a central motif in the play is trickery or deceit, whether for good or evil purposes. counterfeiting, or concealing one's true feelings, is part of this motif. everyone seems to lie; good characters as well as evil ones engage in deceit as they attempt to conceal their feelings: beatrice and benedick mask their feelings for one another with bitter insults; don john spies on claudio and hero; don pedro and his 'crew' deceive benedick and beatrice. who hides and what is hidden? how does deceit function in the world of the play, and how does it help the play comment on life in general?
Is Benedick the comic hero of the play? How far do you agree with this statement? Suggesting if Benedick is the comic hero of Much Ado About Nothing is difficult to pin point a precise hero as each character possess a different comical trait. For the reason that each character during the play being a character to laugh at or with for respite after tragic events, for instance Dogberry’s use of malapropism mocks authority and makes fun of those who are in it. Devices that are used by Benedick and Beatrice are Bawdy language, word play and puns, which are very different compared to Dogberry’s According to Aristotle the idea of comedy comes from speculation concerning men dancing, signing and cavorting around the image of a phallus.
“Comedy exhibits the external or internal deception of the Individual who, however, must not proceed in his delusion to a serious ethical violation, nor transgress the limits of sanity.” In the light of this statement, how does Shakespeare present the deception (and treatment) of Malvolio within the comic subplot of Twelfth Night? Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ gains its name from the days commencing the christmas period which are famous for their fun and festivities. Pompous, puritanical Malvolio is so antagonistically against all varieties of ‘fun’ that, naturally, his deception and mockery provide the make-up for a hilarious sub plot. At face value, this provides some welcome light relief from the turbulent main story; however, under analysis it can be questioned whether the joke delves too deeply into the uncomfortable and in doing so destroys the comedy in the deception. Early on in the play (Act 2 Scene 3) the audience enjoys the jovial atmosphere alongside the characters until Malvolio abruptly ruins the mood.
Shakespeare and Marlowe use trickery and deception to present their characters with certain qualities. Prospero is presented as powerful and vengeful at the beginning by conjuring the tempest using magic to trick the characters on board. Throughout the play he becomes wiser and leans the values of forgiveness of those who have deceived him. Faustus is a character that is put in the position of power and doesn’t use it for valid purposes. He’s useless tricks display vanity and indicate his wastefulness to the audience.
Marlowe uses the comedy scenes to highlight a spiteful side to Faustus as well as a trivial side to him, where he priorities trivial things such as wealth and pranks over the things he prioritised at the beginning of the play. One could even go as far as to argue that Marlowe presents a completely opposite side to the ambitious, knowledge-driven Faustus portrayed at the beginning of the play. Another function of the comedy scenes is that they provide entertainment for the groundlings, by presenting political satire as well as slapstick jokes, dirty jokes and Victimising jokes. The comedy scenes emphasise the theme of pride, by illustrating the degradation of Faustus’s ambition and drive due to his exhibitions of Pride at the beginning of the play and finally the comedy scenes reflect gothic elements that sustain the scary aspect to the play while also making it an interesting visual experience for an Elizabethan
Stoppard uses his play to mock the conventions of cosy crime fiction as some believe theatrical whodunits are inevitably shallow and dull thus Stoppard only delineates the obvious. Stoppard focuses on the melodramatic style of The Mousetrap that involves the audience in clues and suspense with complications and revelations at the end of each act through his notion of absurdist theatre. He exaggerates the conventions of the crime fiction genre through combining elements of British comedy in his play where the audience is aware of such humour. By utilizing the audiences’ knowledge of detective fiction as an iconic British genre he henceforth creates a parody and pastiche in The Real Inspector
This, to the audience, will seem ridiculous and unnecessary creating a subtle sense of humour. Nearing the end of Act 2 we learn about Viola’s plans for her disguise in order to appear less vulnerable. She then goes on to say ‘thou shalt present me as an Eunuch to him’ which will yet again appear an overdramatic act to the audience. In act 3, Sir Toby Belch is introduced into the play. Shakespeare’s wit and word play used even for simply just the names of the characters can build up laughter.
The seriousness of their love results from the lovers’ disrepudance (?) of artificial language of ‘love’ and superficial code they had tired by at the beginning of the play. This is seen through the development of language form beginning with rhyme (Levin- “Comedy set the pattern of courtship embodied in dance (rhyme)) heavily used in the first act to its replacement of Blank verse which representative of a for more logical and realistic tone. This also reflects a common Shakespearean comment on Appearance versus Reality which is often a deeper theme discussed in tragedy. Tragedy is said to be further represented in Shakespeare’s use of opposites or antithesis.
Excess is a recurring idea in comic works that is portrayed through the various actions and interactions of the characters. Excess is essentially the idea of taking something to an extreme, in some cases to the point where it begins to stretch the realistic credibility of what is occurring. Comedy attempts to be realistic, using characters that seem human, and, to an extent, the audience can relate to these fictional beings. But excess is the flip side, where the actions of the characters seem artificial and exaggeration. Is excess really an exaggeration at which the audience is supposed to laugh but not think to be credible?
"The media, in its recent portrayals of OCD, consistently represents the disorder with levity and humor. These portrayals typically cast obsessives as the protagonists in comedies or tragicomedies, especially in popular culture. While there have been comedic depictions of obsessives in the past... the prevalence of these depictions is a recent phenomenon." (Cefalu, 2009, pp.45.) another prejudice that is hard for a person suffering from OCD is being labeled as "crazy".