Lord Illingworth

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He is a man of about 45 and a bachelor. He is witty and a practised flirt, who knows how to make himself agreeable to women. He is Mrs. Arbuthnot's former lover and seducer and the father of Gerald Arbuthnot. He is embarked on a promising diplomatic career and it is rumoured he is shortly to become Ambassador to Vienna. His accidental acquaintance with Gerald, to hwom he offers the post of private sercretary, sets in motion the chain of events that form the main plot of the play. He enjoys the company of Mrs. Allonby, who has a similar witty and amoral outlook to his own, and who also engages in flirting. Lord Illingworth is convinced that no woman can resist his charms for long, even a puritan like Hester Worsley, as he says "I don't think there is a woman in the world who would not be a little flattered if one made love to her." He makes a cynical bet with Mrs. Allonby that

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