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What was Oscar Wilde 's purpose in entitling his play 'The Importance of Being Earnest'? please provide evidence from the play. |

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Certainly the purpose lies first ans foremost in the purpose of the play as a comedy of trivialities. This being said, Oscar Wilde intended to make this an ironic, pun-filled, and sarcastic comedy of manners in which the upper classes and their hypocritical behaviors would be the motif of ridicule. He chose the name Ernest as a pun for earnest, and the ladies Cecily and Gwendolyn as a representation of the superficiality of the marital state. Hence, with both women falling in love with the name of Ernest, and he being just called Ernest as a fake, exposes him as a liar, the opposite of an earnest man.

The name thing was clarified in the end, when Jack finds out that his father's name was Ernest, hence he is an Ernest "by default". Still, Jack has the nerve to say at the end "I finally found the real importance of being earnest". Basically he is exculpating himself from the whole double personality deal! In there comes the triviality of the play, the irony behind the name, and the reason for it being the central focus of the title.

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