Document Sample
Shakespearean_Comedy Powered By Docstoc
					Shakespearean Comedy


       a narrative that rewards virtue with a happy ending
       a form of drama showing social disorder and its reordering
       a pleasurable performance, with music and dance

Renaissance justifications for comedy/laughter:

       Superiority: punish the foolish
       Incongruity: show disorder to restore order
       Relief: release audience tensions

Renaissance objections to comedy:

       mocks authority and divinity
       portrays and encourages misbehavior
       creates desires for clothing, sex, social climbing

Shakespearean comedy:

       links multiple plot strands with common themes
       links “high” and “low” society
       explores both male-male friendship and heterosexual love
       connects laughter, dreams, love, sex, and youth
       to religion, madness, violence, death and aging
       develops disorder to nearly tragic results
       barely restores order in endings

Ongoing questions about comedy:

Is our laughter at foolishness cruel or sympathetic?
In showing disorder, does comedy question authority or confirm it?
Does comedy enact our fantasies, our fears, or both?