Gender in the importance of being earnest

1299 words 6 pages
To what extent is gender the main comic creator in the play of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’?
Comedy originated in the 6th century BC in ancient Greece at the Dionysian festival. Comedy was first designed to provoke laughter and to entertain the audience. The ancient Greeks used the word comedy to describe a play with a happy ending much the same as the play the ‘Importance of being Earnest’. The play uses elements of old comedy for example; it is a satire of the Victorian era that is most importantly applied through the use of gender and role reversal (ridicule to expose traditional gender value) it also weaves in strands of new comedy, where young lovers typically undergo endless vicissitudes. ‘The importance of being Earnest’ is
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This is ironic because domestic duties are typically within a womans sphere to begin with. This creates comedy because it portrays that men take on female roles which is ludicrous, and again strongly shows a switch typical in gender roles. We also see that when the female roles take one male personas they quintessentially dominate the speech, thus making the men in the play very submissive “ I know nothing lady Bracknell” Jacks speech is not unnaturally eloquent but quick and to the point and we get the impression jack is somewhat scared, and fears Lady Bracknell this is reflected in her very paternal role and dominating speech. This creates comedy because we would usually expect the male to be the dominant role player.
On the other hand, we can say there are other factors in the play that create comedy equally as well as what Gender and role reversal does. “we might say that comedy traces the movement from distress to happiness from ‘bad ‘ to ‘good’” some critical views of comedy, The story- the first act sets the scene and the beginning of the troubles, act two brings the climax to the confusion, then in the third act it is resolved and becomes harmonious. There is ignorance and confusion created amongst the characters but the dramatic irony that is created for the audience, this is particularly predominant for example when Cecily and Gwendolen think they are to marry the


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