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Victorian Era The Upper Classes English Literature Essay

In Wildes performs the importance of each heroes morality and ideology is dependent on the tainted pasts. In A FEMALE of No Importance a past affair that led to an illegitimate child is disclosed, the finding and aftermath after which Wilde bases his whole play. Days gone by constantly remains in the people' consciousness, and therefore also in the reader's. The conception of forgiveness is also explored, not only in this play however in An Ideal Man where Sir Robert Chiltern is blackmailed due to selling status secrets to boost in his profession:

Even you aren't rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your recent. No man is.

The former is a continuous threat for all your individuals and greatly affects their present lives. Similarly, Lady Chiltern product labels Mrs. Cheveley deceitful and devious consequently of her thieving dynamics when she was youthful; believing that the past identifies a person, and reveals their true personality. Initially Jacks recent in The Need for Being Earnest is anonymous and it is not until the final take action that the audience discover his true individuality, allowing him to move forward with his engagement to Gwendolen. Through this, Wilde shows that embracing your past is the only way that you will be able to continue leading your life without residing in constant fear of exposure.

In the starting act of A Woman of No Importance the audience is offered a formal garden setting up, where Sweetheart Hunstantons guests are calming; their leisurely, meaningless dialogue expressing the idleness of top of the classes while demonstrating the works naturalistic qualities. The serene atmosphere, however, is not prolonged due to the clash between Western european sophistication and American innocence-as represented by Hester. The British with the domineering aristocratic principles contrasts with America, the greatest country on the globe, of which Hester implies the masses have influence in regards to to the development of its land. Hesters candour considerably differs from Lady Carolines hypocrisy, illustrating the varying ideologies under that your two women have been elevated. The upper course Englishwoman has already established extensive experience in the social conventions and appropriate behaviour of culture and so, comprehends that frankness is not really a respected quality. Hester embodies the characteristics of the 'New Woman; productive, self reliant and liberated, yet her isolation consequently of being so direct and breaking the code of manners makes her the most susceptible figure on stage. Hesters patronizing moral frame of mind comes across strongly when she contrasts Great britain with Americas democracy, however, she actually is undercut by Woman Hunstanton who degrades women by suggesting they are simply allowed to have such ideas so long as they stay well presented-you seemed very pretty when you said it which is much more important. Hester emerges the chance to recover such etiquette, yet refuses it, and the code of politeness is then hired against her to punish her. Wilde also explores the idea of maintained decorum in challenging circumstances within the Need for Being Earnest when Cecily and Gwendolen cannot insult the other person explicitly:

Oh, bouquets are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London

With the entrance of the servants, hostilities appear suspended due to the rigid rules of do of how to respond in front of the family servants. The formality and exaggerated good manners between your two women is showed thought the repeated use with their formal titles; Pass up Fairfax and Miss Cardew. Although both young women say nothing at all unconventional, only on the top is it polite; they continue to goad the other person without breaking out into open insult. The pun of the blooms to be 'common as people are in London suggestions at the unrefined members of urban modern culture, Gwendolen owned by such an organization.

Victorian society retained top quality decorum with etiquette and traditions, the burkha sanction within social situations. As a result, Wilde uses the sign of 'masks in every three plays to show the importance of withholding your true feelings. A perfect example through the Need for Being Earnest would be Cecily and Gwendolens altercation that there may be no immediate confrontation. The shallow mask of manners slips and Cecily is in danger of breaking the social convention under which both young females have been brought up, representing the failing of upper school manners. In A Woman of No Importance Mrs Arbuthnot identifies herself as a woman who wears a mask, like a thing that is a leper. Previously symbolized as a selfless, charitable female, Mrs Arbuthnot now depicts herself as a sociable outcast, whereby Wilde shows that lies do not stay hidden and will ultimately be exposed. The play An Ideal Hubby highlights the theme of sociable behaviour expertly. In the opening take action, the audience observed the exclusive people of London contemporary society, observing their various shows in different social circles. As a result, Mrs Cheveley, in a dialogue with Sir Robert, observes that within such a contemporary society nobody is fully being themselves, and so should be considered with caution:

Sir Robert:. . . are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only fashionable religions left to us

Mrs Cheveley: Oh I am neither. Besides they are both just poses

Sir Robert: Which means you would prefer to be natural?

