Study Guide

An Ideal Husband Three Act Plot Analysis

By Oscar Wilde

Three Act Plot Analysis

OK, don't worry about the fact that Wilde put his play in four acts and we're talking about three. The Three Act Plot Analysis is just another way of looking at the structure of the play. And maybe, when you direct the play, this analysis will help you figure out where to put the intermission.

Act I

Upsetting the Chilterns' good vibe of security and power, Mrs. Cheveley threatens Sir Robert with public humiliation and brings tension to his otherwise happy marriage.

Act II

Lady Chiltern finds out about Sir Robert's past crime. He feels like he'll never get her back.


We'd throw Wilde's Acts 3 and 4 in here. Act 3 puts us in Lord Goring's house as he struggles to straighten things out; by the end of Act 4 everyone's happy in love, and seeing their beloved a little more realistically.