We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


by Oscar Wilde

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literature and Philosophy

  • Aegeria (II.29): a Roman mythological water nymph known for giving wisdom
  • Mudie (II.12) of Mudie’s Lending Library, which was largely responsible for the rise of the Victorian three-volume novel
  • Cervantes, Don Quixote (II.66)
  • New Testament, Galatians 6:7 (II.107)

Historical Figures

  • Liberal Unionist (I.199)
  • Tories (I.200)
  • French Revolution (I.214)
  • Maréchal Niel (II.72): a species of yellow roses was named after this French minister of war who conquered the Malakoff at the Siege of Sevastopol in 1855
  • Anabaptists (III.115)
  • Army Lists (III.168, 170)

Pop Culture

  • Wagner (I.100)
  • "Wedding March" (I.219)
  • The Morning Post (II.288)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...