Life and Background of the Playwright. Wilde’s Early Years. Education, Travel, and Celebrity. Marriage and Commercial Success. A Playwright with a Secret Life. Disaster and Ruin. Wilde’s Last Years. Introduction to the Play. Introduction. Brief Synopsis. List of Characters. Character Map. Critical Commentaries. Act I—Part 1. Act I—Part 2. Act II—Part 1. Act II—Part 2. Act III. Character Analyses. John (Jack) Worthing. Algernon (Algy) Moncrieff. Lady Augusta Bracknell. Gwendolen Fairfax & Cecily Cardew. Rev. Chasuble & Miss Prism. Critical Essays. Duty and Respectability. The Absence of Compassion. Religion. Popular Culture. Secret Lives. Passion and Morality. Courtship and Marriage. Perpetuating the Upper Class. Class Conflict. CliffsNotes Review. CliffsNotes Resource Center. Index.