This lesson is designed for students to close read a passage from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, analyze it for its tone, diction, and characterization. Students will write with greater depth about the author’s use of satire of the conventions during the Victorian Period.
There is a link to an original video showing a staged version of the scene. The video includes captioning of the dialogue as well as annotations on characterization, tone, diction, and literary devices. Included in the packet are links to teaching these devices and links to demonstrate how they apply to the play.
An AP style prompt is included as well as the text from the play that the students will be analyzing. A teacher can use this lesson in conjunction with the study of the play, or the lesson can be taught independently of studying the play and be used to teach the students how to analyze a passage. Included in the packet are three sample student responses with commentary from a teacher who is a veteran scorer of AP English exams. Complete Common Core standards included.
Key words: Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, satire, British Literature, AP English Literature, AP English Language, Gifted, video study, essay writing, characterization, tone, diction