An Ideal Husband

Lord Goring’s imperturbable butler, who caters to Lord Goring’s whims with a mixture of affection and strained tolerance. His perfect seriousness stands in counterpoint to Lord Goring’s perfect frivolousness, because both attitudes are seamless, opaque masks. Phipps’ seriousness has more in common, aesthetically, with Lord Goring’s frivolousness than with Lord Caversham’s seriousness, which is awkward and transparent.
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Phipps Character Timeline in An Ideal Husband

The timeline below shows where the character Phipps appears in An Ideal Husband. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Part 1
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
The third act opens onto Lord Goring’s library, where the impressively inscrutable butler named Phipps is tidying up some newspapers. Lord Goring walks in, dressed beautifully and expensively - “the... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Phipps hands Goring three letters and leaves the room. One letter is written on pink paper;... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
His father walks ahead into the room. Lord Goring takes Phipps aside and tells him that a lady is coming to visit him that evening, and... (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...untouchable in Vienna, because Baron Arnheim left her most of his fortune. Lord Goring takes Phipps aside and tells him that he must change his instructions regarding the lady visitor: when... (full context)
Act 3, Part 2
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
The Trivial and the Serious Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...to Robert post haste. Before Lord Goring has a chance to intervene, she rings for Phipps to show her out. (full context)