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.
Malvolio is used in Twelfth Night to personify the notion of Lent and order in the text and is the butt of the comedy in the sub-plot. The conspirators Sir Toby, Mary, Sir Andrew, Feste, and to an extent Fabien, are the characters who are the creators of the gulling of Malvolio. Whether or not the joke is thought to go too far is, in my opinion, dependent on the audience. For example, an Elizabethan audience could potentially find the play more humorous than a modern 21st Century audience. In the late 1600s, individuals to be considered 'mad' were thought to have been possessed by the devil or some other evil spirit, and so were mocked and considered dangerous and unapproachable (as suggested by Sir Toby in Act 3 Scene 4 “defy the devil”).
The Fools songs, riddles and jokes are a source of comic relief, used to break up the intensity of scenes. The Fool appears to have a deceptively simple part in the play when in actual fact his role is of key significance. The Fool and Lear have a fascinating relationship throughout the play. Lear seems to depend on his Fool increasingly to be his voice of reason or his conscience, because he reminds Lear of all his mistakes and manipulates his feelings into realising them. This is a great irony as the King who is supposed to be wise is in-fact a fool, yet the Fool himself is full of
Willy Russell uses superiority theory to engage the audience by creating comedy through the misfortune of others. The character of Frank is very cynical as he fails to see the good in anybody for a majority of the play and he believes that other people are motivated purely by self-interest. However, some people may argue that cruelty and cynicism are not at the heart of the comedy in the play and that the play could still be successful without these themes. One theme that could be seen as superior to cruelty and cynicism is culture and class because this theme causes confusion and misunderstanding between the two characters which as a result produces comedy. In the play ‘Educating Rita’ cruelty and cynicism feature a great deal.
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.
Maria is a clever and daring waiting-gentlewoman of Olivia. These three characters help to create comedy. For example, in Act I scene III, When Sir Toby introduce Maria to Sir Andrew, Sir Andrew makes a fool of himself by repeatedly getting her name wrong. After flattered by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew ended the scene by showing off his
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.
'The Importance of Being Earnest is just absurd'. To what extent do you agree with this evaluation of the play? ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is to a large extent, an absurd play due to the absurd comments and the imminent features of farce which many critics agree on as they question “What can a poor critic do with a play which raises no principle, whether of art or morals, creates its own canons and conventions, and is nothing but an absolutely wilful expression of an irrepressibly witty personality?” but to say it is merely ‘just would be inaccurate because in order to create “good nonsense” one most use clever techniques to master the art of comedy as illustrated in the play. On many occasions, the farce could even be interpreted to have a deeper significance as a satirical comment to mock the Victorian society, further proving that it is far above the critique that 'The Importance of Being Earnest is just absurd'. Wilde uses a range of features such as slapstick comedy, mistaken identity and absurd statements which would have led many to believe that ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is purely absurd.
They make fools out of the main characters. The tangled web of love is humorous. Although the fool is portrayed to be quite stupid, there are a few that have a certain cleverness to them. The fool in the play King Lear, for example, seems to comment on society’s behavior and criticizes King Lear’s actions. Despite the hilarious manor in which he does this, there is an element of truthfulness in what he says.
It differs from the comic in that comedy evokes laughter mainly as an end in itself, while satire derides; that is, it uses laughter as a weapon, and against a butt that exists outside the work itself. That butt may be an individual (in “personal satire”), or a type of person, a class, an institution, a nation, or even the entire human race.” Satire is not limited to one literary form; rather it can lend itself to many literary forms – drama, the novel, the essay and the lyric. The satirist claims a moral justification, using satire as a corrective of human vice and folly. While criticizing others, the satirist has to make sure that the attributes which he is criticizing, are not a part of his own personality. He has to adopt a stand of moral superiority.