Being Ernest Irony

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The Importance of Being Earnest is a play written by Oscar Wilde. Jack Worthing is the play’s main character. In the play Jack continually runs off to London to help his brother Ernest. Ernest is seen as the troublemaker in the play who is always in need of Jack’s help. Later in the play we find out Ernest and Jack are the same person. When Jack runs off to London he uses the alias “Ernest” to escape from his responsibilities back at home. The play’s title sets the tone of irony which we see throughout the play in many ways. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde uses an ironic perception of the word earnest throughout his play. The first example of how Oscar Wilde uses an ironic perception is with naming Jack’s brother Ernest. The word “earnest” means seriousness or doing something out of goodwill and sincerity. Jack chooses to tell people that he has a younger brother named Ernest. Throughout the play we find out Jack made Ernest up as an alibi for himself. It is ironic that he chooses the name Ernest, considering he made the brother up. Jack sees his lies as a game which is the opposite of being earnest. He…show more content…
In The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack makes up the character Ernest and states that he is his brother. The audience knows that they are in fact the same person. Jack’s best friend Algernon is seen doing the same thing as well. We see many similarities between these two characters. Algernon makes up a false brother, like Jack, to escape his responsibilities. Towards the end of the play we find out Algernon and Jack are brothers making both of their made up lies reality. When Jack finds this out he states, “Algy’s elder brother! Then I have a brother after all. I knew I had a brother! I always said I had a brother! Cecily, how could you have ever doubted that I had a brother?” (48). His reaction shows excitement in discovering he and Algernon are real
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