An Ideal Husband

Mabel Chiltern Character Analysis

Sir Robert Chiltern’s sister, a lovely, funny young woman. Mabel takes frivolousness as seriously as Lord Goring. She is the only person in the play who can truly match wits with him, and their inscrutable, delightful wordplay is the form cast by their romance. Mabel and Lord Goring get engaged near the end of the play.

Mabel Chiltern Quotes in An Ideal Husband

The An Ideal Husband quotes below are all either spoken by Mabel Chiltern or refer to Mabel Chiltern. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of An Ideal Husband published in 2000.
Act 1, Part 1 Quotes

Oh, I love London Society! I think it has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.

Related Characters: Mabel Chiltern (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Part 2 Quotes

When Tommy wants to be romantic he talks to one just like a doctor.

Related Characters: Mabel Chiltern (speaker), Tommy Trafford
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.



Act 4, Part 1 Quotes

Well, my duty is a thing I never do, on principle. It always depresses me.

Related Characters: Mabel Chiltern (speaker)
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Part 2 Quotes

An ideal husband! Oh, I don’t think I should like that. It sounds like something in the next world….He can be what he chooses. All I want is to be . . . to be . . . oh! a real wife to him.

Related Characters: Mabel Chiltern (speaker), Lord Arthur Goring
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est

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Mabel Chiltern Character Timeline in An Ideal Husband

The timeline below shows where the character Mabel Chiltern appears in An Ideal Husband. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Part 1
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Wit, Charm, and Contrariness Theme Icon
...asks after his son, Lord Goring. He complains about his son’s leisurely, purposeless life, and Mabel Chiltern – Sir Chiltern’s flower-like younger sister – jumps in to defend him. She notes... (full context)
Act 1, Part 2
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
...the two have met before. Mrs. Cheveley wanders off, and Lord Goring banters sweetly with Mabel Chiltern, who jokingly chides him for his “bad qualities,” which, she implies are both too... (full context)
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Wit, Charm, and Contrariness Theme Icon
Mabel joins the conversation. Mrs. Marchmont remarks that she likes “looking at geniuses, and listening to... (full context)
Act 1, Part 3
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Lord Goring and Mabel Chiltern flirt pleasantly in the living room. Mabel finds a diamond brooch or bracelet stuck... (full context)
Act 2, Part 2
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Mabel Chiltern enters and forbids Lord Goring from acting seriously – it is “unbecoming.” They make... (full context)
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Lady Markby and Mrs. Cheveley enter. Mabel briefly says hello and runs off to pose in a tableau – a performance in... (full context)
Act 4, Part 1
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...him that Sir Robert is at work, Lady Chiltern is still in her room, and Mabel Chiltern has just come home from a morning outing. The servant also says that Lord... (full context)
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Wit, Charm, and Contrariness Theme Icon
Mabel Chiltern comes in. She pointedly ignores Lord Goring, and asks Lord Caversham sympathetically about Lady... (full context)
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Romance, Boredom, and Delight Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Mabel continues to prod Lord Goring about their missed date, but he charms her out of... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Lady Chiltern walks into the room, and Mabel leaves them to speak in private. Lord Goring tells Lady Chiltern that Mrs. Cheveley gave... (full context)
Act 4, Part 2
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Goring sends his father to speak to Mabel in the conservatory. Meanwhile, Lady Chiltern reenters the room. Goring scolds her for encouraging Robert... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Robert thanks Goring for all he’s done. In return, Goring asks Robert for his sister Mabel’s hand in marriage. At first Robert does not grant it, thinking that Goring is in... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Lord Caversham and Mabel Chiltern enter the room. Lord Caversham is shocked and delighted by the news of the... (full context)