Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    How does Oscar Wilde present the character of Algernon in Act 1 of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by saamiyaalisha)
    How does Oscar Wilde present the character of Algernon in Act 1 of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’?
    Algernon, the play’s secondary hero, is closer to the figure of the dandy than any other character in the play. A charming, idle, decorative bachelor, Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements that either make no sense at all or touch on something profound. Like Jack, Algernon has invented a fictional character, a chronic invalid named Bunbury, to give him a reprieve from his real life. Algernon is constantly being summoned to Bunbury’s deathbed, which conveniently draws him away from tiresome or distasteful social obligations. Like Jack’s fictional brother Ernest, Bunbury provides Algernon with a way of indulging himself while also suggesting great seriousness and sense of duty. However, a salient difference exists between Jack and Algernon. Jack does not admit to being a “Bunburyist,” even after he’s been called on it, while Algernon not only acknowledges his wrongdoing but also revels in it. Algernon’s delight in his own cleverness and ingenuity has little to do with a contempt for others. Rather, his personal philosophy puts a higher value on artistry and genius than on almost anything else, and he regards living as a kind of art form and life as a work of art—something one creates oneself.

    Algernon is a proponent of aestheticism and a stand-in for Wilde himself, as are all Wilde’s dandified characters, including Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband, Lord Darlington in Lady Windermere’s Fan, Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance, and Lord Henry Wootton in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Unlike these other characters, however, Algernon is completely amoral. Where Lord Illingworth and Lord Henry are downright evil, and Lord Goring and Lord Darlington are deeply good, Algernon has no moral convictions at all, recognizing no duty other than the responsibility to live beautifully.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    thank you!!
    (Original post by Den987)
    Algernon, the play’s secondary hero, is closer to the figure of the dandy than any other character in the play. A charming, idle, decorative bachelor, Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements that either make no sense at all or touch on something profound. Like Jack, Algernon has invented a fictional character, a chronic invalid named Bunbury, to give him a reprieve from his real life. Algernon is constantly being summoned to Bunbury’s deathbed, which conveniently draws him away from tiresome or distasteful social obligations. Like Jack’s fictional brother Ernest, Bunbury provides Algernon with a way of indulging himself while also suggesting great seriousness and sense of duty. However, a salient difference exists between Jack and Algernon. Jack does not admit to being a “Bunburyist,” even after he’s been called on it, while Algernon not only acknowledges his wrongdoing but also revels in it. Algernon’s delight in his own cleverness and ingenuity has little to do with a contempt for others. Rather, his personal philosophy puts a higher value on artistry and genius than on almost anything else, and he regards living as a kind of art form and life as a work of art—something one creates oneself.

    Algernon is a proponent of aestheticism and a stand-in for Wilde himself, as are all Wilde’s dandified characters, including Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband, Lord Darlington in Lady Windermere’s Fan, Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance, and Lord Henry Wootton in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Unlike these other characters, however, Algernon is completely amoral. Where Lord Illingworth and Lord Henry are downright evil, and Lord Goring and Lord Darlington are deeply good, Algernon has no moral convictions at all, recognizing no duty other than the responsibility to live beautifully.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Help with your A-levels

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

    Study planner

    Create a study plan

    Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

    Study planner

    Resources by subject

    Everything from mind maps to class notes.

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student doing homework

    Study tips from A* students

    Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

    Study help links and info

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

    Sponsored content:

    HEAR

    HEAR

    Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.