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. " [http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/rrScom.htm 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"
*"Cymbeline"
*"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"

Notes


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