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Shakespeare Comedies

Shakespeare’s comedies can be recognized in terms of plot, structure and characters. We can see that Shakespearean comedies follow the same structural pattern, a basic plot on which the play is based. For example, a key feature of all comedies is that they depend upon the resolution of their plots. However, Shakespeare’s comedies are distinguishable, as some are classed as comic dramas and others as romantic comedies. In comic drama, there is usually a motif of a place where reality and the unreal merge, the roles of characters are reversed and identities are mistaken or lost. This place may take on the form of a feast or celebration, or it may be presented as a place segregated from the normal society, such as the wood in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When scenes are set in this place, the ordinary rules of life and society do not apply. There is always an experience of chaos, which must be resolved in order for the play to become a true comedy. William Shakespeare's plays come in many forms. There are histories, tragedies, comedies and tragic comedies. Among the most popular are the comedies which are full of laughter, irony, satire and wordplay. Many times the question is asked: what makes a play a comedy instead of a tragedy. 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. Disguises and mistaken identities are often very common. Opposed to that are the tragedies, where the reader would find death, heartbreak, and more serious plots and motives. The plot is very important in Shakespeare's comedies. It is often very convoluted, twisted and confusing, and extremely hard to follow. Other characteristics of Shakespearean comedy are the themes of love and friendship, played within a courtly society. Songs often sung by a jester or a fool, parallel the events of the plot. Minor ch...

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