The setting in the play, The Importance of Being Earnest, was simple but allowed for the plot to began and create the theme for the play. To summarize the setting I would say that the play starts in the quarters of Algernon’s home. The characters introduced in the beginning were that of a high class English society as it seemed. Algernon had a personal butler who tended to his needs in the beginning and throughout the play. The setting allowed for a visitor, Jack, to visit Algernon’s home to have a friendly conversation; in doing so though is when the plot begins for the play. After learning that Jack has been using a fake name of Earnest, Algernon is baffled. Jack tells Algernon “Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country, and the cigarette case was given to me in the country” (Wilde). Algernon also reveals that he has an alternative name when visiting the country, Bunbury. I believe by inserting these secrets in the beginning of the play creates a bond with the audience. The audience knows the secrets of the two and carries the secrets with the actors throughout the play until they are exposed. 

Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, was a tad bit harder for me to understand the setting of this play. After watching the play though it made more sense. The setting was a way to introduce the characters and how the plot first began. The flower girl was concerned of the note taker being a cop and would charge the flower girl. The note taker is not a cop but rather a rich man that makes a living in Speech. The note taker is rather rude and complains of the flower girl’s speech problem; A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere–no right to live (Shaw). The setting for this play introduces the problem or plot for the play, the note taker is convinced that he can fix the flower girl’s speech problem within three months.


Shaw, Bernard, and Philip M. Parker. Pygmalion. Vol. Webster’s Thesaurus ed. for PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and AP English Test Preparation, Icon Group International, Inc, 2005. EBSCOhost,

Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest. The Project Gutenberg ebook. 2006.