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ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS
1. Consider the theme of marriage; by using textual evidence, create an argument stating what Wilde is trying to say about marriage and why he might be saying this.
2. Contrast and compare the 4 women characters in this play. What does each represent of Victorian society. Do you think these are realistic stereotypes, why or why not?
3. What is Wilde trying to convey about writing and writers. Consider Prism’s novel, Cecily and
Gwendolen’s diaries, and the fact that Chasuble has written nothing.
4. Examine the use of epigrams in this play. Why do you think Wilde uses them so frequently?
5. Write an essay analyzing the use of irony in this play. Consider dramatic irony as well.
6. How is this play a satire; what is its aim in being so?
7. This play was very well received by Victorian society. Why do you think this is so? What elements make it an enjoyable? Do you think it would be popular among modern, American audiences?
8. Elaborate on the relationship between Dr. Chasuble and Miss Prism. How is their relationship like or unlike that of Algernon and Cecily and Jack and Gwendolen?
9. Predict the lives of the two main couples in 15 years. Use textual evidence to support your claim.
10. How is this play different without a narrator? What are the assets/ setbacks of this device?