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The Importance of Being Earnest as a Comedy of Manners - Book Report/Review Example

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The Importance of Being Earnest as a Comedy of Manners

Finally, this paper will consider the question of whether such a play could operate effectively in a classless, generally egalitarian society.
The plots of manners comedies often revolve sex and money, thus marriage, divorce, and financial dealings play important plot elements in these dramas (Hirst 1). These subjects of the idiom are essential at highlighting the emptiness and folly of the social forms that structure manners. They are essential because in modernity they represent two areas of human activity that are not only extremely important for a functioning society but are also the most highly regulated in their expression and articulation in "polite" society. As such their deployment in such comedies is immediately familiar to their audiences and the usually ridiculous behaviors that are associated around these two subjects are easily referenced. Another important characteristic is that of the presence of stock characters that rapidly resonate with the audience (Foster 19). This serves to instantly connect the audience with the character without expending too much time on his or her development. It is to the comedy's benefit, typically, when characters remains fairly flat and un-evolved, as it allows the author to keep their motivations uncomplicated and their behavior predictably silly. In any comedy, timing is everything, thus having the luxury of one-dimensional characters allows the final component of many a comedy of manners to be emphasized, that of stylized, subtle wit (Hirst 2). Style itself becomes a sort of substance in the comedy of manners. Style here is not meant just as a superficially clever form of expression, though that is undeniably a portion of such...
The plots of manners comedies often revolve sex and money, thus marriage, divorce, and financial dealings play important plot elements in these dramas. These subjects of the idiom are essential at highlighting the emptiness and folly of the social forms that structure manners. They are essential because in modernity they represent two areas of human activity that are not only extremely important for a functioning society but are also the most highly regulated in their expression and articulation in "polite" society. As such their deployment in such comedies is immediately familiar to their audiences and the usually ridiculous behaviors that are associated with these two subjects are easily referenced. Another important characteristic is that of the presence of stock characters that rapidly resonate with the audience. This serves to instantly connect the audience with the character without expending too much time on his or her development. It is to the comedy's benefit, typically, when characters remain fairly flat and un-evolved, as it allows the author to keep their motivations uncomplicated and their behavior predictably silly. In any comedy, timing is everything, thus having the luxury of one-dimensional characters allows the final component of many a comedy of manners to be emphasized, that of stylized, subtle wit. The style itself becomes a sort of substance in the comedy of manners. The style here is not meant just as a superficially clever form of expression, though that is undeniably a portion of such comedies. ...Show more

Summary

The present report entitled "The Importance of Being Earnest as a "Comedy of Manners". According to the text, In the second act of The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew have just discovered that they are both engaged to a man named Ernest. …
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