Which line from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest is a paradox?
"It is awfully hard work doing nothing."
Algernon. Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury, and if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury. A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
Jack. That is nonsense. If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen, and she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry, I certainly won't want to know Bunbury.
Algernon. Then your wife will. You don't seem to realise, that in married life three is company and two is none.
The epigram in Algernon's last line is used to
make a critique of married life.
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Jack. I have lost both my parents.
Lady Bracknell. To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
What effect does the pun have on this scene?
It makes the scene more humorous.
Which line from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest is an epigram?
"More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read."
Cecily. [Rather shy and confidingly.] Dearest Gwendolen, there is no reason why I should make a secret of it to you. Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married.
Gwendolen. [Quite politely, rising.] My darling Cecily, I think there must be some slight error. Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me. The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday at the latest.
Part of this excerpt would be considered an understatement because
when Gwendolen says, "I think there must be some slight error," she is actually referring to the large error of Cecily saying she is engaged to Ernest.
A short, witty statement that typically offers a surprising or satirical perspective on a topic is called a(n)
Algernon. In the third place, I know perfectly well whom she will place me next to, to-night. She will place me next Mary Farquhar, who always flirts with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant. Indeed, it is not even decent . . . and that sort of thing is enormously on the increase. The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one's clean linen in public. Besides, now that I know you to be a confirmed Bunburyist I naturally want to talk to you about Bunburying.
Which part of the excerpt contains a paradox?
"It is simply washing one's clean linen in public."
Algernon. [Raising his hat.] You are my little cousin Cecily, I'm sure.
Cecily. You are under some strange mistake. I am not little. In fact, I believe I am more than usually tall for my age.
The pun used in the excerpt causes the reader to
think that Cecily is a quick-witted person.
What literary device does Oscar Wilde use in the title of his play The Importance of Being Earnest?
Jack. Oh! I don't see much fun in being christened along with other babies. It would be childish. Would half-past five do?
Chasuble. Admirably! Admirably! [Takes out watch.] And now, dear Mr. Worthing, I will not intrude any longer into a house of sorrow. I would merely beg you not to be too much bowed down by grief. What seem to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.
Miss Prism. This seems to me a blessing of an extremely obvious kind.
Which two definitions of the word blessing does the pun in this excerpt rely on?
a religious ceremony called a christening
something that brings one happiness
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