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John Jack Worthing Jack is the plays protagonist he is the most sympathetic plausible character whose love for Gwendolen is far more believable than the other desires we witness He was found in a handbag on a railway line and as such feels less at home in aristocratic society than does Algernon He lives in the country but has invented a wicked brother named Ernest whose scrapes require Jacks attendance in the city Algernon Moncrieff Algernon the foil to Jack is the epitome of hedonism a wit who scores the best of Wildes biting lines and who cannot resist indulging in all lifes luxuries He has created a friend named Bunbury whose status as a permanent invalid allows Algernon to leave the city whenever he pleases He believes this activity Bunburying is necessary especially if one is going to get marriedsomething he vows never to do Lady Bracknell Lady Bracknell is the major antagonist in the play blocking both potential marriages She embodies all the classist Victorian beliefs she does not allow Gwendolen to marry Jack when she finds out he was an orphan and she dislikes Cecily as a mate for her nephew Algernon until she learns Cecily is quite rich But she is also a remarkable character doling out a seemingly endless supply of epigrams that mock the Victorian society in which she takes part Gwendolen Fairfax Gwendolen is Lady Bracknells daughter and is the object of Jacks romantic advances Though she returns his love Gwendolen appears more self-centered and flighty Like Cecily she wants nothing else but to marry someone named Ernest Cecily Cardew Cecily is Jacks ward and lives with him in the country Young and pretty she is favored by Algernon who pretends to be Jacks brother Ernest Cecily has heard about this brother and has written correspondences between the two of them for months by the time she meets AlgernonErnest Like Gwendolen she is interested in marrying only if
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