Download The Importance of Being Earnest Pre-Reading Activities

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Document related concepts
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• 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
• 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
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.?