Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5

Shakespearean comedy

in “As You Like It”


One of the most famous Shakespeare’s plays.
Who is Shakespeare?
• William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the
greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is even called
 England's national poet.
What are the features of Shakespearean
comedy?
• Basically, Shakespeare’s own definition of a comedy was simply a happy ending for the main characters, characteristically, this ending was a marriage. That doesn’t mean that the play itself had to be only about happiness and humour, it
could involve drama and sadness. Therefore, the basic features of the Shakespearean comedy are:

1. Love is the main theme, the appearance of separated lovers is very common, they usually have to overcome various obstacles to be together.

2. There’s a clear conflict between the values of reason and control (called “Apollonian”) against the ideas of freedom and lust (called “Dionysian”).

3. Misconception is very common in these plays, especially between lovers.

4. In order to add irony, it is common to find female characters that have to disguise as young men.

5. Shakespearean comedy usually has a combination between humour and tragedy, the same character could pass through both stages in a short period of time. Humour is used to show that life wasn’t always sad and terrible, it’s a mesh
between happy and sad moments.

6. The plot usually begins with the introduction of the main characters, so it's easier to form a premature conflict or tragic event followed by a journey o self-discovery. After sone reflection, reconciliation was reached. The conflict was resolved
with a happy ending. The third act most of time has the climax and the last scene is always some form of celebration, like marriage.

7. Scenes aren’t located in life-like places, they’re in some kind of dream-like reality.

8. It usually shifts between a main plot and “sub-plots”, that complemented the story in some kind of way.

9. You will always find stereotypical characters like the drunk, the fool, the intelligent servant and, obviously, the young lovers.

10. They contain lots of poetry but, always, with a touch of realism.

11. The use of allusions, metaphors, insults and puns (the action of playing with words) are very common.

12. Supernatural elements were used to add a soft philosophical theme and for amusing audiences

13. Vocal and instrumental music is also used to provide momentum to the plot.
As You Like It
• The play is set in a duchy in France, but most of the action takes place in a location called the Forest of
Arden.

• Frederick has usurped the duchy and exiled his older brother, Duke Senior. Duke Senior's daughter,
Rosalind, has been permitted to remain at court because she is the closest friend and cousin of Frederick's
only child, Celia. Orlando, a young gentleman of the kingdom who at first sight has fallen in love with
Rosalind, is forced to flee his home after being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver. Frederick becomes
angry and banishes Rosalind from court. Celia and Rosalind decide to flee together accompanied by the
court fool, Touchstone, with Rosalind disguised as a young man and Celia disguised as a poor lady.

• Orlando sees Oliver in the forest and rescues him from a lioness, causing Oliver to repent for mistreating
Orlando. Oliver meets Aliena (Celia's false identity) and falls in love with her, and they agree to marry.
Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audrey all are married in
the final scene.
What features of the Shakespearean
comedy does the play illustrate?
1. Love is the main theme, the appearance of separated lovers is very common, they usually have to overcome various
obstacles to be together.

2. There’s a clear conflict between the values of reason and control (called “Apollonian”) against the ideas of freedom and
lust (called “Dionysian”).

3. Misconception is very common in these plays, especially between lovers.

4. In order to add irony, it is common to find female characters that have to disguise as young men.

5. The plot usually begins with the introduction of the main characters, so it's easier to form a premature conflict or tragic
event followed by a journey o self-discovery. After sone reflection, reconciliation was reached. The conflict was
resolved with a happy ending. The third act most of time has the climax and the last scene is always some form of
celebration, like marriage.

6. The use of allusions, metaphors, insults and puns (the action of playing with words) are very common.