Mrs Cheveley: Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to maintain

Wildes opinion that politics is a job made from deception and masks is manufactured clear through Sir Roberts do in his speeches and politics beliefs. Here, Wilde demonstrates the distinctive parallels London contemporary society has with the theater, where each character is a disguise; Girl Markby accurately records that everybody turns out to be somebody else. As the play unravels it transpires that even within the Chilterns marriage, a mask have been donned. The climax of the function occurs as Sir Roberts disgraced past is found out, forcing Sweetheart Chiltern to re-examine her man and unearthing a completely new person:

What mask are you wearing each one of these years?

As well as this thematic development, therefore of Sir Roberts unmasking, his cultural face is ruined and the image as a moral open public figure and man is at threat of being ripped to shreds. Sir Robert, however, is not the only real personality whose mask slips; the villainess, Mrs Cheveley, is unmasked as a monster. As she actually is cornered by Lord Goring for her theft of a diamonds and ruby brooch, Mrs Cheveley descends into a paroxysm of trend, with inarticulate noises. Her muteness is a reflection of the anxiety she seems and for the reason that instant her beauty and intellect are washed away, exhibiting her true evil; her mask has fallen and she becomes dreadful to check out.

Through the use of the after evening meal ritual of gender separation in A Woman of No Importance Wilde portrays how the difference in public behaviour is influenced by the segregation of the sexes. The build of the play significantly alters and the ladies are almost emancipated; they converse bluntly about a range of subjects that would have been off limits in the presence of men, demonstrating the power struggle between your sexes. These three has ponder the dynamics of connections, here however, Mr Allonby classes such relationship in conditions of ownership and Female Caroline believing that relationship should be used to maintain a firm keep over their men and keep them in their proper place. However, in Behrendts studies of Oscar Wilde, she concludes that Wilde considers the notion a man is a womans livelihood, a factor which makes women entirely centered after men and, essentially, your property. Wilde uses the Archdeacon as a counterpoint to this theme, his wifes exaggerated ailments provides a comic interlude while also forcing the audience to question which of the couple is implementing influence above the other:

Her deafness is a great privation to her. She cant hear any of my sermons now

Wilde portrays the varying examples of control that the sexes hold over each other; a partner exploiting her condition in order to gain freedom from her 'adoring man, while he utilizes this independence as an opportunity to socialise by themselves. Wilde continues with this idea in the next act which opens with the ladies in the drawing room, detached from the mens company, with the separation approach not only creating a period of intimacy and confidentiality but also allowing top of the class users of the audience to be able to relate themselves with the individuals. The discussions become slightly more risque, with Wilde screening the censor; the sexual stress radiates from level with Mrs Allonbys innuendo about the scale and form of Ernests chin suggesting that the women are hinting about the guys erotic incompetence. Wilde uses the character of Mrs Cheveley in An Ideal Partner to uncover the sexual discrimination that was at play in Victorian contemporary society. For your ruthless, manipulative woman such as Mrs Cheveley, her love-making is an obstruction to her desires; her own characteristics are associated with your:

In the case of very attractive women, sex is a obstacle not a defence

Mrs Cheveleys quality is undeniably sound; she is happy to marry Lord Goring in order to get what she wants. With Mrs Cheveley, here, determined with masculine principles, Gorings dandified identity is often associated with the feminine traits. Goring himself is crafty, unethical, deceitful and comes with an ostentatious fashion sense; much like Mrs Cheveley. Wilde often used such personas in his works, the dandy position in rebellion to the strong family and moral beliefs of the Victorian period. Behrendt illustrates Wildes thoughts and opinions of the place of the sexes through Lord Illingworth in 'A Woman of No Importance proclaiming that it's his intellectually, as well as his gender that distinguishes him from the other wits of the play who are notably feminine and intellectually poor. Wilde believes that the dandy world is one which repudiates the effect and tyranny of woman, and one, therefore in which the male intellect is free. While the dandy perceives women as mindless, he recognizes himself as the embodiment of intellectual conception. Dandyism was the celebration of most things shallow and home centred, focusing on style of fashion and speech. In A Woman of No Importance Lord Illingworth preserves that modern culture is moving forward and the future belongs to the dandy credited to his skill of being able to dominate a London dining room table.

