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Vocabulary: • Sole Lessee and Proprietor – единственный владелец [прав на постановку] • J.P. = Justice of the Peace; мировой судья, an official who acts as a judge in the lowest courts of law • D.D. = Doctor of Divinity; доктор богословия • Hon. = Honorable; the title that indicates that she is a daughter of either a viscount or a baron • a ward – подопечный опекуна Questions for Research: • What pun (word joke) comes from the title of the comedy? • Look at the sub-title “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People’ – what does it tell you about the play? • What do the titles and names tell you about the characters? What are the relationship among them? • Make some research on the places and time mentioned in the leaflet? • How would you get dressed for the occasion if you were to go to the Premiere? • Read more about the characters and the epoch below. List of characters Jack Worthing – a young, eligible Victorian gentleman. In the city he goes by the name Ernest, and in the country he is Jack - a local magistrate of the county with responsibilities. His family pedigree is a mystery, but his seriousness and sincerity are evident. He wants to propose to The Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax. Algernon Moncrieff – Victorian aristocrat and confirmed bachelor; nephew of Lady Bracknell and cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax; a languid poser of the leisure class, bored by conventions and looking for excitement. Algernon, unlike Jack, is not serious and is generally out for his own gratification. Lady Bracknell – the perfect symbol of Victorian earnestness. Lady Bracknell is Algernon’s aunt. She believes wealth is more important than breeding and is quite strict to everyone in her path. The Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax - Lady Bracknell’s daughter, she is in love with Mr Worthing and believes his name is ‘Ernest’. Cecily Cardew - Jack Worthing’s ward, daughter of his adopted father, Sir Thomas Cardew. She is of debutante age, 18, but she is being tutored at Jack’s secluded country estate by Miss Prism, her governess. Miss Prism - Cecily’s governess and a symbol of Victorian moral righteousness. She is conservative and morally upright, but also simple-minded and naïve. Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. - rector of the parish belonging to Jack Worthing’s country estate. Like Miss Prism, he is the source of Victorian moral judgments, Lane and Merriman - servants of Algernon and Jack, are quite supportive and witty. A bit about the epoch The Victorian Era was a time in British history marked by drastic social and economic changes, conflicts, and contradictions. Named in honor of the long reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), the Victorian Age defined most of the nineteenth century. During Victoria’s reign, England became the wealthiest country in the world, and British expansion under Colonialism turned England into a mighty and influential world power. The widespread notion of the “White Man’s Burden” determined that it was Britain’s duty to spread western culture and order throughout the world. Victorians witnessed the rapid progress of the Industrial Revolution, which changed England from a rural society into a fully industrialized, modern, urban state. The city of London became a multicultural metropolis. Can you find more information about Victorian Society – such as: their attitude to class system, marriage and family life, morality and earnestness, more down-earth things like food, procedures etc.?