Many people would say “Twelfth Night” meets the expectations of a comedy due to the presence of features (such as mistaken identity) causing discord throughout the play but these problems are resolved when we reach the denouement leading to multiple marriages. It can also be argued “Twelfth Night” isn’t truly a comedy because not all characters meet a satisfying ending, partially due to the fact normality is restored as we see characters conforming to society which does not compliment the prior social inversion present in the play.
Referring to Walpole’s claim, I agree with the critics reading that any aspect of life will appear tragic if you become emotionally attached to it. A comedy cannot be enjoyed unless you are able to think of it detachedly and realise it is “an imitation of the common errors of our life” as expressed by Sir Philip Sidney, and accept it as that. Looking at the title of this play script, we could presume that it’s based around a festive season which was always welcomed enthusiastically by people during the Renaissance period; an “experience of pleasurable merrymaking” as said by Andrew Stott, but also a time which we know must come to an end.
As said in Henry IV Part 1: “If all the year were playing holidays, / To sport would be as tedious as to work. ” It implies that you must come back from embracing the natural world and acknowledge society’s belief of what is the norm. Dr Eric Langley understands this to mean that even though we appreciate Sir Toby’s drunken behaviour, Viola’s double identity, and the underlying homoerotic tension, we understand that they are mere fantasies; they do not belong in the Elizabethan era in which Shakespeare lived in and would be met with outrage by his intended audience.
... rabble of prostitutes. These werent the only examples of comedy in the play, but I found that both of these were very ... of the play is one of a laid back comedy, the play does end in death. Its as ... sprung forth from the classic play. In all actuality, the play is classified as a tragic comedy, because although the dialogue and flow ...
Due to this, the audience and critic alike would find the script to have a rather bittersweet ending as we are hesitant to believe the marriage will last after so much chaos which eventually leads back to traditional roles. Seeing an independent woman such as Viola conform to society cannot help but perturb the reader as it makes us question the moral of the story – does Shakespeare project his true belief on women’s roles in civilization by taming his female protagonist?
We could however say that “Twelfth Night” fits the comedic criteria set out by Hugh Kelly when he said “The great business of comedy [consists] in making difficulties for the purpose of removing them. ” The main characters reach a moment of epiphany in the denouement of the play which leads to a harmonious ending. The audience can understand that had Viola rebelled and not accepted her traditional roles, then such an ending would not be possible.
However, Shakespeare’s attempt to “make concord of this discord” does not seem completely successful because we sense an air of “sweeping the dust behind the door” as Puck says in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. What is not lost to the audience is that Malvolio is left displeased in Act 5 Scene 1 which he does not hesitate to express. Critics speak of how there is darkness in the play as Malvolio’s last words are “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you. ” He vows to equal the score which we cannot help but feel quite chilled by as the play soon comes to an end leaving the audience in the unknown.
Malvolio represents the puritans of Shakespeare’s time who were sworn enemies of the playwright and those alike him; Dr Eric Langley alongside many other critics, believes the ambiguity regarding Malvolio is a way of Shakespeare making a mockery out of the puritans creating the ideal satirical humour of that age which the audience at The Globe during the Elizabethan era would surely approve of; as noted by Stephen Gossan: “you will see such itching and shouldering to sit by the women, […] that it is a right comedy to mark their behaviour”.
There can be no doubt that The Tempest contains numerous references to the theater, and while many of Shakespeare's plays make reference to the dramatic arts and their analogy to real life (e. g. , "all the world's a stage"), it is in this, his last play, that the Bard most explicitly acknowledges that the audience is viewing a show. Thus, in the play's final scene (Act I, scene i. , ll. 148 ff), ...
It’s accordant that the audience from Shakespeare’s time were rather “boisterous” and going to The Globe involved more pleasantries off stage than on. As said by Dr Eric Langley, the idea we get of The Globe in the 1600s is one which involved much “moral corruption” and so Shakespeare’s hatred for puritans was surely shared by his audience. For this reason, his dark sense of humour in matters involving Malvolio will have most likely been appreciated by people of the Elizabethan era unlike in the present day.
