Of the three types of plays recognized in the Shakespeare First Folio -- Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies -- the last has been the most discussed annnd is clearest in outline. Tragedy must end in some tremendous catastrophe involving in Elizabethan practice the death of the principal character. The catastrophe must not be the result of mere accident, but must be brought about by some essential trait in the character of the hero acting either directly or through its effect on other persons. The hero must nevertheless have in him something which outweighs his defects and interests us in him so that we care for his fate more than for anything else in the play.
Thought and Structure of Comedy The Tragic and the Comic fade into each other by almost insensible gradations, and the greatest beauty of a poetical work often consists in the harmonious blending of these two elements.
Not only in the same drama may both exist in perfect unison, but even in the same character. Great actors generally have a similar quality, and frequently it is hard to tell whether their impersonations be more humorous or more pathetic.
This happy transfusion and interchange of tragic and comic coloring is one of the characteristics of supreme art; it brings the relief along with the pain; it furnishes the reconciliation along with the conflict. Shakespeare seems to have taken a special delight in its employment.
No principle of his procedure is better known or more fully appreciated. His tragedies never fail of having their comic interludes; his comedies have, in nearly every case, a serious thread, and sometimes a background with a tragic outlook. Life is not all gloom or all delight; the cloud will obscure the sun, but the sun will illumine the cloud — at least around the edges.
Still, the Comic is not the Tragic, however subtle may be their intertwining, and however rapid their interaction. They rest upon diverse, and in some respects opposite, principles. Criticism must seek to explain the difference between them for the understanding, and must not rest content with a vague appeal to the feeling of beauty.
Tragic earnestness springs from the deep ethical principle which animates the individual. He, however, assails another ethical principle, and thereby falls into guilt.
The tragic character, moreover, must have such strength and intensity of will that it can never surrender its purpose. A reconciliation is impossible; death alone can solve the conflict.
In Comedy also there is a collision with some ethical principle on the part of the individual; he intends a violation, but does not realize his intention; he is foiled through external deception, or breaks down through internal weakness; to him is wanting that complete absorption in some great purpose which is the peculiar quality of the tragic hero.
The common realm of Tragedy and Comedy, therefore, is the ethical world and its collision. Their essential difference lies in the different relation of the leading characters to this ethical world.
Here we are brought face to face with the first point which must be settled — what constitutes the Comic Individual? But a single person does not make a comedy; it requires several who are in action and counter-action; hence the second part of the subject will be the Comic Action; thirdly, a termination must be made which springs necessarily from the preceding elements; this gives the Comic Solution.
Each division will be taken up in its natural order. The Comic Individual — He is, in one form or another, the victim of deception. He fights a shadow of his own mind, or pursues an external appearance; his end is a nullity, his plan an absurdity; he is always deceived; he really is not doing that which he seems to be doing.
His object may be a reasonable one, his purpose may be a lofty one, but he is inadequate to its fulfillment; the delusion is that he believes in his own ability to accomplish what he wills.
His object also may be an absurd one; he pursues it, however, with the same resolution. It may be called a foible, a folly, a frailty — still the essential characteristic is that the individual is pursuing an appearance, and thus is the victim of deception, though he may even be conscious of the absurd and delusive nature of his end.
The two limitations of this sphere are to be carefully noticed."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 marriages between the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that is more light-hearted than Shakespeare's other plays.
What Is the Definition of a Shakespearean Comedy? In general, the 18 Shakespeare plays commonly classified as comedies share characteristics that include an overarching theme of love culminating in marriage, complex plots with a climax in the third act, cases of .
The characteristics of Shakespearean Romantic Comedy are: 1.
The main action is about love. 2. The would-be lovers must overcome obstacles and misunderstandings before being united in harmonious urbanagricultureinitiative.com ending frequently involves a.
The style and key characteristics of a Shakespeare comedy are not as distinct as the other Shakespearean genres and sometimes determining whether one of his plays is a comedy can be a challenge.
Common Features of a Shakespearean Comedy. Shakespearean Comedy. William Shakespeare's plays may be grouped into three categories: comedies, histories, and urbanagricultureinitiative.com is important to note that the term "comedy" didn't mean the same to Elizabethans as it does today.
The term “main characteristics” is awfully subjective. I will discuss two characteristics without getting into the argument of whether they are “main” or not. Mirroring and/or shadowing occurs in almost every play of Shakespeare’s — comedies, trag.