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
However, Shakespeare presents Benedick’s change in a more positive and light-hearted manner, whilst Macbeth’s change revolves around negativity and wrong-doing as the approach to each individual genre is different, where comedies are humorous and happy, whilst tragedies are gloomy and grief-stricken. INTRO: The opening scene of the play, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, is significant as Shakespeare introduces the genre of the play as a romantic comedy through the comic names given to Benedick and Beatrice by each other. Beatrice nicknames Benedick as “Signor Mountanto”, which uses sexual innuendo expressing their love hate relationship, created by the definition of the word ‘montanto’ (technical term for an upward thrust in fencing). This insulting, but hilarious comment would have only been understood by the Shakespearean audience. Opposing this, Benedick personifies disdain in the form of Beatrice, by calling her “Lady Disdain”, suggesting that she is in fact, the epitome of disdain or contempt.
Also, Bianca is shown as the virginal, young girl which is another ‘stock character’. In Romantic comedy, this sort of character is very typical and it is typical for a Romantic comedy to have stock characters within them. In addition to this, however it also seems as if Shakespeare is using Lucentio to mock Romantic plays. This would create a ‘parody’, this is when a mocking of a literal piece is made and Shakespeare is mocking Romance. He does this by Lucentio over-complementing Bianca; he praises her “sweet beauty in her face”, “he coral lips”, her breath which smelt like “perfume in the air” and what she surrounded was “sacred and sweet” and that he “laments (or cries) burns, pines and perishes” because of her beauty.
‘Comedy involves men of middling estate; its perils are small scale, its outcomes peaceful’. To what extent do you agree with this definition of comedy in relation to Much Ado about Nothing*? Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing is one of the most popular comedies in history, selling out Shakespearean theatres until their closure in 1642. The comedy is thought to be written in 1598 and is often described as a ‘problem play’ meaning it shares tendencies with that of a tragedy. Of course MAAN follows Shakespeare’s traditional comedy structure but modern critics have their own agenda that a comedy, being such a complex genre, should conform to.
This therefore conforms to my expectations as it foreshadows chaos that would therefore lead to comedy later on in the play. Similarly, Quince also refers to the second world when in conversation with Bottom, Flute and Snug; ‘meet me in the palace wood a mile without the town’. The fact that they are also meeting in the wood suggests freedom, compared to the ordinariness of the city, which could turn into mischief and insanity, consequently producing light hearted humour. Next, Shakespeare uses puns, sarcasm, insults and wordplay to create the genre of a dramatic comedy. Quince’s pun, ‘for it is nothing but roaring’ (when in conversation with Snug) alludes quick-witted humour.
In the play, there are strong elements of contrast between light hearted, fun characters and deceitful, villainous ones, which could suggest a more ‘dark’ side to Shakespeare’s comedy. This is at its full effect when the contrast between Beatrice and Don John is shown during the play. Beatrice is shown as being an entertaining and lively character, displayed by her sarcastic and witty language. This is visible during her conflict with Benedick during Act One, where she abuses him by referring to him as the ‘Princes Jester’ which suggests he is unimportant and a simple entertainer at whom other people laugh at. This use of dramatic irony creates humour for the audience as Benedick is unable to defend himself without giving away his identity.
A puritan is: somebody who lives by a strict moral or religious code, especially somebody who is suspicious of pleasure. Malvolio’s laughs do not come from one-liners or cheap gags- the crux of the play is centred on a cruel trick played on Malvolio that concludes tragically with imprisonment and insanity Shakespeare’s comedy can be described as “a play characterized by its humorous or satirical tone and its depiction of amusing people or incidents, in which the characters ultimately triumph over adversity” . Twelfth Night there is undeniably an ‘amusing tone’ and evidently ‘amusing incidents’ however, not all of the characters ‘triumph over adversity’. The character of Malvolio is distressed in order to force the audience to explore the borders between farce and cruelty. This definition highlights and contributes to the debate whether Malvolio is really a comic character in
Then there would be a close relationship between, this “rules of marriage” and comedy, in the play. Shakespeare uses this to reflect the actual society and the fact that it is a comedy, he creates enemies, villains, misunderstandings, and impediments, everything that retains a couple of being together during the whole play, with the exception of the happy ending “live happily ever after”. Being this play a comedy, it develops under certain boundaries that a comedy requires. The dialogues, the events, relationships and even the love are influenced by the comedy itself. Shakespeare did not plan on doing a tragedy novel, as others he have done, but to do humour.
Finally, he also uses it to foreshadow approaching events, creating anticipation and tension in audiences. William Shakespeare’s primary use of pun is to add humour to scenes with bawdy jokes, thus providing audiences and readers comic relief and dissolving some of the tension of the previous and following scenes [T]. In the following quote, Shakespeare manages to both create the sexual imagery concerning virgins in readers’ minds and suggest that the best kind of wit is wit that is able to mould itself and accommodate many levels of meaning. Applying this to a larger subject, Shakespeare is suggesting that the best way to live life is to live on every level, base or intellectual. Our perception of life is essentially our personality, and our perspective is limited or broadened by our experiences, so in order to understand ourselves and others fully, we have to do all that we can and experience all type of emotion [M].
Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” is a play in which the emotions, pity, and terror are exploited to portray the extent of feeling of love and attraction throughout. The balcony scene plays a vital role in the way the depth of feeling between Romeo and Juliet is portrayed. Prior to this scene Romeo and Juliet have exchanged a number of kisses, and showed a mutual physical attraction for each other however as of yet they have not disclosed their true depth of their feeling. During the play Shakespeare is able to exploit a number of techniques; it is through these techniques the audience is able to see what the primary problems and themes of the play are. Through exploration of this scene I aim to show how Shakespeare accomplishes this.