Monday, 29 January 2018

Discuss the use of pun in the title of the play The Importance of Being Earnest.

A pun is a form of wit, not necessarily funny, involving a play on a world with two or more meanings. The tile of the play is ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and pun is involved in the use of the word “Ernest” and the word “Ernest”. So the words “Earnest” and “Earnest” have unity of sounds under duplicity of meanings. The title of the play as mentioned above means that, in order to
marry the woman one loves, one must have the name “Ernest” and that, furthermore, one must be earnest to marry her. Jack and Algernon can be accepted as husbands on the condition that they possess the name “Ernest”, but also on the further condition that they are really keen to marry the girls with whom they are in love. Thus there is the “importance” of having the name, “Ernest” and of being “earnest”. This pun makes the title of the play quite amusing, and therefore serves to indicate the comic quality of the whole play.

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