Works Cited Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Russ McDonald, ed. New York, New York: Penguin Putnam Inc, 2000.
Eavesdropping leads to Beatrice’s and Benedick’s most hilarious lines and Dogberry’s continued misunderstandings and malapropisms help soften the tone of the play as they follow the more sinister sections. Dogberry’s insistence on others noting that Conrade called him an ass is especially funny: “Oh that I had been writ down an ass” (4. 2. 70-71). The audience enjoys the irony tha... ... middle of paper ... ...ty.
Shakespeare's Fools Shakespeare used foolish characters in his plays to make points that he considers highly important. I had previously supposed that Shakespeare was an entertainer who sprinkled his writing with observations about humanity and its place in the world to please critics. However, I discovered that he was a gifted writer who had a penetrating understanding the condition of humanity in the world and sprinkled his plays with fools and jokes meant for the common man as a way of conceding to his audience's intellectual level. Or, as Walter Kaufmann said in his essay "Shakespeare: Between Socrates and Existentialism," Shakespeare "came to terms with the obtuseness of his public: he gave his pearls a slight odor of the sty before he cast them." Kaufmann continues his essay by saying that Shakespeare, unlike many modern artists, "turned the challenge of a boorish, lecherous, and vulgar audience to advantage and increased the richness and the subtlety of drama."
Shakespeare has a way of creating his characters so the audience can relate to them in a way. In his villains we see the negative characteristics that are in ourselves and others around us; things that often define the “natural man” such as greed or jealousy. With the entire terrible and treacherous thing that Shakespeare makes his villains do, he always manages to make them human in a way. As if he is meaning to display that no matter how twisted a person can be, they are still a person. In Shakespeare’s plays Othello, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the villains share the characteristics of greed, clever and conniving ways, and recklessness; however, they all bring their own features to the table.
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.
New York: Penguin, 1957. Literary Companion to British Authors: William Shakespeare. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1996 Mehl, Dieter. Shakespeare's Tragedies: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge, 1986.
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?"
When he hears them talking, he will believe that Beatrice is in love with him and act upon his knowledge. The audience is interested in this plot, as "counterfeiting" and deception are themes that run through the play. We ... ... middle of paper ... ...nedick, is of a joker, a slightly vain and precocious man who, in soliloquies throughout the play, will over-analyse what has been said about or to him, often in the effort of preserving, and even, discovering his self-image. However, what is conceivably more relevant, his how the audience’s opinion adjust the throughout the play. We are then shown, a more compassionate man, with a newly developed fervent attitude toward love, and relationships.
Shakespeare is brilliant in his transformation of the handsome, fairly two-dimensional rogue in Cinthio's original to the evil egotist who preys on human emotions, a character so deep he could undergo psychological analysis. Indeed is can, and has been said, "Iago is the spirit of negation set against the spirit of creation," Geoffrey Wilson Knight. He shows immense wit throughout the play but uses this gift and his graft of words for pure evil and to bring about human suffering, something he sadistically enjoys. This idea of intelligent and scheming subordinates would have worried the Jacobean audience who relied strongly on the class structure. S.T.
He’s for the most part similar to Twelfth Night’s Feste as they both use wit and the illusion of inferiority, Feste with his role as fool and Hamlet with his play for madness, to try and fool their victims in spite of their obvious intelligence- both Feste and Hamlet have a talent for manipulating words and playing with puns much to the consternation of their fellow conversers. Similarly, Prince Hal in Henry IV (Part 1) pretends to be a delinquent rebel, irresponsible and disobedient to his disappointed further. It’s soon revealed in the play that he only plays the fool so that he can ... ... middle of paper ... .... Ironically, it is Sebastian who becomes the imitation- he now has to play Cesario, taking over Viola’s role, and with Feste’s final song foreshadowing unrest, Shakespeare may be hinting at the chaos to come from the false marriage. The final words of the play are from Feste in the form of a song on wind and rain, “A great while ago the world begun/ With hey, ho, the wind and the rain/ but that’s all one, our play is done/ and we’ll strive to please you every day” (5.1.404-408), an allusion to thunderstorms that started the play and will likewise end it. This seems to be foreshadowing coming unrest, rendering the resolution indefinite and canceling out Orsino’s optimism in the last scene, a possible foreshadowing of the tragedy to come ending the play on a low note instead of the expected hopefulness of a comedy.