Shakespearean comedy

Shakespearean comedy

Traditionally, the plays of William Shakespeare have been grouped into three categories: tragedies, comedies, and histories. Some critics have argued for a fourth category, the romance. "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 marriage for all the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that is more lighthearted than Shakespeare's other plays.

Patterns in the comedies include movement to a "green world", [Regan, Richard. " [ Shakespearean comedy] ". Retrieved on 11 January, 2007.] both internal and external conflicts, and a tension between Apollonian and Dionysian values.

Shakespearean comedies also tend to have
*A struggle of young lovers to overcome difficulty that is often presented by elders
*Separation and unification
*Mistaken identities
*A clever servant
*Heightened tensions, often within a family
*Multiple, intertwining plots
*Frequent use of puns

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, a fault on Shakespeare's part, or a deliberate attempt by him to blend styles and confound expectations.

List of Shakespearean comedies

*"All's Well That Ends Well"
*"As You Like It"
*"The Comedy of Errors"
*"Love's Labour's Lost"
*"Measure for Measure"
*"The Merchant of Venice"
*"The Merry Wives of Windsor"
*"A Midsummer Night's Dream"
*"Much Ado About Nothing"
*"Pericles Prince of Tyre"
*"Taming of the Shrew"
*"The Tempest"
*"Twelfth Night"
*"The Two Gentlemen of Verona"
*"The Winter's Tale"


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Comedy — This article is about a genre of dramatic works. For other uses, see Comedy (disambiguation). For the popular meaning of the term comedy , see Humour. Thalia, muse of comedy, holding a comic mask detail of “Muses Sarcophagus”, the nine Muses and… …   Wikipedia

  • comedy — comedial /keuh mee dee euhl/, adj. /kom i dee/, n., pl. comedies. 1. a play, movie, etc., of light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance,… …   Universalium

  • Comedy (drama) — This article is about performing arts. For a general genre, see Comedy. Performing arts Major forms Dance · Music · Opera · Theatre · Circus …   Wikipedia

  • Comedy of errors — For other uses, see Comedy of errors (disambiguation). A comedy of errors is a narrative work (often a play) that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone, in which the action usually features a series of comic instances of mistaken… …   Wikipedia

  • Shakespearean — Shake|spear|e|an [ ʃeık spıriən ] adjective 1. ) written by William Shakespeare, or relating to the plays and poems he wrote: a Shakespearean play/tragedy/comedy Shakespearean characters/actors 2. ) using words in the way that is typical of… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Shakespearean — UK [ʃeɪkˈspɪərɪən] / US [ʃeɪkˈspɪrɪən] adjective 1) written by William Shakespeare, or relating to the plays and poems he wrote a Shakespearean play/tragedy/comedy Shakespearean characters/actors 2) using words in the way that is typical of… …   English dictionary

  • Portal:Comedy — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology …   Wikipedia

  • Romantic comedy film — Romantic comedy films, colloquially known as romcom, are movies with light hearted, humorous plotlines, centered around romantic ideals such as a true love able to surmount most obstacles. Romantic comedy films are a sub genre of comedy films as… …   Wikipedia

  • The Comedy of Errors — This article is about Shakespeare s play. For other uses, see Comedy of errors (disambiguation). Poster for a 1879 production on Broadway, featuring Stuart Robson and William Crane The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare s earliest… …   Wikipedia

  • Utah Shakespearean Festival — The Utah Shakespearean Festival is a festival of repertory productions of the works of William Shakespeare and other dramatists. The Festival is held during the summer and fall on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, within …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.