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Importance of Being Earnest Quotes
Terms in this set (45)
"A trivial comedy for serious people"
Subtitle of the play
"Written by a butterfly for butterflies..."
What wilde said about the play
"Half-Moon Street....The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished...the sound of a piano is heard'
Description of the opening of the play
'I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand. ALGERNON: Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?'
Lane and Algernon discussing marriage
'I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane'
Algernon's opinion on Lane's life
'When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people'
Jack's comparison of town and countryside
'Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter. JACK (advancing to the table and helping himself): And very good bread and butter it is too.'
Sexual metaphor involving Gwendolen and the bread and butter
'vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.'
Jack's pun about dentists
'It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions.'
Gwendolen's sexual elusion when talking about her hope that she isn't perfect
'The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!'
Algernon's comment on truth and literature
'in married life three is company and two is none'
algernon saying three is a great thing in marriage, possibly suggesting homosexuality ? ?
'Both? ... That seems like carelessness? ... To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag ... seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution'
Aunt Augusta being a right bitch about Jack's orphan status cause secretly she's scared someone will uproot her status blah blah
'My ideal has always been to love someone of the name Ernest'
Gwendolen's ideal man
'I think it is high time that Mr Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd.'
Lady B's a proper cold bitch, hates bunbers
'The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately, in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes'
education in england is shit (fair)
STAGE DIRECTION: 'sweeps out with majestic indignation'
Lady's Bracknell stage directions - assigns her an almost royal power
'JACK (in a very patronising manner): My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl.'
jack on truth, gwendolen don't deserve nUn of that pure pagan
'The old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out'
pure bants from gwenny cause she reckons the old r meant to respect the yung
'The garden at the manor house ... an old-fashioned one full of roses'
cliche garden to reflect cecily's cliche romanceza
'Miss Prism: Cecily, cecily! Surely such a utilitarian occupation as the watering of flowers is rather Moulton's duty than yours?'
Miss prism ain't happy 1 bit cause cecily's watering the flowers when that's the job of the lower classes
'in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down, I should probably forget all about them'.
Cecily on why she keeps a diary
"Anybody can write a three-volume novel, it merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature."
Oscar Wilde on three-volume novels
'The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.'
Miss Prism on fiction
'Were I fortunate to be Miss Prism's pupil, I would hang upon her lips.... I spoke metaphorically. My metaphor was drawn from bees.'
Dr Chasuble's awkward flirtation
'MISS PRISM: No married man is ever attractive except to his wife. CHASUBLE: And often, I've been told, not even to her.'
why chausy doesn't want to get married #massivelad
'Ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly and hopelessly'
Algernon's love declaration of Cecily
'What a lesson for him! I trust he will profit from it!
Miss Prism hoping that Earnest will profit by his death, dumb bitch
'Why are you in those awful clothes?'
Algernon on Jack's funeral attire
'when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals. Won't you come in?'
Cecily's euphemistic suggestion that she will be able to provide algernon w regular meals aka regular sexy times ;D
"From the moment I first saw you, I distrusted you"
Gwendolen to Cecily - clearly not true as she immediately said they would be BFFLs
'It is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position.'
Jack doesn't want to tell them the truth, poor galdems
'Jack groans, and sinks into a chair. ALGERNON still continues eating.'
ending lines of act one, highly symbolic
'They have been eating muffins, that looks like repentance"
women pretending the men are being repentant
'To please me you are ready to face this fearful ordeal?'
hyperbole used to describe the action of being christened
'How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes!'
gwendolen's rejection of feminism
'Enter LADY BRACKNELL. The couples separate in alarm.'
impact of Lady Bracknell's entrance
'In matters of grave importance, style not sincerity, is the vital thing'
style vs sincerity
'There are distinct social possibilities in Miss Cardew's profile.'
superficiality of society; possibilities based upon appearance
'I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.'
Lady Bracknell doesn't think people should know their spouses
'He has nothing, but he looks everything. What more can one desire?'
Lady Bracknell on why Algy is so admirable
'I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital importance of being earnest'
final dialogue of the poem
'MISS PRISM grows pale and quails. She looks anxiously round as if desirous to escape) LADY BRACKNELL (in a severe, judicial voice): Prism!'
Miss Prism's seminal entrance
'GWENDOLEN: I never change, except in my affections. CECILY: What a noble nature you have, Gwendolen!'
women's changing affections seen as a noble quality
'it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?'
jack begs for forgiveness bc it turns out he's been truthful this whole time, silly billy !
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