An Ideal Husband
Lord Goring's father considers his son to be a burden to society (Lord Caversham's zinger is a favorite: "I am afraid I can't take [Lord Goring] with me to Downing Street. It is not the Prime Minster's day for seeing the unemployed" [4.72]). To the Chilterns, however, Lord Goring is the go-to person for advice and action. Sir Robert trusts him enough to tell all; Act 2 opens with Lord Goring considering the situation. This session with Sir Robert is followed by one with Lady Chiltern. Lord Goring gently suggests she cut Sir Robert a little slack. Act 3 sees Lord Goring at full speed, patching up this and that and putting out fires as soon as they ignite. And it is Lord Goring's moving defense of compassion in Act 4 that finally reconciles Lady Chiltern to her husband.