Comedy in Twelfth Night. Summary: Explores how William Shakespeare creates comedy in the first two acts of his play Twelfth Night. Analyzes the use of pun, comic characters, sub-plot, misunderstood conversations and dramatic irony. Comedy means something farcical that can make people laugh. It is usually done for the purpose of entertainment.
The mechanicals are important in a midsummer night’s dream as they introduce the comedy of the piece. Scene one is extremely dramatic “Full of vexation" and this is juxtaposed by the humour of the mechanicals in scene two "let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming". Until there entrance it seems a romantic tragedy on a par with Romeo and Juliet, in a way the introduction of the mechanicals reassures the audience that it is in fact a comedy and allows them to laugh. The mechinals are Peter Quince, Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Tom Snout, Robin Starvelling and Snug. Peter quince is one of the illustrious Mechanicals who puts on the play, Pyramus and Thisbe.
How does Shakespeares use of disguise and misinterpretation of human nature link to comedy? In Much Ado about Nothing; Shakespeare uses disguise and misinterpretation through comedy to present human nature in different aspects. Shakespeare’s use of misinterpretations shapes the play and makes it pleasurable for the audience as well as entertaining. There is perplexity between lovers, the encounter of sexes, and the restoration of love and marriage. Shakespeare uses incessant word play, and constant mockery between key characters to portray the comedic effect.
As the play unfolds the audience do not gain any in depth knowledge of the characters, conclusions are made by the characters choices and attitudes. At the end of the play the characters end their self-discovery journeys and understand themselves further; a typical convention of a dramatic comedy. Although there are clear examples of the conventions of a Shakespearean dramatic comedy, aspects of the play how far it fufils the genre. A typical ending to a comedy would usually end in marriage and whilst there are obvious happy endings with couples getting together, there isn’t a definite marriage. We are left with un answered questions at the end of the play.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream: Comedy or Corrupt? Although most believe A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare is a light, romantic comedy, many well renowned experts such as Jan Katt argue the play encompasses the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe and should therefore be considered sinister and violent. In your eyes, is A Midsummer’s Night Dream a violent, erotic play or a lighthearted comedy? Without a doubt, the play is a sweet, light, comedy, intended to entertain the reader as evident in the mistaken identities, the character development of Bottom along the various forms of comedy. All these elements contrast the violent, sinister play many perceive it as.
How does a Midsummer Night's Dream' use stock characters while incorporating elements of subversion typically found in comedy? Comedy delights in the events of a briefly subverted world, incorporating recurrent subject matter that is socially disruptive. Within 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', the younger characters, such as Hermia, challenge authority, while older hierarchies within the play are dislocated. Multiple stock comic characters are used throughout, with some applying to more than one of the characters within the play. This gives 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' a truly subversive power, with characters that desire to briefly destabilise authority and harmony, before returning to what Frye described as the 'New World', a different world, but one I will demonstrate as slightly different from the old world it once was.
It is a common misconception to believe that comedy exists solely for humour; comedy is a necessary place where we can ‘go’ and relax in order for us to be able to return to our often draining existence. Comedy’s strengths and prowess are not always apparent; they have a fablesque and cathartic quality, from which we learn. Comedy also allows us to escape everyday life by delving deep into human concerns such as love and death. In Midsummer the issue of love is exemplified through Helena’s unrequited love for Demetrius, and the issue of death is illustrated by Egeus’ threat to invoke Athenian law on Hermia’s disobedience which comprises of either killing her or sending her to a convent to live out the rest of her days. The often unseen serious and impactful nature of comedy stems from certain facets of comedy: festivity, misrule and subversion.
A close critical analysis of Twelfth Night can reveal how Shakespeare manipulates the form, structure, and language to contribute to the meaning of his plays. Form Through the form of dialogue Shakespeare conveys the relationship between characters. For example, the friendship and understanding between Olivia, and her servant Feste, the clown, is shown in their dialogue in Act 1, Scene 5. In this scene Shakespeare shows that both characters are intellectuals by constructing their colloquy in prose. Characterising Feste, Shakespeare gives him the aphorism, Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
“The opening scene of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads the audience to expect an ordinary comedy plot.” (Rene Girard, ‘Myth and Ritual in Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) “But A Midsummer Night’s Dream does not always do exactly what we might expect, and in this way it keeps its audience guessing...” (Catherine Belsing, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Modern Perspective’.) Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet around the same time he wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare mocks tragic love stories through the escapades of the lovers in the forests and the ridiculous version of Pyramus and Thisbe that Bottom and his company perform. So, at the same time Shakespeare was writing the greatest ever love story ever told, he was also mocking the conventions of such love stories. It’s almost as if Shakespeare was saying “Yeah, it’s tired, it’s old, and I can still do it better than anyone else ever could.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream is very unique because it is a play within a play.
Graham Wolfe ENG122H5 S February 24th, 2010 The Institution of Marriage through the Prism of The Importance of Being Earnest: a Triumph of Extinguished Romance. Is Oscar Wilde’s play really about The Importance of Being Earnest or is it rather about the “the importance of being passionately celibate”? Truly, Wilde’s play is like a bottle of champagne nonchalantly popped open…effervescent and treacherously intoxicating. Why else à la fin would there be a happy trio of lovebirds formed? How could anyone in a clear state of mind desire marriage after being exposed to such a brilliantly devised sequence of bitter-sweet remarks on the institution of marriage?