Wilde often empathises with the low classes, as seen through his treatment of the servants in both Need for Being Earnest and A PERFECT Hubby. As the servants are clearly in an poor position with their masters, they follow their commands yet Wilde uses vocabulary to put them on par in terms of equality of wit. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Algernons servant, Lane, conducts his tasks to a high standard, transferring no judgement on his experts lifestyle and saying that he didnt find it polite to hear the music. The implicit critique of his experts musical potential tapers the sociable difference between them. Albeit Lane has a trivial role in the play, yet effectively fashions the tenor and social framework of the play. In so doing, the play cannot be considered earnestly given the class equality between your servants and their experts. Wilde portrays the importance placed upon school structure within an Ideal Spouse through Lord Goring and his ideal butler Phipps, who epitomizes the dominance of form, producing a particular lifeless pan humour which involves this expressionless, impassive character. Lord Gorings epigrams display his egotism plainly in this field, with Phippss repeated Yes, my lord highlighting the indifference he feels towards his masters thoughts.

Lord Goring: Fashion is exactly what one wears oneself. What's unfashionable is what other people wear.

Phipps: Yes, my lord.

Lord Goring: As vulgarity is simply the carry out of other folks.

Phipps: Yes, my lord.

Hence, Phipps acts as a kind of mirror to his experts vanity, which in turn, causes Lord Goring to appear to be possessing a one-sided conversation. Simultaneously, Phipps replicates his professional deferentially, neglecting to focus on Lord Gorings clothing but also by stealing the previous have a good laugh of the picture at his masters price. By pronouncing that the lower classes are really fortunate in burning off their own families, the dig at Lord Gorings overbearing father is hard to miss. This somewhat rude remark made by a servant, displays to the audience that such lower classes hold the wit and intellect to compete with the wealthy, and in so doing should get an possibility to better themselves. Wilde enables the lower class customers of his audience to glance at top of the classes lifestyle. As one critic acknowledges their involvement in learning that ladies of the name specially affect cucumber sandwiches at five oclock teas, that to adopt sugar is now considered in smart contemporary society quite unfashionable, which wedding cake is never seen on the tea desks of really stylish family members.

Wildes takes on often centered on the concept of associations; affairs, courting and matrimony play a key in role each one, however, it becomes noticeable that in this Victorian period, intimate double requirements and hypocrisy are just as significant. In A Woman of No Importance it is clear that there surely is a great inequality between your sexes; womens erotic code is aptly depicted as using fire, a dangerous activity, that can consequently bring about a life being destroyed. Females are in the end regarded as inferior compared to men, and are oftentimes, cared for unjustly in matter to sexual carry out:

The world was made for men rather than for women

Let all women who have sinned be punished

With sex outside wedlock considered sinful, Wilde portrays the problem that women go through a more severe abuse if any intimate misdemeanours have visible consequences through the character of Mrs Arbuthnot, whose penance on her behalf own illegitimate child have cast her as a lost soul. Wilde presents Mrs Arbuthnots figure as extremely emphatic which forces the audience to maintain a cynical view of her situation. Critic William Archer suggests that her remarkable outbursts of bearing such a mix is a 'mere vacant saying making and thinks that she has experienced a stubborn conviction to be unhappy, for which Lord Illingworth can scarcely be blamed. It would appear that even the critics of this time exhibit the same thoughts towards a tainted woman, leading to the audience to question the justness of such an ideology. Throughout the play there can be an undeniable appeal for the audience to recognize the predicament of the fallen women even though world in those days disregarded such compassion and demanded that a womens reputation must remain pure. In relation to marriage, A PERFECT Hubby adopts the designs of undying love, forgiveness and devotion and satirizes them with its immoral and dandified personas. In the occasion of Lady Chiltern, her marital life is based on worship rather than reality, putting her husband over a monstrous pedestal upon which he is faultless; this love can be regarded as feminine. As the play unravels, Girl Chilterns unreasonable love for her husband spells disaster as Sir Roberts technique is open. The masculine marital love that is identified with Lord Goring and Sir Robert is completely more practical and less judgmental; a partner loves his wife and each one of her imperfections; his love involves compassion and forgiveness. Therefore, the play requires the alteration of the womans extreme romanticizing and morally rigid love for her to absolve her husbands sins:

