Research Papers On Shakespeare

Essay/Term paper: The characteristics of shakespeare's comedies

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The Characteristics of Shakespeare's Comedies


Shakespeare wrote many different forms of literary works and one of them is
comedy. At the end of his professional life he had written four famous comedies
which were later called his "romances". Shakespeare's comedies were not
primarily love stories but they all included a love plot. His romances all had
the happy ending of a comedy, but in a way they hinted on violence (Prentice
Hall Literature). His focus and emphasis was clearly towards the structure and
language of his comedies, which made his comedies quite distinct from others.
The ideas and concepts also made his comedies designated, as we experienced it
in one of his most famous comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The structure of Shakespeare comedies is common in all his comic drama.
The play goes through three phases. In the first stage there is order and
discipline. Then it goes through a situation where there is chaos and disorder.
Finally in the third stage order is restored again and the play ends in a
festive ending. In the beginning of A Midsummer Nights Dream we see that Theseus
has entire control over the people in Athens and he is getting ready to wed
Hyppolita, queen of the amazons. Then quickly the whole situation changes when
Lysander and Hermia flee into the forest and complications start to build up.
The play ends with a joyful ending, when daylight has returned, the duke and
duchess and the four lovers are united in the bonds of marriage and they are
entertaining themselves with dance and music. Their world of love has come to
its proper order.
The language was evidently the main reason why Shakespeare's comedies were
more amusing than other comedies of his time. He used many techniques to
illustrate humor, and sometimes we have to know the inner meanings to find it
comical. The play of words or puns were very popular in the comedies of
Shakespeare. Quince makes a good pun when he mentions the French crown. It is a
pun because it could have more than one meaning, it could mean gold coins or
also baldness which is often caused by treatments of STD. Another good example
of a pun is what Lysander says to Hermia "For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie".
This example shows how good Shakespeare was at playing around with words as he
uses the word lie in two different ways. Lie could mean both lying down or not
telling the truth. Some of these puns show a lot of facetiousness and wit.
Lysander says to Demetrius "You have her father's love. Do you marry him"
implying that Demetrius might be attractive to males. The obscene jokes also
play a great part in making the play comical. What is particularly absorbing is
that most of these unclean jokes are unintended. The actors mean something else,
but we get the wrong message. When the actors say "I kiss the walls hole" or
"Cursed be thy stones" they literally mean it, while our mind searches for
hidden meanings. Oxymoron and ironies give an additional meaning for the reader.
Titania who has fallen in love with an ass says "Thou art as wise, as thou art
beautiful" when we know that an ass is neither beautiful nor intelligent.
Another thing that makes the comedy humorous is the way Shakespeare shows
stupidity among the characters. He uses different ways, like malapropism,
exaggerated alliteration, mispronunciation and also bad punctuation. In the play
we could easily distinguish the people who were not well educated through the
mistakes they made when talking and acting. The craftsmen very often used wrong
but similar words unintentionally which changed the meaning of what they were
trying to say. They might use a big word and try to sound clever, when they
actually sounded stupid. Using alliteration in a speech normally sounds
penetrating and intelligent but when it is exaggerated like, "Whereat, with
blade, with bloody blameful blade, he bravely broached his boiling bloody
breast", it sounds awkward and pointless. Mispronunciations like perfet instead
of perfect and bad punctuation like "We do not come, as minding to content you,
our true intent is." makes the characters sound silly and the play rather funny.
At the end w hen the workers were acting the Play Piramus and Thisbe we see how
low their knowledge of acting was. Theseus says to the fellow members of the
audience that since the wall is a person, it should curse back at Pyramus. He
meant it as a joke, but Bottom without knowing where the proper parameters of
the stage are, steps out of character and addresses Theseus directly, explaining
that the wall shouldn't speak, because the line is actually Thisby's cue to come
on stage.
Some of the ideas and concepts that we have encountered in the past are
also found in Shakespeare comedies. The idea of love triangle is very important
in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The love triangle formed conflicts and
complications which developed into the main plot. Many characters became
involved into the love triangle, and with the help of Puck the situation became
more intense and sometimes very amusing. Another concept that we see in the play
is the reversal of role between male and female: Helena chasing Demetrius, when
it is usually the male chasing the female. Helena's role transforms from a
passive feminine one to an active, assertive masculine one. Flute who is a male
had to dress up and act like a female when he was Thisbe in the play. Also
Pyramus was described of having cherry lips and white cheeks, which is actually
an ideal description of a female. The idea of waking and dreaming was also very
comical, since they were actually experiencing it all. All the Athenians, plus
Bottom and T itania fell asleep sometimes during the play and they all woke up
to have themselves or their situation changed. After waking from their final
sleep, the lovers were amazed to see each other there and felt that their
experiences were just dreams. All the fairy adventures that took place during
the moonlit night seemed just dreamlike hallucinations. The ancient idea of
metamorphosis is also expressed in Shakespeare's comedy. People are changing
their understanding their feelings and their images throughout the play. With
the love juice of cupid both Demetrius and Lysander learned to change the
receiver of their affection. We see in the play that love can turn people around,
and sometimes make asses of them. Bottom transforming into an ass was a good
example of metamorphosis.
The structure, the language, the ideas and concepts are all important parts
of a Shakespeare comedy and with these apparent characteristics it is quite easy
to distinguish a Shakespeare play from another.

