This comedic relief usually contains a hidden meaning or message that augments the plot. In the play Hamlet Osric, Polonius, and the Gravedigger are used as these conduits of humor. The character Osric relieves much of the tension built from the proceeding acts. His interjection in this tragedy culminates with Hamlet and Laertes’ fighting sequences. Hamlet manipulates this character by exploiting his obedience to royalty when he states, “Put your bonnet to his right use, ‘tis for the head” (V.ii.101).
Comedy is necessary to break the unbearable tension in tragedies like Hamlet. Many of the humorous scenes precede tragic events in the play which allows the audience to feel temporary relief in the presence of this comedy. It is also important to note the entertainment that comes with the comedy in the play. Shakespeare’s audience wanted to have both high and low comedy presented to them. With a variety of characters ranging from simple minded to near genius Shakespeare was able to deliver the audience what they wanted.
In conclusion, a comic relief is used to relieve tension and to contrast serious scenes to increase the ultimate tragic nature of the play. Polonius uses his self absorbed dull personality to create humor in his scenes. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern act as the fool by their tactless actions and dialogue, their lightheartedness makes the tragic parts of the play seem all the more tragic. And finally Hamlet uses his morbid humor to intensify scenes of sorrow while he also bitterly teases others to relieve tensions at times. The comic relief in Shakespeare’s Hamlet contrasts intense scenes as to make them more intense.
The comedy included amusing characters, with a familiar style of writing, humorous incidents and most importantly a happy ending. In contrast, the tragedy used serious or unhappy characters, a more serious, unnatural style of language, terrible and sad incidents and a sorrowful and sometimes horrific ending to the plot. In 'Romeo and Juliet' there are both comical and tragic moments and characters, however the play most definitely ends tragically. Before Mercutio's death, in Acts one and two there are many cases of comedy. In Act one, Sampson and Gregory, joke with puns and innuendoes.
Hamlet is yet a tragedy but Shakespeare successfully brings humor through the grim walls of a tragedy and allows the reader to manipulate the scene any way he or she wishes. Humor can be manipulated as well with double meanings and different viewpoints upon what is “funny'; and what is not.
Also the structural devices and the language used between the characters prove comedy to be a blend of pain and pleasure and allow the audience to respond to the scenes with either a feeling of pain of pleasure. An audience of Shakespeare’s England would have reacted differently to how a modern audience does due to the different cultural and social conventions of the time. Nevertheless, both responses would support Plato’s argument of comedy being a blend of pain and pleasure.
But the best of Comedy and the best of Tragedy will produce the same affect: catharsis. Catharsis is the purgation and purifying of the emotions, specifically fear or pity. (“Catharsis”) The plays that manage to produce catharsis in their audience are the ones that we return to time and time again. Although catharsis is one of the main objectives of Greek Tragedy (Jacobus 34), Comedy done well will shape and move its audience in the same way. These two classic genres use characters that are co... ... middle of paper ... ...steful, Works Cited Aristophanes.
Shakespeare uses irony to great effect in his many plays, specifically dramatic irony, and some cosmic irony, in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. But why does he use it? What is he trying to achieve or portray? It varies throughout the play, but there are general trends as the story develops. In the beginning we see that it is almost comical uses.
Witchcraft and fate were also strongly believed to be real which makes aspects of the play seem somewhat surreal to a modern day audience. III.1 is a pivotal part of the play, within this one scene, the possibility of the play being a comedy is destroyed and there is only one unfortunate direction in which the fortunes of the characters can spiral. As this scene is particularly important within the play, as a pivotal point destroying comedy and confirming tragedy, there is much contrast in earlier scenes by which circumstances look more favorable. Up to this point, the circumstances of love between Romeo and Juliet looked very promising. At Juliet's balcony, Romeo proclaims his love for Juliet, "It is my lady! "