Portfolio "Teaching Drama"

On: The Importance of Being Earnest (O. Wilde), The Crucible (A. Miller) and As You Like it (W. Shakespeare)

Hausarbeit, 2009

16 Seiten, Note: 1,5



Part A
1. Oscar Wilde - A biography about a moving life in note form
2. Plot
3. Setting
4. Structure
5. Fictional characters
6. Themes in the play and quotes which underline them
7. Ideas how to teach this text

Part B: Why teach plays?

Part C
1. Biography of Tituba
2. Film review

Part D
1. Why teach Shakespeare and why the play ‘As You Like It?’
2. The author
3. About the play
4. The characters and their relations
5. Analysis of the play
6. Teaching ideas
7. Conclusion


Part A

1. Oscar Wilde - A biography about a moving life in note form

- Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (*1854 in Dublin - †1900 in Paris)
- Irish author
- Astute humour and oracy -> even today still veryfamous for his quotes
- Stylish dandy and celebrity in his time
- Maverick, extravagant appearance
- Homosexual (scandalous in his time), went to prison because of homosexual relationship, after that he was a broken man, but still kept his humour
- Died exiled in Paris, France
Some selected works:
- Ravenna (poem)
- The Canterville Gost (short story)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (his one novel)
- The Importance of Being Earnest (comedy)

2. Plot

John Worthing, the play’s protagonist, is known as “Ernest” by his friends in town and as “Jack” in the country. “Ernest“ pretends to have a brother called Jack for going off to London to escape his responsibilities and indulge in the behaviour he pretends to disapprove of in his brother. John is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, the cousin of his best friend, Algernon Moncrieff. Both, Algernon and John, lead a double life as “Bunburyists”, as Algernon calls this. Algernon discovers that Jack is leading a double life by finding a cigarette case addressed to “Uncle Jack” from someone named Cecily. Identifying himself as “Ernest”, Algernon visits Jack's house in the country and falls in love with Cecily who is the ward of “Ernest” Worthing.

As Jack proposes to Gwendolen, Lady Bracknell, the mother of her, wants to know about Jack’s family background. The revelation of Jack's origins causes Lady Bracknell to forbid his union with Gwendolen. She is scandalized because Jack has no idea who his parents were and that he was adopted. An obstacle of Jack is Gwendolen's obsession with the name “Ernest“, since she does not know Jack's real name and insists in marrying a man who is called Ernest.

Later on Gwendolen and Cecily meet and while talking discover that both Jack and Algernon have been lying to them and that neither is really named “Ernest“.

In the end of the last act Miss Prism is revealed to be the governess who mistakenly abandoned Jack as a baby. So Jack finds out that he is the child of Lady Bracknell's sister and, therefore, Algernon's older brother. Jack had been originally christened “Ernest John.” So all these years Jack has unwittingly been telling the truth: Ernest is his name, as is Jack. So it is all about “the vital Importance of Being Earnest”.

3. Setting

The play takes place in the 1890s in London (act I) and Hertfordshire, a rural county near London (acts II and III). The atmosphere of the brilliant play is kind of ironic and sarcastic, which is typical for Oscar Wilde. The mood of the play is largely satirical. This is because Wilde is seeking to mock the triviality of the upper class society of London.

4. Structure

The play segments into three acts, each one consisting of two parts:

Act I, Part One Discovery and Confession

Act I, Part Two Defeated Proposal

Act II, Part One Confusions at Manor House

Act II, Part Two Who is going to marry Ernest?

Act III, Part One Forgiveness

Act III, Part Two Late joy of brotherhood

5. Fictional characters

- John (Jack / Ernest) Worthing

The play's protagonist. In the rural county Hertfordshire he is known as Jack, in London as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was discovered in the cloakroom of Victoria Station by an old man who adopted him and made Jack guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily Cardew. He is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax. He represents conventional Victorian values, he wants others to think he adheres to such notions as duty, honor, and respectability, but he hypocritically flouts those very notions.

- Algernon Moncrieff

Nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he has known for years as Ernest. He has a fictional friend, “Bunbury,” an invalid whose frequent sudden relapses allow him to get away from unpleasant or dull social obligations. He is aesthetic, handsome, brilliant, witty and selfish. He is close to the figure of the dandy.

- Gwendolen Fairfax

She is Algernon's cousin and Lady Bracknell's daughter. She lives in London. Gwendolen is in love with Jack, whom she knows as Ernest, she is fixated on this name. Gwendolen is a sophisticated, elegant and intellectual young woman and conveys the qualities of conventional Victorian womanhood.

- Cecily Cardew

Jack's ward, the charming granddaughter of the old gentlemen who found and adopted Jack when Jack was a baby. She falls in love with Jack's brother Ernest (Algernon). Contrary to Gwendolen Cecily is a child of nature living in the country. She has invented her romance with Ernest and wrote it down in her diary long time before they even met. She is obsessed with the name Ernest just as Gwendolen is.

- Lady Bracknell

Aunt of Algernon and Gwendolen's mother. She is snobbish, shallow and domineering.

- Miss Prism

Cecily's governess. She seems to have romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble. A rigid, puritan and pedantic woman.

- Reverend Canon Chasuble

Priest on Jack’s estate. He entertains secret romantic feelings for Miss Prism.

- Lane

Algernon's butler. The only person who knows about Algernon's practice of “Bunburying“.

- Merriman

Butler at the Manor House.



Ende der Leseprobe aus 16 Seiten


Portfolio "Teaching Drama"
On: The Importance of Being Earnest (O. Wilde), The Crucible (A. Miller) and As You Like it (W. Shakespeare)
Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg im Breisgau  (Sprachwissenschaften)
Teaching Drama
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
539 KB
Shakespeare, Englisch, Teaching Drama, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Crucible, Seminararbeit
Arbeit zitieren
Nadja Hornberger (Autor), 2009, Portfolio "Teaching Drama", München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/145681


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