Comedy Shakespearean Style
Purpose of comedy is to amuse and it ends happily. • Comedies treat subjects lightly, meaning that they don't treat seriously such things as love.
Shakespeare's comedies often use puns, metaphors and insults to provoke 'thoughtful laughter'. • The action is often strained by artificiality, especially elaborate and contrived endings.
Deals with people in their human state, restrained and made ridiculous by limitations, bodily functions and animal nature. Realistic view of humans. • Disguises and mistaken identities are often very common.
The plot is very important in Shakespeare's comedies. It is often very convoluted, twisted and confusing, and extremely hard to follow. • All Shakespearean comedies have five acts. The climax of the play is always during the third act.
Foil and stock characters are often inserted into the storyline. • Love provides the main ingredient. If the lovers are unmarried when the play opens, they either have not met or there is some obstacle to their relationship.
In the comedy itself, Shakespeare assumes that we know the basic plot and he jumps right into it with little or no explanation. • Foreshadowing and foreboding are put in the play early and can be heard throughout the drama.
Many themes are repeated throughout Shakespeare's comedies. One theme is the never-ending struggle between the the forces of good and evil. Another theme is that love has profound effects and that people often hide behind false faces. Themes of love and friendship are played within a courtly society.
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was written in 1596. It has become one of Shakespeare's most fond comedies. It makes fun of everything from love at first sight to realistic staging. The play refers to "fair vestal throned by the west" which was once thought to have been a polite acknowledgement of the Queen's presence in the audience. The play was first printed in a quarto edition in 1600. • Source- http://www.onlineshakespeare.com/comedies.htm
Video clip • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfk3IO7sn54&feature=related