Hester is introduced in the first few lines of the play as clearly being an outsider. This becomes obvious by the fact that Lady Caroline comments that “this is the first English country house that [she has] stayed at. ” Therefore, right at the very beginning Wilde has already stated effectively what she is in comparison to the other characters and because of this she is not so accustomed to how things operate in the setting of the play, which is at an English country house.
This can also be seen when Lady Caroline has to point out to Hester that “it is not customary in England… to speak with such enthusiasm of any person of the opposite sex. ” It is important that the audience of the play knows this information about Hester for the rest of the play to make sense and so therefore Wilde has been successful in introducing Hester in the play because the audience gets a clear understanding of what she is like and how she is seen by the other characters.
Wilde is particularly successful in introducing Lady Caroline into the play and allowing the audience to see exactly what she is like almost straight away. For instance her sense of humour comes across in line 10 when she says in response that America is “the largest country in the world,” that Hester “should find it very draughty. ” Therefore this also conveys the feeling and attitude of Lady Caroline to Hester. Not only this, but also her persistent nagging of her husband Sir John also comes across by the line “John, you should have your muffler.
What is the use of my knitting mufflers for you if you won’t wear them? ” It is because of this that the audience gets a clear idea of the type of person that Lady Caroline is and may also be one that the audience at the time that the play was performed in the 19th century could almost identify with because it the play is effectively written about a situation that would have been quite common at the time. It is also because of Sir John’s reaction to his wife which also lets the audience know what kind of a person Lady Caroline is.
For instance Sir John seems almost to give in after a while; an example of this is when “Sir John rises and goes across,” to “sit beside,” Lady Caroline like she asked him to. What also comes across about Lady Caroline is her attitude to other people apart from her husband and Hester. For instance it is clear that Lady Caroline looks down upon most people, even her hostess by the comment “Lady Hunstanton is sometimes a little lax about the people she invites down here.
” Therefore it is clear that Lady Caroline looks down on Lady Hunstanton because of her choice of guests and also the guests that she has invited down. It can also be seen that Lady Caroline does not particularly have much respect for others and looms down on them if she feels they are not as important or well off as she is. An example of this can be seen by her reaction to Gerald “Ah, yes! the young man who has a post in a bank. ” As well as this, she clearly looks down on Hester partly because of her nationality.
As a result, it can be seen that Wilde has been very successful in introducing the character of Lady Caroline because the audience has a very clear idea of what type of a person she is from relatively early in the play. Lady Hunstanton is not as successfully introduced into the play as perhaps Lady Caroline is. Despite this she is still successfully introduced because the audience can still gather a relatively clear idea of what she is like. It is clear that she is not as pompous as Lady Caroline.
This can be seen by the way that she has invited some people such as Gerald Arbuthnot to her house and so she is more accepting of people from a different background and class that her, this is also shown by Gerald “is quite a proti?? gi?? of [hers]” Lady Hunstanton is presented as the hostess and Wilde portrays this very well. This is because she seems to be the character who organises things – “I will write and tell her about it, and ask her to come up and meet him. ” Mrs Allonby is possibly the most interesting in character that is introduced in A Woman Of No Importance up until line 164.
This is because before she even appears, the audience learns that Lady Caroline regards her as “hardly a suitable person,” and that she may have run “away twice before she was married. ” Therefore it can be seen that the other characters do not think very highly of her. This is shown by Hester’s comment of “I dislike Mrs Allonby. I dislike her more than I can say,” this is before Hester has had time to form much of an opinion of her. Therefore it is clear that the audience already has a clear idea of what Mrs Allonby is like, or at least what they think she will be like.
When Mrs Allonby actually appears she seems to be rather outspoken and has more character than the other women, this is shown by “[women] have a much better time than [men] have. There are far more things forbidden to us than are forbidden to them. ” This shows that she is more independent and interesting than the other women. Therefore the introduction of Mrs Allonby is particularly successful because the audience has a very good idea of what kind of a person she is and also perhaps what they can expect from her.
Despite Lord Illingworth not appearing in the play by page 13 he is introduced into the play as quite a strange character. This is because he chose not to marry a person because either “her family was too large,” or her feet were, it may even have been both. Therefore Wilde is successful in introducing him into the play because the audience already can see what sort of a person he is likely to be. It is also clear that he is not particularly focused on his job as an ambassador. This is implied by Lady Caroline who states that “England should not be represented by an unmarried man.
” Therefore this suggests that Lord Illingworth may be more interested in the women he meets than his job. Wilde introduces Gerald Arbuthnot as clearly being from a different class and social position than most of the other characters in A Woman Of No Importance. This is made clear by the fact that he works “in a bank” as Lady Caroline points out. It is clear that the other characters and in particular Lady Caroline seems to look down upon him, even if it is not their intention.
Wilde successfully introduces Gerald to the audience by showing exactly what his new jobs means to him – “it means everything to me- things that were out of the reach of hope may now be within hope’s reach. ” Therefore this shows that he may want to better himself and maybe even become on a level with Lord Illingworth. Therefore it can be seen that Wilde is very successful in introducing the characters in A Woman Of No Importance because on some occasions he allows the audience to know what they are like without them even appearing in the first few pages.
This is done largely through descriptions and attitudes to them by the other characters. I think that the character that Wilde most successfully introduces into his play is Mrs Allonby. This is because she is described so well by the other characters that the audience knows even before she appears exactly what kind of a person she is and also what the other characters, particularly Lady Caroline think of her.