Character Sketch of Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest

Algernon Moncrieff is one of the important characters in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. By nature, he is light and playful. All the time, he has nothing but playfulness on his mind. To achieve his purpose, he is seen using wit and paradoxical utterances. He can be considered as a mouthpiece of the author himself because like him, Algernon also possesses the socio-cultural point of view.

Algernon is introduced to the audience at the beginning of Act I. The Act opens in his house i9n London. He was a rich person who lived in a well-furnished apartment on the Half-Moon Street in London. The opening conversation between Algernon and his servant throws ample light on the witty nature of this man. He was also a man of high intellectual capacities. It becaome clear in his meeting with his friend ErnestWorthing. He very pointedly asked Mr. Worthing why on his cigarette case his name was inscribed as Jack rather than Ernest. This question compels Mr. Worthing to disclose his double identity to Algernon. After this disclosure, he tells Mr. Worthing that he himself had also invented an imaginary friend, Bunbury. Whenever, he used to get rid of the social events of his Aunt, he used to go to the country on the pretext of visiting his friend.

So far as his love for Cecily is concerned, it is seen that he was very sincere and serious about it. In his very first meeting with Cecily, he impresses her so much that she confesses her love for him. Even, she tells him that she was already in love with him in her imagination. However, her love for Algernon was due to the fact that his name was Ernest. When Algernon cames to know about Cecily’s fascination for the name ‘Ernest’, he decides to rechristen him as Ernest. This shows his sincerity in his relationship with Cecily.

It is seen that his aunt, Lady Bracknell always thinks of his well-being. That is why when she comes to know about the love affair between Algernon and Cecily, she confirms that Cecily had a large fortune. But he cannot marry his beloved unless Mr. Wothing gives his consent as Cecily was under his charge. And unless and until Lady Bracknell gives her consent to the marriage between her daughter and Mr. Worthing, he would not allow Cecily to get married with Algernon. However, at the end of the play, all the obstacles are removed and Algernon is united with Cecily.

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