According to Lady Bracknell, Jack’s marriage cannot take place unless he produces at least one parent. Gwendolen’s condition is very different: he must be called Ernest. Lady Bracknell claims he must satisfy society; Gwendolen claims he must satisfy her. Both are setting up the sort of impediment that creates the action of a comedy by blocking a marriage, the formal end towards which the comedy aims. The blocking parent is, we have seen, less commonly a factor than might be supposed: the lovers of A Midsummer Night’s Dream quickly find their problem is not Egeus but each other. In the confusion of the comic action parents are often a source of stability and reassurance. The action that blocks the ending and creates the comedy is more likely to be produced by the lovers themselves: there are misunderstandings to resolve, conditions to meet, conflicts to work through. In the process lovers not only fight and bargain but pretend and play-act, creating drama by means that are themselves consciously theatrical, using comedy itself to ward off the comic ending until the relationship is secure.