Tag Archives: An Ideal Husband

Character Thursday (32) : Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband

new-character-thursday-buttonPada Kamis ini saya ingin membahas sedikit tentang salah satu karakter di play An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, Lord Goring.

Pada awal penyebutan namanya, perkenalan tentang Lord Goring sudah bernada dan berkesan negatif.

LORD CAVERSHAM. Good evening, Lady Chiltern! Has my good-for-nothing young son been here?
LADY CHILTERN. [Smiling.] I don’t think Lord Goring has arrived yet.
MABEL CHILTERN. [Coming up to LORD CAVERSHAM.] Why do you call Lord Goring good-for-nothing?
LORD CAVERSHAM. Because he leads such an idle life.
MABEL CHILTERN . How can you say such a thing? Why, he rides in the Row at ten o’clock in the morning, goes to the Opera three times a week, changes his clothes at least five times a day, and dines out every night of the season. You don’t call that leading an idle life, do you?
LORD CAVERSHAM. [Looking at her with a kindly twinkle in his eyes.] You are a very charming young lady!
(Act I)

Lord Goring juga digambarkan sebagai penebar pesona di kalangan para wanita. Statusnya yang masih lajang juga mendukung perannya tersebut, membuat beberapa wanita merasa tersanjung saat didekati olehnya. Cara bicaranya apa adanya, terkadang lucu, konyol, dan menunjukkan cara hidupnya yang terkesan hanya untuk bersenang-senang saja.

LADY BASILDON . I delight in talking politics. I talk them all day long. But I can’t bear listening to them. I don’t know how the unfortunate men in the House stand these long debates.
LORD GORING. By never listening.
LADY BASILDON. Really?
LORD GORING . [In his most serious manner.] Of course. You see, it is a very dangerous thing to listen. If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable person.
(Act I)

Namun siapa sangka pada babak kedua play ini, Lord Goring mulai menunjukkan kualitas diri yang sesungguhnya. Sebagai sahabat dari Sir Robert Chiltern—yang sedang berada dalam masalah—dia memberi masukan-masukan yang bijaksana. Dia juga mau memutar otaknya untuk itu, bukan hanya bermalas-malasan seperti yang dikesankan di awal oleh ayahnya. Dia menunjukkan kesetiaan dan kekuatan hati pada apa yang diperjuangkannya saat itu, persahabatan dan cinta.

Never mind what I say, Robert! I am always saying what I shouldn’t say. In fact, I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes one so liable to be misunderstood. (Lord Goring, Act II)

Hubungan Lord Goring dan ayahnya—sebagaimana kondisi sosial saat itu—agak berjarak. Seringkali Lord Goring merasa tak berkenan dengan kunjungan atau pertemuan dengan ayahnya, terlebih karena Lord Caversham berusaha memburu-buru putranya tersebut untuk segera menikah.

During the Season, father, I only talk seriously on the first Tuesday in every month, from four to seven. (Lord Goring, Act III)

My dear father, when one pays a visit it is for the purpose of wasting other people’s time, not one’s own. (Lord Goring, Act IV)

My dear father, only people who look dull ever get into the House of Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there. (Lord Goring, Act IV)

Lord Goring confronts Mrs. Cheveley about a stolen bracelet. From a 1901 collected edition of Wilde’s work

Lord Goring pula lah yang nantinya akan memegang peranan penting dalam penyelesaian masalah Sir Robert Chiltern, juga menyadarkan Lady Chiltern akan arti ideal husband serta bagaimana seharusnya bersikap sebagai istri.

Singkatnya, dapat saya katakan bahwa celetukan-celetukan maupun nasihat-nasihat serius yang keluar dari mulut Lord Goring sebagian besar adalah ide yang dianut oleh Oscar Wilde sendiri. Kesimpulan yang saya ambil melihat bagaimana kata-kata Lord Goring seolah sebagai ‘final’ dari pembicaraan.

And self-sacrifice is a thing that should be put down by law. It is so demoralising to the people for whom one sacrifices oneself. They always go to the bad. (Lord Goring, Act III)

Intip tentang Character Thursday.

