Character Sketch of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest

Lady Bracknell is the mother of Gwendolen Fairfax and aunt of Jack ang Algernon Moncrieff. She is the true representative of the fashionable high class society of London. By nature she is dominating. It is seen in her treatment of her daughter, Gwendolen and her nephew, Algernon. Though Gwendolen had selected her would be husband, Lady Bracknell would not accept him until she is satisfied with his worthiness. Therefore, when she comes to know that Gwendolen likes Jack, she thoroughly interrogates him. When she comes to know that Jack is an orphan, she refuses to accept him as her son-in-law.

Her same dominating attitude is seen in her dealing with Cecily-Algernon episode. Before giving her consent to the marriage, she confirms that Cecily had a large fortune. However, it has to be taken into consideration that Lady Bracknell’s such kind of behaviour is the result of her too much concern for the well-being of her loved ones. Behind her domineering nature, Lady Bracknell is full of compassion for all those who come in her contact. It is seen in her attitude towards Cecily and Miss Prism. Actually, Miss Prism had committed a grave crime by taking away the baby. But Lady Bracknell readily forgives her as she is reunited with her nephew. Thus, the character of Lady Bracknell is a successful creation of Oscar Wilde that remains in the memory of the audience for quite a long time.

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