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  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The title itself is a form of Verbal Irony used throughout the whole play. The boys were living double lives essentially & lying their way out of things. Being earnest means to be honest, but it takes the characters all 3 acts to learn the importance of being earnest.
  • Act 1
  • This is ironic because Jack is telling Lady Bracknell of his mysterious childhood, when at the end of the story this mystery will be addressed and solved. This is Dramatic irony, because we know what is going to be found out.
  • Yes, Lady Bracknell. I was in a handbag, a somewhat large, black leather handbag. An ordinary handbag in fact.
  • A handbag?!?!
  • Act 2
  • Your brother Ernest dead?!?
  • This is Dramatic Irony because we know Jack's real names actually Ernest. But Jack is using his brother Ernest as an excuse to get out of uncomfortable situations. Jack doesn't know that Ernest really does exist, and it's him.
  • Quite dead.
  • Act 2
  • After Jack finishes saying that his brother Ernest is dead and is going to be buried in Paris, Algernon arrives pretending to be Ernest. This is dramatic irony because we know Ernest has just been 'killed off' and Algernon doesn't.
  • Your brother Ernest arrived about a half an hour ago.
  • What nonsense! I haven't got a brother.
  • Act 3
  • Algy's elder brother?! Then I have a brother after all.
  • You are the son of my poor sister, Mrs. Moncrieff, and Algernon's elder brother.
  • Act 3
  • Ernest! My own Ernest! I felt from the first that you could have no other name!
  • Can you forgive me? (Gwendolen)
  • This is dramatic Irony because throughout the whole play Algernon & Jack act as brothers but don't know that they actually are brothers.
  • This is Dramatic irony because It turns out that Jack's real name was Ernest all along.
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