 

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Shakespeare is a great English playwright and a poet of the Renaissance epoch who has exerted a large influence on development of the dramatic art. Nowadays, his plays are still being performed onstage all over the world. At the same time, not less popular are his other writings. To assure yourself of it, you can familiarize yourself with Shakespeare Secret book review.

The author was brought into this world in April 23, 1564, in a small town called Stratford-upon-Avon. His father John had a profession of a glover and, in 1568, he was elected as a Chief Magistrate. His mother Mary (nee Arden) had been a member of the oldest English family. It is widely thought that the author obtained his academic knowledge in Stratford grammar school where he studied such subjects, as Latin, basic Greek, Greek and Roman myths, History, and Literature. At the age of 18, Shakespeare tied the knot with Anne Hathaway, who gave birth to their children Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. It is accepted to call timespan from 1579 to 1588 as "the lost years" because there is no precise information concerning his activities of the day. In 1587, this prominent figure left the family and came over to London where he was engaged in theater life.

The first reference about Shakespeare as a writer dates back to 1592 in premortal pamphlet, by Robert Green, "Groatsworth of Witte, Bought with a Million of Repentance", where Green pronounced the author as a tough competitor. In 1594, Shakespeare was listed as one of the shareholders of Richard Burbage's troupe "Lord Chamberlain's Men" and, in 1599, the former became one of joint holders of a new theater "The Globe". By this time, the outstanding playwright turned out to be a man of property; he bought the second-largest house in Stratford and was entitled to possess family crest together with title of nobility. For years, Shakespeare had been practicing usury and, in 1605, he turned into a farmer. In 1612, the author left London and returned to Stratford. In March 26, 1616, a notary officer made a will and, in April 23, 1616, the genius of literature passed away.

Penury of biographical details and many inexplicable facts provided an opportunity to advance an idea that Shakespeare's articles and literary works, in reality, had been issued from pen of many other people. Up to now, there exists a considerable amount of hypotheses, first made in the end of 18th c., that his plays are written by absolutely another person. During two centuries of existence of these versions, a role of the author was ascribed to such people as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I, and others. Also, there were ideas that the whole group of different authors was hidden under the name of Shakespeare. At the moment, there are 77 candidates for authorship. However, numerous disputes over personality of a great playwright and poet will continue in future; creations of Renaissance genius as before inspire film directors and actors worldwide.

World of Shakespeare is full of unknown facts and unsolved mysteries. Who was he in reality? Did he write those plays and sonnets known under his name? To answer these questions, a vast number of researchers conduct literary studies. William Shakespeare writing can also be presented as a part of above-mentioned researches. There are too many questions that remain unanswered, and you can try to provide your own vision in the paper. While composing it, one has to remember that literary heritage of the genius comprises a wide range of examples regarding topics for William Shakespeare essay.

The entire creative career of the prominent playwright, the time period from 1590 to 1612, is usually divided into 4 periods:

