The importance of being earnest

Misrepresentation and lip service remained a challenge to societal morality since ages and every great author has taken into consideration this socio-ethical quandary in his plant and has depicted its assorted manifestations at assorted degrees. Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde depict assorted manifestations of misrepresentations and lip service i.e. self-deceit by denial of worlds, hocus-pocus to others, and self-consideration through assorted thematic looks. Main characters in both dramas suffer from moral semblances at one degree and their alone features make it easier for them to conceal behind the mask of hocus-pocus and lip service at another degree.

The most elusive signifier of misrepresentation is self-deception and supporters of both dramas suffer from acute self-deceit by denying worlds around or within them. Faustus seems to be obsessed with his ain intelligence and this tragic defect laps over with his pride and leads him toward self-deceit. Dr. Faustus ‘ limitless passion for absolute cognition set an drift toward lip service and self-deceit that ends with his tragic ruin. As a perfect prototype of “ Renaissance adult male ” , he hankers after inordinate power and considers knowledge as the lone instrument available to him to acquire absolute power. His overambitious pursuit for cognition forces him to do a trade with Satan. This trade refers to an rational myopic semblance, a signifier of acute self-deceit, as he believes that a diabolic character, who himself does non hold absolute cognition, will capacitate him with absolute cognition. In Wilde ‘s drama, despite the fact that both Jack and Algernon are “ Bunburyists, ” but at certain points in the drama, Wilde shows denial of this world by these supporters sing the issue of homosexualism. They deny the fact and feel for heterosexualism. Algernon is wholly pleased to be a homosexual whereas Jack feels gross outing about it. Algernon says in this respect ; “ Nothing will bring on me to portion with Bunbury, and if you of all time acquire married, which seems to me highly debatable, you will be really glad to cognize Bunbury. A adult male who marries without cognizing Bunbury has a really boring clip of it. ” ( Wilde, 1990, p. 7 ) Jack oppositely says ; “ That is nonsensical. If I marry a charming miss like Gwendolen, and she is the lone miss I of all time saw in my life that I would get married, I surely wo n’t desire to cognize Bunbury ” . ( Wilde, 1990, p.7 ) But his transmutation is non known wholly in the drama. So he basically remains a Banbury but denies this fact seemingly. Furthermore, Jack creates an fanciful figure to get away from societal liabilities and moral duty. So Faustus in Dr. Faustus and Jack and Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest are unable to acknowledge and accept worlds around and within them in the right position.

Hypocrisy is another signifier of misrepresentation that these two dramas incorporate in the secret plan as a thematic look and manifest through misleading patterns and fraudulencies of certain characters. Algernon, the major character in “ The Importance of Bing Earnest ” elaborates this nomenclature of Bunburying as a sophisticated misrepresentation exercising that license to hide one ‘s original personality and indulge in activities which society does non let. Wilde has attractively shown the elusive fraudulencies and hocus-pocuss of Ernest. Cecily Cardew assumes approximately Ernest that “ Ernest has a strong unsloped nature. He is the really psyche of truth and award. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as misrepresentation ” . ( Wilde, 1990, p. 36 ) So she negates any defect of disgusting drama about him. Jack non merely lies about his name being Earnest but when inquired by Algernon about an lettering on his coffin nail instance from Cecily, he falsely claims she is his aunt before eventually acknowledging that he is guardian to his adopted male parent ‘s granddaughter. This leaves the reader to inquire if anything about Jack ‘s or Earnest ‘s life is existent at all, possibly he has been lying for so long that he does n’t even cognize what the existent truth is. That ‘s the ground that Cecily says in the terminal, “ A gross misrepresentation has been practiced on both of us. “ ( Wilde, 1990, p. 39 ) Marlowe points out the spiritual lip service by the fallacious patterns of church members. When Faustus visits Pope for counsel and advice but finds his work forces strident and hypocrite, he satirizes them for on their junior-grade rites and hypocritical patterns. He says ; “ How! Bell, book, and taper ; candle book and bell, / Forward and rearward, to cuss Faustus to hell ” ( Marlowe, 1990, p.44 ) . But Marlowe besides reveals that though Faustus castigates church work forces for their dual criterions, he himself is indulged in lip service. His underlying aim to acquire more cognition is different from what he propagates to others. He does non desire to be a junior-grade prestidigitator and his designs are expansive and unsafe. So he acquires his cognition by mere lip service. Mephistopheles and Lucifer besides deceive Faustus through their hypocritical patterns. In Scene 5, Mephistopheles informs Faustus that after subscribing the treaty with Lucifer he will be “ every bit great as Lucifer ” ( Marlowe, 1990, p. 19 ) and his every desire will be fulfilled. But after subscribing the contract with his ain blood, none of these promises come true. So Faustus is trapped to subscribe the contract by false promises that are a manifestation of lip service on portion of Mephistopheles and Lucifer.

Third degree of misrepresentation that Marlowe and Wilde take into history is self-love and self-consideration. Narcissm is considered a main misrepresentation that hampers one attitude to look around and hunt for the best. Jack in Importance of Being Ernest ‘ , merely has himself in head when he claims to be Earnest, and goes to name on Cecily, “ In fact, now you mention the topic, I have been really bad in my ain little manner. ” ( Wilde, 1990, p. 24 ) . The calamity of Faustus entirely arises out of his self-centeredness and self-consideration. It was his love for his ain ego that compels him to get absolute cognition in order to go ageless and the most powerful adult male on Earth. This amour propre is farther augmented by his pride and haughtiness. Diluted by this amour propre, a great adult male as Faustus challenges the natural orders of things and this self-love eventually brings his tragic ruin.

Above-mentioned statements and textual grounds from the dramas clearly demonstrate that misrepresentation works through assorted agencies in these dramas. These assorted signifiers and degrees misrepresentation are illustrated efficaciously through word picture and development of secret plan. Both Marlowe and Wilde have efficaciously used assorted thematic looks of misrepresentations to convey out the moral semblances of characters and their failings.


  • Marlowe, C. , & A ; Dyce, A. ( 1990s ) . Dr. Faustus. [ Montana ] : Kessinger Publishing.
  • Wilde, O. ( 1990 ) . The importance of being earnest. New York: Dover Publications.

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