The Importance of Being Earnest: Character Revision

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  • Created by: Phoebe
  • Created on: 21-04-13 15:10

Jack (Ernest)

  • seemingly responsible and respectable young man
  • double life
  • Ernest in town 
  • Jack in the country - Hertfordhire 
  • discovered in a handbag in the cloakroom of Victoria Stationby an old man
  • old man adopted and gave him the name Jack
  • Jack guardian to his granddaughter - Cecily 
  • Jack is in love with his friend Algernon’s cousin - Gwendolen 
  • childish brotherly actions with Algernon
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  • Nephew of Lady Bracknell
  • Gwendolen's cousin
  • Jacks best friend
  • Bunbury his escape from town (bunburying)
  • Childish brotherly play with jack
  • Thinks marage is a job - unromantic
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  • in love with Jack - she thinks his name is Ernest
  • fixated on the name Ernest  - metaphor for wealthy as it is an upper-middle class name
  • she sayse the name "inspires absolute confidence"
  • similar to her mother Lady Bracknell
    • strong-minded 
    • speakes with authority
  • She shows signs of becoming like her mother (like jack fears)
  • a likeable character
    • because what she does 
    • her jugements are so outrageous (inversion of our expectations)
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Cecily Cardew

  • Jacks ward
  • 18 years old 
  • Educated (by Miss Prism)
  • child of nature -  "as ingenuous and unspoiled as a pink rose" (Algernon says)
  • Obsessed with theh name Ernest 
  • falls in love with Jacks 'brother' Ernest 
  • Inventive - fantasy world
    • Invented her relationship with 'Ernest' by writiing letters to her self
    • her and 'Ernest' are engaged
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Lady Bracknell

  • Algernon's aunt 
  • Gwendolen's mother
  • Snobbish
  • married to lord Bracknell
  • traditional views on marage
  • she has a list of "eligible young men"
  • doesn't mean to be witty
  • through her speach Wilde manages to satirize the hypocrisy and stupidity of the British aristocracy
  • values ignorance - she sees it as “a delicate exotic fruit.”
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Miss Prism

  • Cecily's governess
  • Romantic feelings for Rev.Chasuble
  • cares more about finding her handbag then knowing that the baby she lost is alive
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Rev. Chauble

  • the reverend on Jacks estate 
  • was going to christen Jack and Algernon to the name of Ernest
  • Romantic feelings for Miss Prism
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Lane and Merriman


  • Algernon's servant 
  • only person that knows about Algernons Bunburying (at the start)

(only appears in Act I)


  • butler on Jacks estate in the country

(appears in Act II and Act III only)

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