Gwendolen is speaking to Jack, whom she believes to be named Ernest. She explains why the name Ernest is so important and that she could never love a man with any other name.
AuthorName: Oscar Wilde
CharacterName: Gwendolen Fairfax
Age Range: 20s - Early
Dialects: Standard English
PlayName: Importance of Being Earnest, The
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Public domain
I am quite well aware of the fact. And I often wish that in...View Full Monologue Text
I am quite well aware of the fact. And I often wish that in public, at any rate, you had been more demonstrative. For me you have always had an irresistible fascination. Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you. We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals. The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.
But your name is Ernest. It suits you perfectly. It is a divine name. It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.
Jack? . . . No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations . . . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.