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An Ideal Husband

An Ideal Husband


by Oscar Wilde

Lady Markby

Character Analysis

Lady Markby plays the role of the gossipy aunt. If you want the world to know your business, tell it to her; it's clear that nothing ever ends with her. In the play, she represents the pre-modern woman. She counsels Mabel: "Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly" (2.213).

It's also interesting that she is the person who introduces Mrs. Cheveley. Decidedly unaware of the tools of warfare in modern life, she doesn't have a clue that she's starting a skirmish.