It must be said that the power of hypocrisy in human nature is powerful. This kind of power promotes human progress and evolution. The desire for power, the yearning for money, and the pursuit of women are all brought by the power of hypocrisy. Whenever people have these desires, people will use this force to strengthen themselves and disguise themselves, so as to achieve their own goals and satisfy their desires.
The play The Importance of Being Ernest and the story A Scandal in Bohemia is the hilariously satirized play of the Victorian age and the hypocritical values that the people of that time held. In the play, The Importance of Being Ernest, Algernon and Jack as the main characters create the deceptions in order to get the woman they pursued, Similarly, in the story, A Scandal in Bohemia, the king from Bohemia entrusted Holmes to steal the photo of him and Adler because of his desire for power, and also, Holmes disguised himself into Adler’s house because of his pursuit of victory and self-esteem. In the following article, I will analyze and compare these two articles in more detail to prove my argument.
When humans are used to hypocrisy, then hypocrisy will no longer be a power, but an instinct. It can be seen that when humans are used to hypocrisy, then hypocrisy will no longer be a force, but an instinct.
Although Victorians live a corrupt life, being earnest is always their highest standard. The Victorians saw earnestness as the overall majestic virtue that one must achieve in their life in order to obtain the acceptance of the noble society. And in the play, The Importance of Being Ernest, captures this perfectly with its character Algernon whom says, “Well, one must be serious about something if one wants to have any amusement in life.” This is a conversation between Jack and Algernon after being debunked by Gwendolen and Cecily. Algernon perfectly displayed the noble’s behavior of ‘earnestness’, he took the art of deception very seriously, and treats it as an amusement of life. Similarly, the King of Bohemia and Holmes also perfectly interpreted the noble’s behavior to ‘earnestness’. The king was said: “Five attempts have been made.” From here, we can clearly understand how “serious” the king took. In order to get pictures of him and Adler, a total of 5 thefts were carried out, and Holmes was also hired by him to help him get that picture. It is not a bad thing to take something seriously, but when people start to support and supervise each other according to this standard, this is the reason for the hypocrisy of Victorians.
The play The Importance of Being Ernest and the story A Scandal in Bohemia reveals the hypocrisy of these strict social Victorian mores through many literary devices but the most notably is through the inversions in the speeches of his characters.