"Pardon, not abuse, is [women's] objective"

For the first time, Woman Chiltern is likely to suppose the role of a conventional Victorian girl and forgive her husbands defects. As the repair of the contented marital home is concluded in Action four, all is well again. Sir Roberts public image is conserved, his career remains unblemished and he even benefits a couch in the Pantry. Wilde explores the theory that although your recent has the capacity to ruin, it isn't the only real option. Regardless, Sir Robert will not purchase his faults; his marriage becomes stronger consequently of Mrs Cheveleys endeavors to demolish it, he progresses in his job and continues to be seen to be morally not capable of anything disreputable. Having witnessed firsthand the problems of 'ideal husband, Lord Goring and Mabel Chilterns meant marriage functions as a counterpoint to the Chilterns, stating that the ideal husband appears like something in the next world and instead, promises to be a real better half to Goring. Throughout the play, both Lord Goring and Mabel have indeed assumed an unethical forward, scoffing at the value placed on duty and respectability; Goring, with regard to the altercations with his daddy and Mabel with her many witticisms, which read literally, ideas that the beliefs of the young few rests ultimately on the reluctance to do what's expected of these. With the curtain falling on both blissful lovers, Wilde suggests that without the capability to accept your associates mistakes, the relationship is not sturdy, and thereby will not stand up to such a effective threat. INSIDE THE Need for Being Earnest however, the obstacle between the young lovers is based on Jacks unaccountable parents, uncovering the rigid view of upper class young families who presumed that growth within population should determine any romantic thoughts:

You can scarcely imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would imagine allowing our only daughter. . . to marry into a cloakroom and form an alliance with a parcel?

The audience undoubtedly find Female Bracknells melodramatic talk comical, yet it is noticeable that she will not permit the union to ensue unless Jack acquires some relationships. It is merely when Jacks true identity is found out, uncovering a solid bloodline, that Female Bracknell consents the matrimony of him and her little girl. With Female Bracknell appeased with Jacks income and qualifications, she then casts her vision to the other young few on the landscape; Algernon and Cecily. Given Cecilys palpable good looks, ample funds and respectable cable connections Lady Bracknell allows the proposal with alacrity. This notion of marrying for personal interest is also pondered within an Ideal Partner with Mrs Cheveleys notion that romance should never commence with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

With Victorian world fixated on the concept of masculinity and femininity, Wilde delves in to the notion of the reversal of the energy between your sexes, with women taking control over men. WITHIN THE Importance of Being Earnest there is a immediate realigning of the original power relations with Woman Bracknell being truly a prime example. The feminine characters repeatedly show a power within the guys; this masculine electricity forcing the male characters into an effeminate role. Sweetheart Bracknells interrogation of Jack is a satire of the traditional enquiries a daddy would normally ask a, upper course suitor wanting to marry their little princess. As it is Female Bracknell and not Lord Bracknell searching for the intentions of Jack, it creates a comic interlude, easing the strain on stage between Jack and his soon to be mother-in-law. The play is set in age the Empire, an interval in which a model man was one of great influence and power. Wilde however, knocks this stereotype on its mind by delivering this masculine ability as the women of the play. Lady Bracknells speeches are very controlled and concise, ensuring that she holds both audience and the other personas on stage under her command:

Illness of any sort is barely to be inspired in others. I am always telling that to your poor uncle, but he never appears to take much notice. . . so far as any improvement in his ailments goes

Lady Bracknells misconception of the basis for sick health on the grounds that it's a moral question receptive to personal choice instead of a dictated health, under which the invalid has no control; again comically highlights her formidable persona. Lord Bracknells infirmity in doing so indicates an overturn of the opinion of feminine frailty and implies the domination of his intimidating wife. Nevertheless, Female Bracknell is not the only real female exhibiting authority above the male figure; both Cecily and Gwendolen persuade their lovers to get baptised to be able to demonstrate their love:

Gwendolen and Cecily (speaking jointly): Your Christian names remain and insuperable barrier

Jack and Algernon (speaking together): Our Religious names! Is that? But we are going to be christened today

As the women have teamed against the men, Wilde shows the collective hold that Cecily and Gwendolen own over Jack and Algernon. Their skilful strategy at making certain they are offered properly illustrates the cynical area to a female; her desires come first and that their men have to, at times, go to extreme lengths to keep them satisfied. Wilde additionally deals with the main topic of a womans role in his play A FEMALE of No Importance where by the end of the play, the lively roles traditionally performed by a guy in a romantic comedy are in fact played by a female. All of the barriers have eventually been removed, and the young couple will be ready to elope, however, it will always be the daddy who hands over his little girl, yet instead it is Mrs Arbuthnot who reveals Hester to her child. As seen, Wilde places significant amounts of importance on the status of women in his plays, comprehending that times were changing and knowing that his audience would appreciate these modern-day details. Critic William Archer highlights Wildes use of farce in 'The Need for Being Earnest which imitates little or nothing, represents nothing, means nothing, is nothing at all, except sort of rondo capriccioso, where the artists fingertips run with clean irresponsibility along the key pad of life. As the whole play is defined in a farcical tone, it advises to the audience that perhaps the idea of such female expert is not to be taken critically.

The Victorian period was a time of great change for women therefore, Wilde has the 'new girl into his works, through the character types of Hester and Woman Chiltern. Nevertheless, in Wildes A FEMALE of No Importance top of the class women appear to haven't any affinity for the liberty Hester exudes, which could very well be the reason that these women find the 'puritan woman so irritating. The conservative Woman Markby within an Ideal Husband warns Mabel and Lady Chiltern about the dangers of modernity, suggesting that such change was more likely to grow old fashioned quite out of the blue. Wilde observes modernity constantly during his play, often linking it to the wrongdoings within culture. Markedly, Sir Robert feels that present day affluence is fabricated on classified information, therefore arguing for the inevitability of politics problem. The collective distrust of modernity hints at a public weakness of the incapacity to attempt change. Wilde explores the role of ladies in society; thought to be greatly elaborate beings, the play produces a number of mixed behaviour in their respect. Mrs Cheveley deems women to be an cosmetic object, even though men can be analysed, women. . . merely adored. She thinks that, here rests females power; their beauty and irrationality creating a deadly mixture. Given the period in which the play was written, there could have been various views on the progression of ladies in society. The traditional, Mrs Markby complains about the varying degrees of change in modern culture, while slating her own spouse in the process:

. . . this horrid House of Commons quite ruins our husbands for us. . . by far the greatest blow to a happy marriage that there has been since that awful things called the bigger Education of Women. . .

As the audience has only witnessed the access of Sweetheart Chiltern coming from the Womens Liberal Connection, a sharp absorption of breathe ensues. Carefully disagreeing, she points out that in the past, although women were educated, they learned nothing at all of substance. The 'new woman embodies an ideal wife, includes knowledge and so is actively involved in public and political affairs.

Wildes three works; A FEMALE of No Importance, A PERFECT Husband plus the Need for Being Earnest explore the many conflicts that been around within Victorian population while preserving a comedic build throughout, lightening the feeling of such serious issues. Through a range of theatrical techniques, the audience profits a deeper knowledge of the social expectancies where the individuals must abide, their complex code of manners drawn apart and evaluated. Thereby, Wildes give attention to relationships ultimately features the selection of issues both genders has to put up with.

Word Count: 4, 475

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