Comparison: Comic Characters

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Courtney Lane
Mr. Landry
A.P. English Literature and Composition
24 March 2013
Comparison Essay of Comic Characters
Jerry Cruncher from Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities and The Porter from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth are both characters used mainly for comic relief. The authors of these works used comic relief characters to give their readers/audiences a break from the seriousness and intensity. Although both are minor characters, they are definitely memorable, especially Jerry Cruncher.

Jerry Cruncher created by Charles Dickens provided comic relief and shed a critical light on social issues. To give a little insight into the comic relief provided by Jerry Cruncher, readers should consider how he referred to himself as “an honest tradesman”(Dickens57), it’s ironic because his night job consists of grave robbing. His other line of work includes being a “porter” for Mr. Lorry at Tellson’s Bank. Mr. Cruncher was what some would call a peculiar individual. He was portrayed as a mean, short-tempered and superstitious. He is also known for beating his wife which contrasts with one of the main characters, Lucie Manette, perfect home life. Although, Jerry Cruncher was a minor character, he is one of the most memorable in the book, unlike the Porter from Macbeth that appears briefly and is soon forgotten.

The Porter from Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a minor character that has a brief role in Macbeth and disappears soon after appearing. He has a highly over active imagination. “(Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who's there, i’ the name of Beelzebub?”(Shakespeare 202) The example shows that during the time that he is drunk, the Porter imagines that he is the gate keeper of Hell. As he welcomes poor souls to Inverness after they knock: at the “gates of Hell”. “Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”(Shakespeare 202) This quote out of the Porter scene shows that...
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