Weekend Quote (12)

This is my special edition of Weekend Quote (or I should say Weekend Quotes), for I’m not giving a quote, but sooo many quotes. This idea came when I’m quoting Oscar Wilde on An Ideal Husband, which I found so many quotable sentences there. These quotes I wrote will make an outline of the story. I know it may make no sense if you haven’t read the play, so you may read the reviews first, or just enjoy the witty and dramatic words 🙂

LADY MARKBY . Oh! I have brought a much more charming person than Sir John. Sir John’s temper since he has taken seriously to politics has become quite unbearable. Really, now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN . I hope not, Lady Markby. At any rate we do our best to waste the public time, don’t we? But who is this charming person you have been kind enough to bring to us?
(Act I)

MRS. CHEVELEY. Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analysed, women . . . merely adored.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. You think science cannot grapple with the problem of women?
MRS. CHEVELEY. Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it, in this world.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. And women represent the irrational.
MRS. CHEVELEY. Well-dressed women do.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN . [With a polite bow.] I fear I could hardly agree with you there. But do sit down. And now tell me, what makes you leave your brilliant Vienna for our gloomy London – or perhaps the question is indiscreet?
MRS. CHEVELEY. Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.
(Act I)

I find that little things are so very difficult to do. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act I)

Even you are not rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your past. No man is. (Mrs. Cheveley, Act I)

No one should be entirely judged by their past. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act I)

Gertrude, truth is a very complex thing, and politics is a very complex business. There are wheels within wheels. One may be under certain obligations to people that one must pay. Sooner or later in political life one has to compromise. Every one does. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act I)

To the world, as to myself, you have been an ideal always. Oh! be that ideal still. (Lady Chiltern, Act I)

Robert, love gives one an instinct to things. (Lady Chiltern, Act I)

Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious. (Lord Goring, Act II)

Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn’t so, life wouldn’t be worth living. (Lord Goring, Act II)

Do you think it fair that a man’s whole career should be ruined for a fault done in one’s boyhood almost? (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act II)

Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act II)

… luxury was nothing but a background, a painted scene in a play, and that power, power over other men, power over the world, was the one thing worth having, the one supreme pleasure worth knowing, the one joy one never tired of, and that in our century only the rich possessed it. (Lord Goring, Act II)

Do you really think, Arthur, that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to. To stake all one’s life on a single moment, to risk everything on one throw, whether the stake be power or pleasure, I care not – there is no weakness in that. There is a horrible, a terrible courage. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act II)

Ah! that is the great thing in life, to live the truth. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act II)

Really, this horrid House of Commons quite ruins our husbands for us. (Lady Markby, Act II)

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. (Mrs. Cheveley, Act II)

It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. …. Let women make no more ideals of men! let them not put them on alters and bow before them, or they may ruin other lives as completely as you – you whom I have so wildly loved – have ruined mine! (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act II)

It is the growth of the moral sense in women that makes marriage such a hopeless, one-sided institution. (Lord Goring, Act III)

Oh! spies are of no use nowadays. Their profession is over. The newspapers do their work instead. (Sir Robert Chiltern, Act III)

Women are not meant to judge us, but to forgive us when we need forgiveness. (Lord Goring, Act IV)

 

This is an outline of Lord Goring’s romance part 😉

LORD CAVERSHAM. Good evening, Lady Chiltern! Has my good-for-nothing young son been here?
LADY CHILTERN. [Smiling.] I don’t think Lord Goring has arrived yet.
MABEL CHILTERN. [Coming up to LORD CAVERSHAM.] Why do you call Lord Goring good-for-nothing?
LORD CAVERSHAM. Because he leads such an idle life.
MABEL CHILTERN . How can you say such a thing? Why, he rides in the Row at ten o’clock in the morning, goes to the Opera three times a week, changes his clothes at least five times a day, and dines out every night of the season. You don’t call that leading an idle life, do you?
LORD CAVERSHAM. [Looking at her with a kindly twinkle in his eyes.] You are a very charming young lady!
(Act I)

MABEL CHILTERN. You are always telling me of your bad qualities, Lord Goring.
LORD GORING. I have only told you half of them as yet, Miss Mabel!
MABEL CHILTERN. Are the others very bad?
LORD GORING. Quite dreadful! When I think of them at night I go to sleep at once.
(Act I)

Nothing ages like happiness. (Lord Goring, Act I)

LORD GORING. [Taking out old buttonhole.] You see, Phipps, Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.
LORD GORING. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.
LORD GORING. [Putting in a new buttonhole.] And falsehoods the truths of other people.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.
LORD GORING. Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.
LORD GORING. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance, Phipps.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord.
(Act III)

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement. (Mrs. Cheveley, Act III)

No woman, plain or pretty, has any common sense at all, sir. Common sense is the privilege of our sex. (Lord Caversham, Act III)

MRS. CHEVELEY . I suppose that is meant for a compliment. My dear Arthur, women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the two sexes.
LORD GORING. Women are never disarmed by anything, as far as I know them.
(Act III)

Oh, there is only one real tragedy in a woman’s life. The fact that her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband. (Mrs. Cheveley, Act III)

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