In this wonderfully witty scene featured in Act One of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the protagonist Jack Worthing wishes to marry young Gwendolyn, the love of his life. The only thing stopping him? Gwendolyn's mother, the dour, unintentionally hilarious Lady Bracknell.
Jack Worthing allows himself to be interviewed by Lady Bracknell, hoping to gain the woman's favor and win permission to marry Gwendolyn. Unfortunately for Jack, Lady Bracknell is most displeased when she discovers the young man's unusual origins. The following two-person scene is ideal for drama class, and has great potential to steal the show at drama competitions, despite the fact that Oscar Wilde wrote the play over one hundred years ago.
LADY BRACKNELL. I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men, although I have the same list as the dear Duchess of Bolton has. We work together, in fact. However, I am quite ready to enter your name, should your answers be what a really affectionate mother requires. Do you smoke?
JACK: Well, yes, I must admit I smoke.
LADY BRACKNELL: I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind.
Read the rest of this delightful two-person scene from Oscar Wilde's comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest.