Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Event 6

Briana Roberts
Professor Ellis


Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest and William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night or What you will are similar plays because of the prominent theme of deception and love as an object which reoccurs throughout both plays. The main characters in both plays use their disguise as a way to achieve their desires. In both cases, to be with the person that they love, who is unaware of the fact that the other is not who they say they are.  
In The Importance of Being Earnest, the main character Jack Worthing constantly travels to and from the Country to the city of London to assist his brother Ernest because he lives a scandalous life. In actuality, when Jack travels to London he takes on the persona of Ernest to do as he pleases. In London, Jack has made some friends, Algernon Moncrieff and his cousin Gwendolen Fairfax, who are a part of the elites. Algernon, has discovered Jack’s secret after he read Jack’s cigar case that had a message left in that said to “Uncle Jack” from “Little Cecily”. Algernon at this time also admits he has a fake friend named Bunbury. Jack and Gwendolen have fallen in love, however, when they announce their marriage to Gwendolen’s mother, Lady Bracknell, she quickly disapproves of the relationship. Once Jack returns to his home in the Country, he soon discovers Algernon and Gwendolen have followed him causing Jack’s secret to be revealed. In the end, the audience finds out that Jack was adopted by Cecily’s grandfather and his actual name is indeed Ernest.
The first half of Twelfth Night or What You Will is about a young lady named Viola who is forced to take on a male persona because she assumes her only family member, her brother Sebastian, has drowned from the shipwreck they both were in. She disguises herself as a male named Cesario who is now Duke Orsino’s servant because Olivia, the other head elite figure in Illyria, is mourning the death of her brother. The reader learns Duke Orsino is helplessly in love with Olivia, Olivia falls in love with Cesario, who is really Viola, and Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino. The first half of the play ends with a developing love triangle between the three with both Duke Orsino and Olivia oblivious to the fact that Cesario is really a female.
Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest both use the idea of disguise to get closer to ones love. Love is also used as an object and for social purposes instead of what love actually brings people; happiness. In the opening lines of Twelfth Night, the reader is give the impression that love is comparable to a disease. Duke Orsino says “If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken and so die” (1).  One can interpret these lines as music is the fuel for his love and if he is given too much he will overdose and die. As the reader continues to read the play more in depth, it is clear to the reader Duke Orsino is in love with the fact of being in love. He does not actually love Olivia. She just happens to be the only one worthy of his courting because of their similar status of belong to a wealthy family. Similarity, in The Importance of Being Earnest both Gwendolen and Cecily main reason for loving Jack and Algernon is because they think their names are Ernest. When asked if the girls would still love them if their names weren’t Ernest, both girls quickly denied the thought of the very idea of being the wife of a person whose name was not Ernest. Also, Lady Bracknell denied Jack’s proposal for Gwendolen’s hand in marriage because he was found in a bag at a train station and adopted. For Lady Bracknell, Jack did not have the ideal social standing to take care of her daughter dispite the fact they were truly in love. In the end, when Lady Bracknell discovered that Jack, now Ernest, was her nephew, she could not do anything but allow the marriage.  

I enjoyed this English class this semester because it allowed me to apply what I learned in class to the outside world. I also enjoyed doing the iExman, I learned a lot about myself during the observation. I also learned helpful techniques when it comes to analyzing poems and other literary works. 

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