The classification of Elizabethan plays have derived from the definitions constructed by philosophers of Ancient Greece and Roman regarding the…

I am writing a 750 word short essay for the topic: Define the characteristics of Shakespearean comedy and tragedy as indicated by the conclusions of Midsummer Night?s Dream, As You Like It, and King Lear.

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The classification of Elizabethan plays have derived from the definitions
constructed by philosophers of Ancient Greece and Roman regarding the different
types of plays, which travelled into the Renaissance Europe and into the modern
world of the 21
st
centuries. However, the attempts to classify the plays of Shakespeare
and to deliberately fit them into the
proverbial patterns of specific genres have been
futile
. As the writer of unrivalled creative mastery, Shakespeare blurs the boundaries
between these genres. When it comes to the division between comedy and tragedy,
there are distinct characteristics that are generally identifiable in each genre. As
Shakespearean comedies, A
Midsummer Night?s Dream and As You Like
, are
abound
in disguises and mistaken identities with very convoluted plots that eventually leads to
contrived endings; whereas in
King Lear
, a Shakespearean tragedy,
a tragic flaw leads
to demise of the protagonist.
Most Shakespearean comedies are always light-hearted and have followed
consistently certain aspects, such as mistaken identity, which is commonly known to
be a Shakespearean plot device.
It takes the form of mixed-up twins or opposite sex
disguise, leading to misunderstandings and comical effects.
The complex scheme of
cross-dressing is most evident in
As You Like It
, in which Rosalind disguises herself as
a young man named Ganymede who must pretend to be herself in front of Orlando. In
addition, the fact that men had to play women?s roles on the stage during
Shakespeare?s time adds another dimension to the farce
. In addition, Shakespeare
makes the plays even more intricate by developing multiple plot lines
that intertwine
in an amusing way. For instance, in
A Midsummer Night?s Dream
, the humorous
entanglements between the characters start with Puck?s mistaken application of the
love potion, causing Lysander to fall in love with Helena and to abandon his true love
Hermia. As convoluted as the plot may be, the Shakespearean comedy inevitably
arrives at its happy ending in which all the unexpected twists resolves and love
prevails. A common feature to the ending is the marriage, or the declaration of
marriage, of the lovers. In the final act of
A Midsummer Night?s Dream,
three pairs of
lovers, Theseus and Hippolyta; Lysander and Hermia; and Demetrius and Helena, are
happily married
; and
As You Like It,
four pairs, Rosalind and Orlando; Audrey and
Touchstone; Celia and Oliver; Phoebe and Silvius.
On the other hand, Shakespearean tragedies are deeply depressing and often
relates to revenge and ambition. They follow a specific structure of plot progression
leading to the ultimate tragedy. First, with every tragic story comes a tragic hero or
heroine, who, by definition, is born into nobility and possesses a tragic flaw that
triggers him or her to make erroneous judgments. For example,
King Lear, as a tragic
hero, is flawed by his egotistic personality which impairs his judgment, leading to
wrong actions performed and resulting in his own ruin. Such flaw is depicted when he
asks his daughters, ?Which of you shall we say doth love us most?/ That we our
largest bounty may extend/ Where nature doth with merit challenge?” (I.i.50-55) and
casts
Cordelia
out
after
she
refuses
to
partake
in
such
superficial
demonstration. Eventually, the hero or heroine realizes that he or she has made an
irreversible mistake and is destined for downfall. In instance, King Lear finally
confesses his mistake that has led to the chaos descended upon his kingdom and his
madness, after he has already lost everything. To conclude, Shakespeare ends all of
his tragedies in death. King Lear?s tragic death is illustrated as he holds his dead
daughter, expressing the agony of pain he feels in his last words,
And my poor fool is hang’d! No, no, no life!
View the Answer
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
Never,
never,
never,
never,
never!
Pray
you,
undo
this
button:
thank
you,
sir.
Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips,
Look there, look there! (V.iii.304-310)
and dies.
The attempt of categorizing Shakespeare?s plays has been difficult because his
wealth of creative imagination has attributed originality in every work. However,
there are certain elements that can be found in specific genres, such as in comedies
A
Midsummer Night?s Dream
and
As You Like It
, the ploy of mistaken identity, multiple
plot lines and happy ending; and in tragedy
King Lear
, the notion of tragic flaw and
errs to bring about self-destruction. Shakespeare has contributed tremendously to
the
modern idea of comedy and tragedy and his plays continue to entertain audiences
around the world until today. Define the characteristics of Shakespearean comedy and tragedy as indicated by the conclusions
of Midsummer Night?s Dream, As You Like It, and King Lear. The Shakespearean comedies like are… Please see the attached… View the full answer

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