Their witty exchanges and mocking of other characters is unkind yet the audience enjoys it. Gonzalo in particular suffers from their harsh sense of humour, Sebastian: ‘Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike-’ At the same time as adding to the comedy, Antonio in particular is adding to the dark side of the play as they often discuss murder without even mentioning it as wrong. Sebastian displays weakness of character in succumbing to Antonio’s plan and therefore represents this as a flaw leading to outrageous consequences in an otherwise respectable man. Here we may compare him with Macbeth who was also persuaded by another allowing his hidden evil to surface. With these characters I believe Shakespeare is aiming to prove that money and birth alone cannot make a man who is essentially evil, respectable.
This links to the other main theme of the play, that of entertainment and comic characters. This is illustrated through Sir Toby Belch; who is quite clever and enjoys playing tricks on people such as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Malvolio who are less intelligent and more unaware of their humorous characteristics. The scene in which Sir Toby and Maria trick Malvolio into thinking that Olivia is in love with him is a good example of a humorous and entertaining scene. "Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I know this letter will make a complete idiot of him" Malvolio, although he is a servant, often looks down on Sir Toby as if he is better than him. "Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?"
Shakespeare is loved for his story lines, but he is respected for the characters he has created. It is ironic how in Romeo and Juliet characters such as Capulet, Romeo, and Friar Laurence are made out to be wise but in actuality make bad judgment. It is also ironic that Mercutio is depicted as a childish youth when really he is the character with the most insight. Shakespeare uses Mercutio’s insight as a contrast to every other character to show how ridiculous the other characters actually are. If you pay attention to the plots and story lines, this play is a love story.
Polonius, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are all used as a comic relief to increase the ultimate tragic nature of the play. Polonius is a comic relief because of his self-absorbed, dull personality. Polonius is over-eager and tries to give unwanted advice, during the play he is tactless and often rude. For instance, Polonius is a comic relief during his conversation with Gertrude and Claudius regarding Hamlet’s madness. Polonius rambling through his conversation contrasts with Gertrude’s seriousness of wanting to find out the reason to Hamlet’s madness.
This ridicule is effective because the audience will laugh at a fool and Malvolio becomes a fool for Olivia’s love. Shakespeare tries to encourage the audience to laugh at Malvolio's puritanical ways as well as his wish to raise his status and he uses comedy features such as dramatic irony, physical comedy, word play and satire to aid Malvolio’s characterisation. However, Malvolio does ultimately invite our sympathy. The audience are first introduced to the contrast of seriousness and pleasure in Act 2, Scene 3 through the dialogue between Malvolio and Belch. The two characters are complete opposites of each other and ultimately their two personality’s clash which is amusing.
In Act II, Scene V Sir Toby a... ... middle of paper ... ... by playing with his mind, hopes and dreams. In my personal opinion, it was a good idea that William Shakespeare placed Malvolio, who was both a puritan and very proud, as the central comical character as he was easy to make mock and the audience would have loved to hate him. The play due to its many comical devices is quite humorous and the appearance and attitude of the main character, Malvolio, and the contrast toward Sir Toby and Sir Andrew made it more amusing for the audience in Shakespearean times to laugh. In comparison to Shakespearean times, today we are very different and William Shakespeare wouldn't receive the same amount of laughter now, as he would have done in his own life. All of William Shakespeare's comical devices would have made his selected audience laugh which was the effect he was looking for.
I really appreciated the overall theme that love can be absolutely ridiculous. Even though the ending of the comedy was blatant, it contributed to overall comedic approach that Shakespeare was aiming for. I would most definitely recommend this play to my fellow students. For it can give insight into the strange positive and negative aspects of love.
Sheridan creates a satirical masterpiece in his play and clearly displays some of the many absurd characteristics that were prevalent among the individuals that made up his own culture. The character that Sheridan used to satirize the trait of ignorance of education in women was Mrs. Malaprop. Mrs. Malaprop was easily one of the most humorous characters in the play because of her subtle errors in the usage of the English language. At various times throughout her dialect, words would blatantly be misused due to their approximation in sound to the correct word that was appropriate to the context of her dialogue. For example, when Mrs. Malaprop spoke of the uselessness in pursuing Lydia she claimed “there’s nothing to be hoped for her; she’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile” (50).
This confusion makes the tragedy all the more hilarious. The action is ended in a dramatic and whirlwind ending. All matters are cleared up, although the sanity still remains on the brink of collapse. However, the tone of the play is overall cheerful and upbeat and the ending maintains the mood. I particularly enjoyed the confusion that identical twins caused even to their close family members.
His insolence and irresponsible bawdiness make him a brilliantly effective figure on stage. Love to him is to be treated roughly and his outrageous comments and gestures to the other characters are wittily exaggerated, bringing great entertainment and comedy moments to the play. Mercutio's main role in the play is to enhance the purity of Romeo's love by contrast. He acts as Romeo's conscience when he urges him in to the ball. Moreover the figurative 'Queen Mab' speech, where the almost mystical and enchanting midwife ends up as an incubus, shows how Mercutio us... ... middle of paper ... ...nd comedy makes his character vital to the play and to keep the audience entertained.