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Course Hero. "An Ideal Husband Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 June 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/An-Ideal-Husband/>.

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Course Hero, "An Ideal Husband Study Guide," June 23, 2017, accessed April 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/An-Ideal-Husband/.

An Ideal Husband | Act Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1870s

    Before the action of the play begins, Sir Robert Chiltern sells government secrets.

    Act 1
  • 1890s

    Mrs. Cheveley attends a party at the Chilterns'.

    Act 1
  • During the party

    Mrs. Cheveley attempts to blackmail Sir Robert to support the Argentine Canal.

    Act 1
  • Soon after

    Lady Chiltern pressures her husband not to support the Argentine Canal.

    Act 1
  • The next morning

    Sir Robert consults Lord Goring about Mrs. Cheveley's blackmail threat.

    Act 2
  • That same day

    Sir Robert admits he sold government secrets, triggering Lady Chiltern's letter to Lord Goring.

    Act 2
  • Soon after

    Sir Robert discovers Mrs. Cheveley at Lord Goring's.

    Act 3
  • Soon after

    Mrs. Cheveley asks Lord Goring to marry her in exchange for the letter incriminating Sir Robert.

    Act 3
  • A few minutes later

    Lord Goring blackmails Mrs. Cheveley into surrendering the letter incriminating Sir Robert.

    Act 3
  • A few minutes later

    Mrs. Cheveley steals Lady Chiltern's letter to Lord Goring.

    Act 3
  • Soon after

    Lord Goring burns the letter Mrs. Cheveley used to blackmail Sir Robert.

    Act 4
  • Some time later

    Sir Robert gives a speech denouncing the Argentine Canal.

    Act 4
  • That evening

    Lord Goring proposes to Mabel, who accepts.

    Act 4
  • Soon after

    Lord Goring tells Lady Chiltern that Mrs. Cheveley plans to show her letter to Sir Robert.

    Act 4
  • A few minutes later

    Sir Robert receives his wife's letter to Lord Goring but thinks she wrote it to him.

    Act 4
  • Soon after

    The prime minister offers Sir Robert a job, but Lady Chiltern encourages him to retire.

    Act 4
  • Soon after

    Lord Goring convinces Lady Chiltern to tell Sir Robert the truth about the letter.

    Act 4
  • A few minutes later

    Lady Chiltern admits the truth about her letter to Lord Goring.

    Act 4
  • A few minutes later

    The Chilterns reconcile, and Sir Robert accepts the job with the prime minister.

    Act 4

Act Summaries Chart

Act Summary
Act 1 The play opens in Sir Robert Chiltern's house, where the Chilterns are hosting a party. Lady Chiltern stands at the top ... Read More
Act 2 Act 2 begins the morning of the next day, in the morning-room at Sir Robert's, as he consults with Lord Goring about wha... Read More
Act 3 Act 3 opens in Lord Goring's library. Lord Goring's butler Phipps helps him prepare for the evening, while Lord Goring t... Read More
Act 4 Like Act 2, Act 4 opens in the Sir Robert's morning-room, where Lord Goring is alone. A servant tells him Mabel is back ... Read More
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