This use of dramatic irony creates humour for the audience as Benedick is unable to defend himself without giving away his identity. The audience also can’t help but wonder if Beatrice does truly know its Benedick that she is talking to. While this is obviously a very comical and light-hearted scene, it contrasts greatly against the character of Don John and the scenes he’s involved in. Don John is the ‘villain’ behind the breakup of Claudio and Hero’s love, by falsely accusing the ‘pure’ Hero of being unfaithful. This shows the darker side of this Shakespeare comedy as Don John is a ‘plain dealing villain’ who ‘cannot hide who he is’.
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
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.
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.
There is no doubt in « Othello » as to the role Shakespeare has given Iago, he is the villain, masterful at deceit he generates most evil in the play. The clever soldier, his incredible acting allows him to be two or three completely different people. During most of the Act the audience finds itself constantly trying to find a motive for Iago’s actions but finds none that can justify what he is about to do. What does seem to come back again and again is his view on women which he sees as sex rapacious and a danger to his machiavellian plans. Scene 1 offers us a good preview as to what Iago is going to do for the rest of the Act and ultimately the rest of the play.
In the play Measure for Measure we see Shakespeare use contrast through and between the characters to show good and evil, but also to show how it isn’t as simple as that. We see how the ‘God like’ Duke can be seen in simple terms as good and the ‘Satan’ like Angelo seen in simple terms as evil; however, both could be seen as the opposite i.e. Duke as evil and deceiving and Angelo as good. The fact that both of the characters are confusing and hard to pin point could shows how the characters are not as easy to understand as first thought. In the play there is a huge contrast between the God like figure of the Duke and the ‘fallen Angel’ or ‘Satan’ character of Angelo, again as mentioned above on a simple level as ‘good and evil’.
His use of complex language to increase his intelligence is both farcical and comical in nature. The most obvious example of this satirical self mockery in the play comes in Act two scene two “Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.” In this single sentence Polonius proves to himself and the world that he his does not have “the soul of wit” due to the fact that even though he is trying to talk about being short winded, Polonius cannot help himself from embellishing his point and therefore showing that he cannot be brief. Polonius’s inability to use decisive and precise diction is a major factor in the animosity that grows between him and Hamlet in the play and provides the basis for that particular subplot. However Polonius still manages to make a mockery of himself when he interrupts a player claiming that the speech was “too long”. This is an allusion in itself to the contradictory nature of the upper classes.
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. Since the time of the ancient Greeks critics have struggled to define it, Plato described it as a series of events you would ‘blush to practice yourself’. Susan Snyder who writes for the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Company, states that - ‘Comedy involves men of middling estate, its perils are small scale, its outcomes peaceful’. This is an excellent summary for the majority of Shakespeare’s plays; however it is not necessarily accurate in relation to MAAN. It is true to say that a comedy involves ‘men of a middling estate’, in MAAN the protagonists share the company of the Prince Don Pedro, and are socially superior to the watchmen such as Dogberry and Verges.
How far is Iago responsible for the downfall of Othello? “I am not what I am" the villainous Iago states, confirming his sly, deviant nature. Othello's downfall can be largely blamed on Iago as, for one, Iago plants the seed of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's supposed affair with Cassio, something which Othello would never have considered otherwise. He uses a number of different techniques to do this which shows his character to be sly and manipulative. Indeed, Cox claims he is "satanic in his energy, intelligence and daring contempt for goodness."