The Characteristics of Shakespeare's Comedies

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Pyramus and Thisbe Pages: 3 (1141 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Characteristics of Shakespeare's Comedies

Shakespeare wrote many different forms of literary works and one of them is comedy. At the end of his professional life he had written four famous comedies which were later called his "romances". Shakespeare's comedies were not primarily love stories but they all included a love plot. His romances all had the happy ending of a comedy, but in a way they hinted on violence (Prentice Hall Literature). His focus and emphasis was clearly towards the structure and language of his comedies, which made his comedies quite distinct from others. The ideas and concepts also made his comedies designated, as we experienced it in one of his most famous comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The structure of Shakespeare comedies is common in all his comic drama. The play goes through three phases. In the first stage there is order and discipline. Then it goes through a situation where there is chaos and disorder. Finally in the third stage order is restored again and the play ends in a festive ending. In the beginning of A Midsummer Nights Dream we see that Theseus has entire control over the people in Athens and he is getting ready to wed Hyppolita, queen of the amazons. Then quickly the whole situation changes when Lysander and Hermia flee into the forest and complications start to build up. The play ends with a joyful ending, when daylight has returned, the duke and duchess and the four lovers are united in the bonds of marriage and they are entertaining themselves with dance and music. Their world of love has come to its proper order.

The language was evidently the main reason why Shakespeare's comedies were more amusing than other comedies of his time. He used many techniques to illustrate humor, and sometimes we have to know the inner meanings to find it comical. The play of words or puns were very popular in the comedies of Shakespeare. Quince makes a good pun when he mentions the French crown. It is a pun...
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