Essay Comedy In Shakespeare

In the First Folio, the plays of William Shakespeare were grouped into three categories: comedies, histories, and tragedies, though today many scholars recognize a fourth category, romance, to describe the specific types of comedies that appear as Shakespeare's later works.

"Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually involving marriages between the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that is more light-hearted than Shakespeare's other plays. Patterns in the comedies include movement to a "green world",[1] both internal and external conflicts, and a tension between Apollonian and Dionysian values. Shakespearean comedies tend to also include:

  • A greater emphasis on situations rather than characters (this numbs the audience's connection to the characters, so that when characters experience misfortune, the audience still finds it laughable)
  • A struggle of young lovers to may overcome difficulty, often presented by elders
  • Separation and re-unification
  • Deception of characters (especially mistaken identity)Several of Shakespeare's comedies, such as Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well, have an unusual tone with a difficult mix of humour and tragedy which has led them to be classified as problem plays. It is not clear whether the uneven nature of these dramas is due to an imperfect understanding of Elizabethan humour and society or a deliberate attempt by Shakespeare to blend styles and subvert the audience's expectations. By the end of Shakespeare's life, he had written seventeen comedies. Cymbeline, listed in this article with the comedies, was, in the First Folio, included among the tragedies, even though it has many of the features of the so-called "late romances" (including a happy ending).

List of comedies by William Shakespeare[edit]

This alphabetical list includes everything listed as a comedy in the First Folio of 1623, in addition to the two quarto plays (The Two Noble Kinsmen and Pericles, Prince of Tyre) which are not included in the Folio but generally recognised to be Shakespeare's own. Plays marked with an asterisk (*) are now commonly referred to as the 'romances'. Plays marked with two asterisks (**) are sometimes referred to as the 'problem plays'.


Twelfth Night Comedy by Shakespeare and Its Effect on Other Writings

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Twelfth Night Comedy by Shakespeare and Its Effect on Other Writings

While Great Expectations and Gulliver’s Travels were not written as comedy, humor is seen in them. The comedy in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night can be related to the comedy in those writings, although Shakespeare used a variety of comedic techniques, not used in either Great Expectations or Gulliver’s Travels. The comedy in Twelfth Night varies greatly from the comedy in Great Expectations and Gulliver’s Travels at times. Irony is a common comedic element seen in all three works. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is commonly known as a satire, therefore it uses improbable irony as a tool. The misfortune, ridiculousness and contradict of Gulliver’s adventures is funny.…show more content…

Although there are many opinions about the play’s nature, it is commonly seen as an influential comedy. In the play, two twins are shipwrecked on the coast of an ideal country, like Disneyland, called Illyria.

They are separated, neither knowing the other is alive. The female, Viola, pretends to be a male page and works for the duke Orsino. Her job is to woo the lady he likes, Olivia. Viola is wooing for Orsino, pretending to be Cesario, and Olivia falls in love with her! Meanwhile, a man called Antonio is helping her twin, Sebastian. In the end Viola and Sebastian meet, the Duke marries Viola, and Sebastian marries Olivia. There are many comedic aspects of this play, one is Maria’s letter. Maria, a helper of Olivia, writes a letter to trick Malvolio into making a fool of himself by making him think Olivia likes him. Maria’s letter says:

“If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em. Thy Fates open their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them. And, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants. Let thy tongue tang arguments of state. Put thyself into they trick of singularity. She thus advises thee that sighs for thee. Remember who commanded thy yellow stockings and wished to see thee ever

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