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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


by Oscar Wilde

Lady Augusta Bracknell Timeline and Summary

  • Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen visit Algernon.
  • Lady Bracknell expresses her disapproval over Bunbury’s bad health.
  • Lady Bracknell and Algernon go into the other room to inspect his music arrangements for her party, leaving Jack-as-Ernest and Gwendolen alone in the morning room.
  • Lady Bracknell walks in on Jack proposing to Gwendolen.
  • Lady Bracknell furiously sends Gwendolen down to the carriage.
  • Lady Bracknell interviews Jack-as-Ernest, and finds his lack of parents very disturbing. She pronounces him unfit to court Gwendolen, unless he can produce his parents by the end of the season. She dismisses him.
  • Lady Bracknell arrives at Jack’s Manor House in the country to get Gwendolen.
  • Lady Bracknell, once she has heard about Cecily’s inheritance, suddenly becomes very interested in her and announces her consent to let her marry Algernon.
  • Jack undercuts Lady Bracknell by refusing to give his consent to Cecily unless Lady Bracknell gives him consent to marry Gwendolen. Lady Bracknell refuses.
  • Dr. Chasuble enters and Lady Bracknell hears him mention Miss Prism. She commands Miss Prism to be brought to her.
  • Lady Bracknell forces Miss Prism into her confession.
  • Lady Bracknell reveals that Jack is really her nephew and Algernon’s older brother.
  • Lady Bracknell cannot remember what Jack’s father’s name was—only that he was a General.
  • After Jack discovers his name is really Ernest, Lady Bracknell accuses him of being trivial.