Earnest Study Guide - Schepps Dairy presents Project Discovery 2004-2005 The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde Table of Contents Synopsis

Earnest Study Guide - Schepps Dairy presents Project...

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Table of Contents Synopsis & Characters 2 Oscar Wilde 3 Epigrams 4 Timeline & Glossary 5 Victorian Etiquette 6 Student Activities 7 Resources & Reminders 8 The Theodore & Beulah Beasley Foundation The Chiles Foundation The Eugene McDermott Foundation The Harold Simmons Foundation Dr. Bob & Jean Smith Foundation Schepps Dairy presents Project Discovery 2004-2005The Importance of Being Earnest S T U D Y G U I D E By Oscar Wilde Project Discovery is supported by the following organizations:
The Importance of Being Earnestrevolves around the mistaken iden-tities of Jack Worthing and Alger-non Moncrieff. Jack, who resides in the country, loves to visit Lon-don for some big city entertain-ment. In order to escape, he in-vents a younger brother, Ernest, whom he claims to visit in the city. In Algernon’s case, when he wants to travel to the countryside, he fab-ricates the excuse that he is visiting a sick friend, Bunbury. Both men fall in love under their false identi-ties. Jack proposes to Gwendolen Fairfax, but her mother, Lady Bracknell, does not approve of his social standing, and forbids their engagement. When he pretends to be Jack’s brother Ernest in the countryside, Algernon falls in love with Jack’s ward, Cecily Cardew. All four young people eventually cross paths in the country, where both women end up thinking they are engaged to the same man named Ernest. In a hilarious, neatly tied-up end-ing, Jack and Algernon admit (partially) to their lies, Jack dis-covers his family history and that his name really is Ernest, and all the lovers are united. Lady Augusta Bracknell is the mother of Gwendolen and the aunt of Algernon. A member of the aristoc-racy, she has an overpow-ering, confident demeanor. She forbids Gwendolen to marry Jack. Gwendolen Fairfax is the young, beautiful daughter of Lady Bracknell. She is in love with Jack, but a large part of her attraction comes from her belief that his name is Ernest. Cecily Cardew is Jack’s daydreaming niece and ward. Cecily falls in love with Algernon, believing him to be Jack’s ne’r-do-well brother, Ernest. She will be given access to a large sum of money when she comes of age. Miss Prism is Cecily’s tutor and a strong proponent of Victorian morality. She once wrote a three-volume novel and she enjoys flirting with Dr. Chasuble. Rev. Canon Chasuble is the Rector of the church in the country, who has a crush on Miss Prism. Jack and Algy each ask him to rechristen them Ernest. Lane Algernon’s manser-vant at his flat in London. Merriman Jack’s butler at the Manor House. Jack Worthing wishes to marry Lady Gwendolen, but he cannot secure the approval of her mother, Lady Bracknell. When he is in the city, he goes by the name of Ernest; when he is in the country, he goes by the name of Jack, which he believes is his real name. As a baby, Jack was discovered in a hand-bag at Victoria Station.

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