, feeding, annoy, anger, cloy, depress, weary, browsing, banqueting, food, lunching, supping, pica, repletion; (v) disappoint. customary: (adj, n) accustomed, usual, eat. habitual; (adj) conventional, ordinary, excessively: (adj, adv) immoderately, exorbitantly, inordinately; (adv) commonplace, traditional, average, wonted, regular, standard. extremely, enormously, exceedingly, ANTONYMS: (adj) unusual, very, profusely, overly, abnormal, exceptional, exaggeratedly, intemperately. ANTONYMS: (adv) justifiably, moderately, insufficiently. neighbours: (n) neighborhood. o'clock: (n) period, hours. oneself: (n) herself, himself, themselves, personal, private, selfness, self, yourself, me, person, own. refreshment: (n) bite, drink, recreation, collation, repose, relief, rest, entertainment, treat; (v) invigoration; (n, v) regalement. 10 The Importance of Being Earnest ALGERNON. Got nice neighbours in your part of Shropshire? JACK. Perfectly horrid! Never speak to one of them.% ALGERNON. How immensely you must amuse them! [Goes over and takes sandwich.] By the way, Shropshire is your county, is it not? JACK. Eh? Shropshire? Yes, of course. Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea? ALGERNON. Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen. JACK. How perfectly delightful! ALGERNON. Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being here. JACK. May I ask why? ALGERNON. My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you. JACK. I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her. ALGERNON. I thought you had come up for pleasure?... I call that business. Thesaurus cups: (n) plates, dishes, dishware, tableware. disgraceful: (adj) dishonorable, scandalous, shocking, degrading, disreputable, infamous, base, ignominious, outrageous, black, ignoble. ANTONYMS: (adj) admirable, honorable, reputable, exalted, commendable, respectable, noble, glorious. extravagance: (n) dissipation, luxury, excess, profligacy, lavishness, squandering, recklessness, waste, prodigality, magnificence, immoderateness. ANTONYMS: (n) economy, frugality, parsimony, prudence, paucity, moderation, austerity, necessity, bareness. flirt: (n, v) coquette; (v) dally, coquet, toy, romance, trifle, spoon; (n) dalliance, vamp, tease, flirting. hallo: (n) hi, hullo. horrid: (adj) grisly, ghastly, ugly, gruesome, grim, fearful, dreadful, direful, dire, horrible, fearsome. ANTONYMS: (adj) lovely, nice, appealing, attractive, kind. reckless: (adj) careless, rash, foolhardy, hasty, incautious, extravagant, daring, desperate, brash; (adj, v) imprudent, wanton. ANTONYMS: (adj) cautious, prudent, sensible, wise, responsible, parsimonious, considered, safe, guarded, dutiful, discreet. Oscar Wilde 11 JACK. How utterly unromantic you are! ALGERNON. I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.% JACK. I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously constituted. ALGERNON. Oh! there is no use speculating on that subject. Divorces are made in Heaven - [JACK puts out his hand to take a sandwich. ALGERNON at once interferes.] Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.] JACK. Well, you have been eating them all the time. ALGERNON. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter. JACK. [Advancing to table and helping himself.] And very good bread and butter it is too. ALGERNON. Well, my dear fellow, you need not eat as if you were going to eat it all. You behave as if you were married to her already. You are not married to her already, and I don't think you ever will be. Thesaurus constituted: (adj) habitual, planted, imaginary, unreal, fake, mythical, enter. legitimate, grooved, accomplished, legendary, fictive, fancied, fabulous, speculating: (n) conception. ben trovato. ANTONYMS: (adj) unromantic: (adj) unexaggerated, official. curiously: (adv) inquisitively, genuine, factual, true, actual. unaffected, unflattering, proposing: (adj) prosy, proponent, peculiarly, unusually, strangely, unimaginative, realistic, unloving, nosily, pryingly, queerly, funnily, making proposals. practical, utilitarian, not romantic. weirdly; (adj, adv) singularly, romance: (n) love affair, fiction, story, utterly: (adv) completely, absolutely, particularly. ANTONYMS: (adv) figment, intrigue, affair, tale, vagary; totally, entirely, extremely, (v) flirt, court, exaggerate. ordinarily, typically. altogether, expressly, purely, dead, eats: (n) grub, chuck, food, meat, meal, sandwich: (n) bomber, hoagy, hoagie, fully, wholly. ANTONYMS: (adv) diet, nurture, eat, dinner, board, feed. hero, beefburger, butty, poor boy, partly, uncertain, slightly, invented: (adj) fictional, fabricated, open sandwich, doorstep, hotdog; (v) incompletely, hardly, somewhat. 12 The Importance of Being Earnest JACK. Why on earth do you say that? ALGERNON. Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don't think it right.% JACK. Oh, that is nonsense! ALGERNON. It isn't. It is a great truth. It accounts for the extraordinary number of bachelors that one sees all over the place. In the second place, I don't give my consent. JACK. Your consent! ALGERNON. My dear fellow, Gwendolen is my first cousin. And before I allow you to marry her, you will have to clear up the whole question of Cecily. [Rings bell.] JACK. Cecily! What on earth do you mean? What do you mean, Algy, by Cecily! I don't know any one of the name of Cecily. [Enter LANE.] ALGERNON. Bring me that cigarette case Mr. Worthing left in the smoking-room the last time he dined here. LANE. Yes, sir. [LANE goes out.] JACK. Do you mean to say you have had my cigarette case all this time? I wish to Thesaurus accounts: (n) financial statement. cigarette: (adj) cigar; (n) tobacco, fag, butt, can, coffin nail, cubeb, scroll, buttocks, reefer, butt joint. cousin: (n) nephew, cousins, friend, cousinship, relation, akin, relative, full cousin, companion. extraordinary: (adj) odd, exceptional, curious, rare, special, phenomenal, amazing, astonishing, unusual, strange, abnormal. ANTONYMS: (adj) ordinary, normal, everyday, marry: (n, v) wed, espouse; (v) get usual, common, mundane, regular, undistinguished, unremarkable, married, link, conjoin, wive, splice, tie, unite, couple; (n) marriage. insignificant, natural. fellow: (adj, n) comrade, associate; (n) ANTONYMS: (v) divorce, separate, boy, equal, brother, peer, chap, split. colleague, compeer, buddy; (adj, n, v) nonsens...
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