An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde: Vocabulary 1

Dopolni prazna mesta z besedami iz tabele. / Fill in the gaps with the words from the box.

exposes blackmail  submits bachelor
House of Commons  illicit fraudulent worship


An Ideal Husband opens during a dinner party at the home of Sir Robert Chiltern in London’s fashionable Grosvenor Square. Sir Robert, a prestigious member of the ____________________ (1), and his wife, Lady Gertrude Chiltern, are hosting a gathering that includes his friend Lord Goring, a dandified ________________________ (2) and close friend to the Chilterns, his sister Mabel Chiltern, and other genteel guests.

During the party, Mrs. Cheveley, an enemy of Lady Chiltern’s from their school days, attempts to ___________________ (3) Sir Robert (she has the letter to prove his past crime) into supporting a _____________________ (4) scheme. Apparently, Baron Arnheim convinced the young Sir Robert many years ago to sell him a Cabinet secret. Sir Robert made his fortune with that ________________________ (5) money. Fearing both the ruin of career and marriage, Sir Robert _____________________ (6) to her demands.

For Lady Chiltern, their marriage is predicated on her having an “ideal husband”—that is, a model spouse in both private and public life that she can ______________________ (9).

Lord Goring urges Sir Robert to fight Mrs. Cheveley and admit his guilt to his wife. Unexpectedly, Mrs. Cheveley appears in search of a brooch she lost the previous evening. She takes the opportunity and ___________________ (8) Sir Robert to his wife once they are both in the room.



advice compassion a secret abandonment
public ruin a dandy a fictional dead-ringer flexibility

In An Ideal Husband, a man named Sir Robert Chiltern is faced with _____________________ (9) – and the _____________________ (10) of his idealistic wife, Lady Chiltern – when _______________________ (11) from the past emerges. Lady Chiltern goes to her friend Lord Goring for _____________________ (12). Goring is __________________ (13) – an upper-class man concerned with being fashionable – and stylish. He also happens to be a fictional dead-ringer for Wilde, ____________________ (14) with the cape and cane. He argues for _______________________ (15) in relationships and acceptance of the other’s faults. According to Lord Goring, real life demands ___________________ (16), not the absolutes dictated by strict Victorian mores.


class society climactic displays
criticized  sins two-faced morality

Many of the themes of An Ideal Husband were influenced by the situation Oscar Wilde found himself in during the early 1890s. Stressing the need to be forgiven of past ____________________ (17), and the irrationality of ruining lives of great value to ____________________ (18) because of people’s hypocritical reactions to those sins, Wilde may have been speaking to his own situation, and his own fears regarding his affair (still secret). Other themes include the position of women in society. In a ____________________ (19) moment Gertrude Chiltern “learns her lesson” and repeats Lord Goring’s advice “A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s.” Often ____________________  (20) by contemporary theatre analyzers as overt sexism, the idea being expressed in the monologue is that women, despite serving as the source of ____________________ (21) in Victorian era marriages, should be less judgemental of their husband’s mistakes because of complexities surrounding the balance that husbands of that era had to keep between their domestic and their worldly obligations. Further, the script plays against both sides of feminism/sexism as, for example, Lord Caversham, exclaims near the end that Mabel displays “a good deal of common sense” after concluding earlier that “Common sense is the privilege of our sex.”

A third theme expresses anti-upper ____________________  (22) sentiments. Lady Basildon, and Lady Markby are consistently portrayed as absurdly ____________________ (23), saying one thing one moment, then turning around to say the exact opposite (to great comic effect) to someone else. The overall portrayal of the upper class in England ____________________  (24) an attitude of hypocrisy and strict observance of silly rules.

Rešitve naloge / Answer Key