The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Lane is Algernon’s butler—and his comic sidekick in the first scene. Algernon knows his master well and is able to cover for him when, for example, all of Lady Bracknell’s sandwiches disappear. Lane’s ease with deceit underscores Wilde’s point: everyone understands his or her role in this society, and excels at playing it.