Earnest Review Questions

jackalgyTo prepare for your test on The Importance of Being Earnest, answer the following questions. You do not have to copy the questions, but you should prepare good answers.

We are also focusing on the humor of the play. You should select five lines from your assigned act. Copy the line and explain why it is funny. Wilde may be using one of the hallmarks of satire (Exaggeration, Reversal, Incongruity, or Parody), or he could be using wordplay. Select your act based on your birthday:

Act I: January – April
Act II: May-August
Act III: September – December

The Importance of Being Earnest

1. John Worthing uses two names. List the two names and tell where he uses each one.
2. Explain how Gwendolyn, Algernon, and Lady Bracknell are related.
3. Name the main reason Lady Bracknell refuses to let Mr. Worthing marry Gwendolyn.
4. How did John Worthing acquire his name and his wealth?
5. Algernon has also created a false identity. Name that person and explain why Algy has created him.
6. TRUE OR FALSE: Gwendolyn has “Ernest” tattooed on her behind.
7. Explain how John Worthing and Cecily Cardew are related.
8. What does John Worthing say has happened to Ernest?
9. How does Algernon gain access to the Manor House?
10. What do Cecily and Gwendolyn discover about their marriage plans?
11. What do John Worthing and Algernon plan to do to get around their name problem?
12. What prompts Lady Bracknell to accept Cecily as a proper bride for Algernon?
13. What is the big mistake Miss Prism made as a young woman?
14. Which couples are together at the end of the play? (Proper names, please.)
15. Explain the pun that ends the play.

An online text of the play may be found here.

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