Benedick and Beatrice argue with delightful wit, and Shakespeare develops their journey from antagonism to sincere love and affection with a rich sense of humour and compassion. Since Beatrice and Benedick have a history behind them that adds weight to their relationship, they are older and more mature than the typical lovers in Shakespeare’s comedies, though their unhealthy competitiveness reveals them to be childish novices when it comes to love. The play can also be perceived as a comedy of manners through the humorous bickering between Beatrice and Benedick. At the beginning of the play Beatrice interrupts the men speaking to make a smart remark on Benedick; “I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars or no?” The fact that she interrupts questions her manners as a woman of that time, where there were great expectations of women to be submissive to men, however we soon unravel that Beatrice isn’t just an ordinary woman of that century, she’s greatly independent which is also seen in the continuous bickering between her and Benedick. This, however, also makes it funny because of the reactions received from other characters, for example the uneasiness of the Messenger after Beatrice’s very forward statement.
Polonius is perhaps the most debated character in Hamlet due to his controversial lines and even more controversial personality. There have been scholars and philosophers arguing over whether or not William Shakespeare intended for Polonius to be an intelligent, scheming character or simply a comedic old man who happened to have a propensity for skulking. Like his nature, this essay will be a contrast to itself through analysis of his actions and words expressed through disputing points of view. Polonius can be viewed as either the wise old man, a fool, or perhaps as the wise old fool; regardless of which is applied, there is much evidence to support any deliberation. In every major play written by Shakespeare there is a fool, Polonius possesses the characteristics exhibited by an old fool (more specifically a court jester) as Shakespeare uses him to amuse others and show humor in Hamlet.
Additionally Shakespeare explores gender roles through a series of ‘lewd jokes’ and ‘cartoonish pratfalls’ which typically follow ‘the basic formula for comedy’ and also support the audience’s ‘expectation of plot’. Simultaneously Shakespeare subverts the audience’s ‘expectation of plot and character’ when exploring gender roles through the characters, as it creates tension and becomes less comedic. Following the ‘basic formula for comedy’ ‘A Midsummer Night Dream’ begins with the preparations for a royal wedding which is portrayed as a joyous occasion, Theseus is looking forward to the wedding and wishes to celebrate “With triumph, and with revelling” (Act 1: Line: 19) Shakespeare then removes the feeling of happiness and replaces it with a sense of tension when Egeus enters furiously with his daughter Hermia. It appears that Shakespeare has chosen to place these two events next to each other in order to sustain the audiences ‘expectation of plot’ as it
Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous…” Malvolio feels his responsibilities are; to be loyal to Olivia and keep order of the other members of the household, this was shown when he was reprimanding and questioning the behaviour of Sir Toby, Feste and Maria. – “Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?” He also refers to Olivia as “My Lady” which shows he respects her. Malvolio is seen on stage as a comic character since his body language and speech differ to other characters, he constantly acts righteous and talks aristocratically using “one” to describe someone’s action. –“One would think…” Some characters see him overbearing self-important and vanity. –“O you are sick of self-love, Malvolio…” Another example is Olivia; she is a beautiful,
“As men reveal their weaknesses, they demonstrate their power.” Discuss. The male characters in a Midsummer Night’s Dream all seem to yearn for power but one may argue that any power is an artificial one that is only there because the character’s thrust it upon others, which often makes circumstances worse. This therefore, it may be argued, is their weakness: the fact true power does not come naturally to the characters. This is proven for mostly by Oberon and Puck, Shakespeare makes these two characters the “orchestrators” of the whole play, with the “juice” that they drop onto other’s eyes they make everyone fall in love. However, this does not always go to plan, largely through their ignorance at thinking “by the Athenian garments he hath on.” was an adequate description when the characters reside just outside Athens.
Shakespeare quite obviously plays with the conventions of Petrarchan characters and their views of desire throughout the play but most significantly towards the beginning. Romeo is introduced as a character that seems to be blinded by love, his desire for Rosaline is over powering, shallow and foolish – “He that is strucken blind cannot forget / The precious treasure of his eyesight lost” (1.1.225-226). Shakespeare has created Romeo to resemble the typical ‘Petrarchan lover’ speakers that are found in Petrarch’s sonnets, we hear Romeo obsessing over Rosaline whom like ‘Laura’ from Petrarch’s sonnets is unattainable to Romeo, as she is choosing to remain celibate - "She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow / Do I live dead that live to tell it now” (1.1.216-217) Shakespeare has purposefully created Romeo and Rosaline with these similarities to Petrarchan conventions in mind as he is able to successfully critique the discourse of desire through the growth of Romeo in the play and the introduction of Juliet. Shakespeare also relies on the fact that his audience are aware of ‘what’s in store’ for Romeo, allowing him to create a clichéd and conventional character - “The theatre audience knows that
Deception and overhearing is a device commonly deployed in typical Shakespearian comedies such as ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘The Comedy of Errors’, and both play a vital role in the play ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ The title of the play is reflective of the content as the word ‘nothing’, when it was first performed in 1598 would have been pronounced ‘noting’ which had several meanings; it can mean to take notice, eavesdrop, or to observe, however, these aren’t necessarily accurate. A character can misunderstand a meaning, mishear, or misreport something, in the process of noting, too which can lead to tragedy or comedy depending on the actions a character takes. The situations that result from noting, significant comedic features, are the basis on which the entirety of Much Ado about Nothing is built upon. When the character Claudio is introduced he is said to have performed ‘in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion’ which instantaneously presents his unstable nature and his potential for violence and foreshadows the denunciation of Hero in Act 4 Scene 1. He is a young character and therefore impressionable, easily manipulated and naïve.
Largely a creature of words, Falstaff has earned the admiration of some Shakespearean scholars because of the self-creation he achieves through language: Falstaff is constantly creating a myth of Falstaff, and this myth defines his identity even when it is visibly revealed to be false. A master of punning and wordplay, Falstaff provides most of the comedy in the play (just as he does in 2 Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Henry V). He redeems himself largely through his real affection for Prince Harry, whom, despite everything, he seems to regard as a real friend. This affection makes Harry’s
William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Taming of the Shrew" are two of his best-known comedic plays. As with most of his comedies, they both feature a wedding, but there are many other similarities in themes and motifs of these plays, as well. The Taming of the Shrew is an early comedy, loosely termed “romantic” along with Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Such plays are lighthearted and often slapstick in style, filled with disguises and deception, and end happily. This is in sharp contrast to the later comedies that are much darker and filled with cynicism and a sometimes bitter irony.
A short essay cannot investigate all instances of this occurrence in all works of the author, but could provide the reader with the major categories. This way, deception will become more recognizable and appreciated as a major element and a spine of the particular story. In two of the most famous Shakespeare’s plays where deception appears as a building block of the story are Hamlet and Othello. In Hamlet the prince uses deception as a tool to distract attention and hide better his strange but vital moves and activities necessary to gather enough information regarding Claudius. The deception comes in the form of fake madness.