The Importance of Being Earnest

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  • Well, I must say, Algernon, that I think it is high time that Mr Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or die.
  • Yes; poor Bunbury is a dreadful invalid
  • Jack?...No, there is very little music in the name. The only really safe name is Ernest.
  • Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Jack, for instance, a charming name
  • I dont care for anybody in the world but you. I love you, Cecily. You will marry me, won't you?
  • Dramatic Irony: In this conversation between Lady Bracknell and Algernon, Algernon mentions that his invalid friend Mr. Bunbury is sick yet again. Lady Bracknell responds as if she has heard Algernon mention Mr. Bunbury a few times before. The audience knows that Mr. Bunbury is a made up person but Lady Bracknell believes he really exists.
  • Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me!
  • Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married.
  • Dramatic Irony: Jack is posing as his made up brother Ernest. Gwendolen is in love with Ernest (Jack). Jack asks Gwendolen if she would ever love him if he was named Jack. Gwendolen responds no. She does not know that Ernest is really Jack.
  • Mr. Worthing, I have something very particular to ask you. Much depends on your reply.
  • But we will not be the first to speak.
  • Verbal Irony: In Act One when Jack approached Algernon and told him that he wanted to marry Gwendolen, Algernon responded with a dislike for marriage. He said that "Divorces are made in heaven." In Act Two he meets Cecily and all his opinions change. He wants to marry now which is ironic considering his opinions about marriage from Act One. This also shows that he is a hypocrite.
  • Dramatic Irony: Cecily and Gwendolen think that are engaged to the same person. Theoretically they are. Realistically they are not. The audience knows that they are really engaged to Jack and Algernon.
  • Verbal Irony: Gwendolen says that they will not be the first to talk to the boys. Then she proceeds to break the silence and speaks first. She contradicts what she originally said.
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