Shakespeare implies Malvolio will not be avenged as quoting Feste, “Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges”. The term “whirligig” being used metaphorically to describe time stresses that Shakespeare’s quick succession of events were intentionally structured implying karma has only given Malvolio what he deserves. Feste follows the expectations of a fool in Shakespearean comedy and by Isaac Asimov’s definition; he is a successful fool for “he is no fool at all”. We can see how Shakespeare may have found inspiration for this stock character as Feste can be likened to the ‘servi’ of Roman comedy.
In other words, he amuses the other characters with his constant verbal jousting alongside his disturbingly accurate observations. The most prominent example of this is perhaps in Act 5 Scene 1 where Feste closes the play with yet another song. There is incremental repetition of the line “The rain it raineth everyday” insinuating that at any moment, the happiness which currently occupies the main characters could be swept away; the fact that their joy has not been ascertained makes the notion of this happy ending rather unsteady.
Blank verse is also present in Malvolio’s last appearance in the play as he pleads to Olivia: “Pray you […] ‘tis not your seal, not your invention”. As Malvolio does not usually speak in this form, the audience become aware of the strong emotions and conviction behind his words allowing us to notice the contempt he holds for being so boldly humiliated. Throughout the play script, we see Shakespeare change between prose (which is usually used for repartee) and poetry to suit the content of the scenes.
The scenes containing poetry are typically written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. The use of iambs creates a steady uninterrupted rhythm which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but translates the deep emotions of the characters to the audience as well. Shakespeare partners this rhythm with rhyming couplets often as can be seen when the Duke says: “I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love, / To spite a raven’s heart within a dove”. Although presented in such an elegiac manner, the threat it beholds is quite dark and o this contrast allows us to understand the passion Orsino truly feels for Cesario perhaps unbeknownst to himself. This passion is re-established when he mistakenly calls Viola Cesario after her true identity is revealed: “Cesario, come”. Shakespeare cleverly implements doubt into the audiences mind mere lines before the end of the play leaving us on a cliff-hanger and begs us to ponder again, is this truly a happy ending? We see an ABCB rhyme scheme in Feste’s final song in Act 5 which adds impact to his speech and makes the audience think about the meaning between the lines. A great while ago the world begun, / […] But that’s all one, our play is done/ […] everyday. ” Rhyming between “begun” and “done” highlights the hastiness the audience witnessed throughout the play from four acts of confusion to a very rushed happy ending. Feste says “but that’s all one” which would tell members of the audience who are yet to see the light, that this play was actually somewhat of a fable. “By swaggering could [you] never thrive” meaning arrogant behaviour will not get you anywhere when it comes to courting your love.
Shakespeares tragedies were extremely popular in Elizabethan times and today. A tragedy is described as a sad, serious story or play, usually ending with the death of the hero. A disastrous, fatal or dreadful event. By comparing the three plays, Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello it is possible to see how he has used techniques appropriate to tragedy and how he applied them to his plays. The opening of ...
This doesn’t seem to be the message you would expect from a comedy but Shakespeare’s words of wisdom were most likely lost upon his intended audience and so created the happy ending they wished to see, while satisfying the playwright too. It could also be argued that regardless of the ending which Malvolio and Feste meet, “Twelfth Night” has got a happy ending. As said by Northop Frye, a comedy is “a play in which a certain structure is present and works through to its own logical ending”. We can see this structure present as Shakespeare’s play consists of three main sections which are broken down over five acts.
In the first section we are introduced to the main character who is put in a position of conflict which they struggle to overcome throughout the duration of the play. In the second, we see character development as the tension builds up due to these comedic/ conflict-creating features. In the last section, the conflict is met with a resolution as we reach the denouement, and thus the questionable happy ending witnessed in Act 5 of “Twelfth Night”.
Bonds within King Lear Essay submitted by Patrick The play of "King Lear" is about a person in search of their own personal identity. In the historical period in which this play is set, the social structure was set in order of things closest to Heaven. Therefore, on Earth, the king was at the top, followed by his noblemen and going all the way down to the basest of objects such as rocks and dirt. ...