  • The first period stays within 1590-1594. According to literary devices, it can be called a period of imitativeness: Shakespeare is in shadow of his predecessors. Supporters of biographical approach concerning analysis of his literary legacy determine this period as a period of idealistic faith in better sides of life. Pay attention to the fact that your own William Shakespeare short biography essay may include research and analysis of the following works by the author.
    In tragedy "Titus Andronicus", the author, to the full extent, nodded to practice of his contemporary playwrights to hold attention of spectators through delivery of passion, cruelty, and naturalism. Comic horrors of "Titus Andronicus" are direct and immediate reflection of plays by Marlowe and Kyd.
    Perhaps, the first plays of Shakespeare were three parts of "Henry VI". "Holinshed's Chronicles" served as a source for these and further annals. Theme, linking all history-ries of the author, is change of a string of weak and incapable rulers, who have caused civil war in the country, and reduction to order with enthronement of the Tudors dynasty. In comparison with Marlowe in "Edward II", Shakespeare not only describes historical events but also explores grounds that are hidden in characters' deeds. "Henry VI" can become a rather good topic for Shakespeare PowerPoint presentation.
    The next play "The Taming of the Shrew", created in style of farcical comedy, is written with usage of rough comic devices. This is a variation of a plot, popular in London theaters of 1950s, about suppression of wife by her husband. Two extraordinary personalities fight a battle, and woman suffers defeat. The author declares sustainability of stated order where man is a patriarch.
    In his succeeding plays, Shakespeare extends away from external comic devices. "Love's Labour's Lost" is a comedy, written under the influence of Lyly's plays, which were produced for theatrical performance within the Royal household and aristocratic houses. This play represents a continuous tournament, competition of characters through witty dialogues, complicated puzzle games, composition of verses and sonnets (by the time, Shakespeare possessed complex poetic form). Language of "Love's Labour's Lost" is pretentious and flowery, the so-called "euphuism" - language of English aristocratic highest ranks, which became popular after publication of the novel "Euphues: the Anatomy of Wit" by Lyly.
  • The second period stays within 1594-1601. In about 1595, the genius of England wrote one of his most famous tragedies "Romeo and Juliet" - a story of development of human personality at struggle with external circumstances for the right to love freely. Perhaps, "Romeo and Juliet" can give you food for mediation and become one of the most suitable topics for your William Shakespeare research paper. Here, writing help lies in plot, known according to Italian short novels by Masuccio Salernitano, Matteo Bandello, that has been taken as a basis for homonymous poem by Arthur Brooke. Probably, Brooke's work served as a source for the author. The latter intensified lyrism and dramatism of action, reconsidered and enriched characters, created poetic monologs developing inner emotions of protagonists, in such a manner, having changed ordinary composition into the Renaissance poem about love. While working on your Shakespeare research assignment, keep in mind that "Romeo and Juliet" is a tragedy of a specific kind; it is lyric and optimistic despite the death of main characters in the end. Their names turned out to be well-known definition for passion poetry. You can also make Shakespeare critical analysis base on one of the most famous literary work of this prominent person.
    "The Merchant of Venice", one more famous play, goes back to 1596. Shylock, as well as the other popular Jew of Elizabethan drama - Barabas ("The Jew of Malta" by Marlowe), ravens for revenge. Though, unlike Barabas, Shylock, remaining as a negative character, is much more complicated. On the one hand, protagonist is greedy, cunning, and even cruel note shaver; on the other hand, Shylock is an injured man whose insult attracts sympathy. Reading this novel, as well as any other writings by the author, one can see that it can become good Shakespeare essay help.
  • The third period between 1600-1609 is thought out to be the period of "deep emotional gloominess"; symptom of the changed mental outlook is appearance of character-melancholic Jaques in comedy "As You Like It." Nevertheless, some researchers think that the author only laughed at melancholy in character of Jacques, and period of life disappointments, in reality, is not supported with facts from his biography.
    In 1600, the author composed "Hamlet", from the perspective of many critics, his "deepest" work. The author kept the plot being about famous revenge tragedy, but he shifted all attention to mental discord and inner drama of protagonist; at the same time, he knew ahead of time: Hamlet is not a familiar tragic hero who takes revenge because of divine justice. Concluding that it is impossible to reinstate harmony with striking force, Hamlet suffers from tragedy of alienation.
    Characters from "great tragedies" are prominent people with mixture of Good and Evil inside them. While facing disharmony of the surrounding world, they make a difficult choice: how to exist in the world where you shape your own destiny and are responsible for it.
    At the time of writing any kind of paper, should it be paper about the prominent aouthor or not, take into consideration a compulsory structure (introduction, main body, conclusion), and quoting plays or sonnets of Shakespeare writings (of course, if you want to write about this outstanding personality).
  • The fourth period (1609-1612), apart from the play "Henry VIII", covers only 3-4 years and three plays ("Pericles", "The Winter's Tale", and "The Tempest"), the so-called "romantic dramas" or tragicomedies. In plays of the last period, ordeals highlight joy of deliverance from disasters. Slander is condemned, innocence justifies itself, fidelity picks up award, madness of jealousy does not have tragic consequences, and beloved ones are joined in matrimony to each other. Critics consider optimism of these works as a sign of their author's reconciliation.

Works of the author hold a high position in English literature. In case you have received the assignment to conduct William Shakespeare research project, it is necessary to take into account supportive sources, which will help you fulfill your task successfully.

Usually, those, who get an assignment to write Shakespeare research paper thesis, are lost in a conjecture regarding the choice of a proper topic. This should come as no surprise because the outstanding playwright is the author of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and several other poetical compositions. In case you feel that you cannot choose the topic for your paper or write your William Shakespeare school report because of some other urgent matters, consider Pro-Papers.com writing service and order your paper here. You will be pleasantly surprised about the affordable price and a high quality of every assignment, for instance, such as William Shakespeare article completed by our team of experienced writers. We do not use any sample or template thoughts and ideas; that is why every accomplished essay is unique. From this time onward, you do not need to google something like "pay someone to do my coursework". Our writing service will gladly help you write a custom term paper of the highest quality, so you can boost your GPA.

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