This becomes particularly important once Gwendolen and Cecily meet and discover they are both planning to marry ''Ernest.'' We, as readers, know they are . Learn about the two female characters, Gwendolen and Cecily, who create the Even before meeting Jack, she claims that the name Ernest. Miss Prism also represents the dichotomy and somewhat relates to Cecily. In the were Ernest, in order to secure marriage to the women they love, Gwendolen.
He is the very soul of truth and honour. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception. But even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charm of others.
For one, the man Gwendolen describes as the ''soul of truth'' and incapable of deception has deceived her about his very identity.
Secondly, by referring to Jack as ''Ernest,'' Gwendolen creates more confusion, since Cecily now believes that she is referring to the same Ernest that Cecily is also in love with.
Initial Argument In spite of the women's initial gushing about how much they like each other, they soon run into problems when each discovers that the other is engaged to marry ''Ernest. The conversation in which Gwendolen and Cecily discuss their claims to ''Ernest'' is very funny, and begins with a debate as to who has the better claim to him. Gwendolen, for example, refers to her diary and tells Cecily: If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so.
I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you, but I am afraid I have the prior claim. In other words, Cecily makes the case that the more recent proposal must be a sign that his feelings have changed.
A Moment of Cattiness It is in this argument that we see one of the few moments of unfriendliness between the two women; this is understandable, of course, since they believe they are competing for the same man. This is the exchange in question: I think your frankness does you great credit, Ernest. If you will allow me, I will copy your remarks into my diary. Do you really keep a diary?
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy. I delight in taking down from dictation. You can go on. I am quite ready for more. When one is dictating one should speak fluently and not cough. The dog-cart is waiting, sir. Tell it to come round next week, at the same hour. Uncle Jack would be very much annoyed if he knew you were staying on till next week, at the same hour.
I love you, Cecily. Why, we have been engaged for the last three months. For the last three months? Yes, it will be exactly three months on Thursday. But how did we become engaged? Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger brother who was very wicked and bad, you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between myself and Miss Prism.
And of course a man who is much talked about is always very attractive. One feels there must be something in him, after all. I daresay it was foolish of me, but I fell in love with you, Ernest. And when was the engagement actually settled? On the 14th of February last. Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here.
Did I give you this? And this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters. But, my own sweet Cecily, I have never written you any letters. You need hardly remind me of that, Ernest.
Gwendolen & Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest: Relationship & Quotes | ommag.info
I remember only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always three times a week, and sometimes oftener. Oh, do let me read them, Cecily?Cecily and Gwendolen, The Importance of Being Ernest
They would make you far too conceited. But was our engagement ever broken off? Of course it was. On the 22nd of last March. You can see the entry if you like. I feel it is better to do so. The weather still continues charming. But why on earth did you break it off? What had I done? I had done nothing at all. Cecily, I am very much hurt indeed to hear you broke it off. Particularly when the weather was so charming. But I forgave you before the week was out.
You dear romantic boy. Yes, darling, with a little help from others. I am so glad.
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
Besides, of course, there is the question of your name. You must not laugh at me, darling, but it had always been a girlish dream of mine to love some one whose name was Ernest. I pity any poor married woman whose husband is not called Ernest. But, my dear child, do you mean to say you could not love me if I had some other name? Oh, any name you like—Algernon—for instance… Cecily. It is not at all a bad name. In fact, it is rather an aristocratic name.
Half of the chaps who get into the Bankruptcy Court are called Algernon. Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single book, so you can imagine how much he knows. I must see him at once on a most important christening—I mean on most important business. Considering that we have been engaged since February the 14th, and that I only met you to-day for the first time, I think it is rather hard that you should leave me for so long a period as half an hour. What an impetuous boy he is!
I like his hair so much. I must enter his proposal in my diary. A Miss Fairfax has just called to see Mr. On very important business, Miss Fairfax states. Worthing in his library?
Worthing went over in the direction of the Rectory some time ago. Pray ask the lady to come out here; Mr. Worthing is sure to be back soon. And you can bring tea. I suppose one of the many good elderly women who are associated with Uncle Jack in some of his philanthropic work in London.
I think it is so forward of them. My name is Cecily Cardew. Something tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say.
My first impressions of people are never wrong. How nice of you to like me so much after we have known each other such a comparatively short time. Then that is all quite settled, is it not?
They both sit down together. Perhaps this might be a favourable opportunity for my mentioning who I am. My father is Lord Bracknell. You have never heard of papa, I suppose? Outside the family circle, papa, I am glad to say, is entirely unknown. I think that is quite as it should be. The home seems to me to be the proper sphere for the man. And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties he becomes painfully effeminate, does he not?
It makes men so very attractive. Cecily, mamma, whose views on education are remarkably strict, has brought me up to be extremely short-sighted; it is part of her system; so do you mind my looking at you through my glasses?
I am very fond of being looked at. Your mother, no doubt, or some female relative of advanced years, resides here also? I have no mother, nor, in fact, any relations. My dear guardian, with the assistance of Miss Prism, has the arduous task of looking after me. Yes, I am Mr. It is strange he never mentioned to me that he had a ward.
Gwendolen & Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest: Relationship & Quotes
How secretive of him! He grows more interesting hourly. I am not sure, however, that the news inspires me with feelings of unmixed delight.
But I am bound to state that now that I know that you are Mr. In fact, if I may speak candidly - Cecily. I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid. Well, to speak with perfect candour, Cecily, I wish that you were fully forty-two, and more than usually plain for your age.
Ernest has a strong upright nature. He is the very soul of truth and honour. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception. But even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charms of others. Modern, no less than Ancient History, supplies us with many most painful examples of what I refer to. If it were not so, indeed, History would be quite unreadable.
I beg your pardon, Gwendolen, did you say Ernest? Oh, but it is not Mr.
Ernest Worthing who is my guardian. It is his brother—his elder brother. I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time. And now that I think of it I have never heard any man mention his brother. The subject seems distasteful to most men. Cecily, you have lifted a load from my mind.
I was growing almost anxious. It would have been terrible if any cloud had come across a friendship like ours, would it not? Of course you are quite, quite sure that it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian? Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me. The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday at the latest.
Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago. If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you, but I am afraid I have the prior claim. It would distress me more than I can tell you, dear Gwendolen, if it caused you any mental or physical anguish, but I feel bound to point out that since Ernest proposed to you he clearly has changed his mind. Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? It becomes a pleasure.