Shakespeare's Comedies

Shakespeare's Comedies


eBook - 1999
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Finally! Summaries and Commentaries for All of Shakespeare's comedies are available in one easy-to-access volume.
  • The Comedy of Errors, probably Shakespeare's earliest work, features a plot both romantic and melodramatic, juggling mistaken identities and the confusion of twins.
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona is peppered with mercurial motivations and bittersweet romance, playfully laced with comic resolution.
  • Love's Labour's Lost, one of Shakespeare's most original plots, uses irony and satire to gently mock young lovers, inviting us to laugh at our own youthful follies.
  • A Midsummer-Night's Dream features fairies playing magical havoc with woeful lovers until all is resolved with wedding celebrations and broad comic entertainment by rustic, well-meaning bumpkins.
  • The Merchant of Venice, more serious than comedic, investigates various attitudes toward money and wealth.
  • The Taming of the Shrew, relying heavily on physical appearance and visual effect, uses mistaken identities, puns, and a play-within-a-play. Whether the "shrew" is actually transformed through a cunning use of psychology is still debatable.
  • Much Ado About Nothing, a witty battle of the sexes, in more earthy and naturalistic language than some of Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, concludes with dancing and a celebration of blissful, wedded love.
  • As You Like It contains the evergreen Forest of Arden, ripe for satiric caricaturing of shepherds, philosophers, and the dreaded curse of banishment.
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of Shakespeare's most frivolous stage offerings, gives a delightful glimpse of the England of his own time and features the amoral Sir John Falstaff, one of the playwright's comedic masterpieces.
  • Twelfth Night revolves around twins, separated by a shipwreck, and the irrationality of young lovers, a favorite theme of Shakespeare; the comic subplot, poking fun at gloomy conservative types, adds welcome panache.
  • Troilus and Cressida, usually labeled a tragicomedy because of its theme of moral corruption and disintegration, contains comedy that is more wry than bawdy or clever.
  • All's Well That Ends Well, like Shakespeare's other dark comedies, treats in typical fashion the standard romantic theme of love triumphant.
  • Measure for Measure uses disguise and comedy to lighten the theme of moral decay.
  • Pericles represents Shakespeare's unique blend of comedy and tragedy.
  • Cymbeline showcases a panorama of popular romantic motifs and themes.
  • The Winter's Tale, one of Shakespeare's more naturalistic pieces, is rich and romantic and concludes with marriage and the promise of happiness.
  • The Tempest is a visual feast of magic and theatrical spectacle, emphasizing resolution after deception. It is commonly believed to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote.

Publisher: Lincoln, Neb. : Cliffs Notes, [1999], c1964
ISBN: 9780585138091
Characteristics: 585 p


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